Atherosclerosis develops at regions of the arterial tree exposed to disturbed flow. The early stage of atherogenesis involves the adhesion of leukocytes (white blood cells [WBCs]) to and their transmigration across endothelial cells (ECs), which are located in close proximity to smooth muscle cells (SMCs). We investigated the effects of EC/SMC coculture and disturbed flow on the adhesion and transmigration of 3 types of WBCs (neutrophils, peripheral blood lymphocytes [PBLs], and monocytes) using our vertical-step flow (VSF) chamber, in which ECs were cocultured with SMCs in collagen gels. Such coculture significantly increased the adhesion and transmigration of neutrophils, PBLs, and monocytes under VSF, particularly in the reattachment area, where the rolling velocity of WBCs and their transmigration time were decreased, as compared with the other areas. Neutrophils, PBLs, and monocytes showed different subendothelial migration patterns under VSF. Their movements were more random and shorter in distance in the reattachment area. Coculture of ECs and SMCs induced their expressions of adhesion molecules and chemokines, which contributed to the increased WBCadhesion and transmigration. Our findings provide insights into the mechanisms of WBC interaction with the vessel wall (composed of ECs and SMCs) under the complex flow environments found in regions of prevalence for atherogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology