We have shown previously that treatment of human aortic endothelial cells (HAECs) with minimally modified low-density lipoprotein (MM-LDL) induces monocyte but not neutrophil binding. This monocyte binding was not mediated by endothelial E-selectin, P-selectin, vascular cell adhesion molecule-I, or intercellular adhesion molecule-I, suggesting an alternative monocyte-specific adhesion molecule. We now show that monocytic α4β1 integrins mediate binding to MM-LDL-treated endothelial cells. We present data suggesting that the expression of the connecting segment-1 (CS-1) domain of fibronectin (FN) is induced on the apical surface of HAEC by MM-LDL and is the endothelial α4β1 ligand in MM-LDL-treated cells. Although the levels of CS-1 mRNA and protein were not increased, we show that MM-LDL treatment causes deposition of FN on the apical surface by activation of β1 integrins, particularly those associated with α5 integrins. Activation of β1 by antibody 8A2 also induced CS-1-mediated monocyte binding. Confocal microscopy demonstrated the activated β1 and CS-1 colocalize in concentrated filamentous patches on the apical surface of HAEC. Both anti-CS-1 and an antibody to activated β1 showed increased staining on the luminal endothelium of human coronary lesions with active monocyte entry. These results suggest the importance of these integrin ligand interactions in human atherosclerosis.
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