Expression of P-selectin at low site density promotes selective attachment of eosinophils over neutrophils.
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The selective interaction of neutrophils with E-selectin and eosinophils with P-selectin has been previously reported, but the relevance of selectin site density and fluid shear has not been studied in detail. We have developed a new approach to examine these interactions in cell suspensions that integrates an on-line cone-plate viscometer with a flow cytometer. We find that eosinophils and neutrophils both use P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 to form stable conjugates with P-selectin Chinese hamster ovary cell transfectants, with a preferential adhesion of eosinophils. Further, the difference in cell adhesion between neutrophils and eosinophils is magnified at P-selectin expression levels below approximately 20 sites/microm2, a range likely to be relevant to endothelial cell expression levels in conditions associated with eosinophilia. The unique behavior is retained over shear rates ranging from 100 to 1500/s but is magnified at low shear. Results from parallel-plate flow chamber assays suggest that preferential eosinophil adhesion reflects an enhanced efficiency of initial PSGL-1 bond formation with P-selectin rather than a unique ability of eosinophils to mediate rolling interactions of longer duration on low-density P-selectin substrates. These differences may account in part for the increase in eosinophil accumulation in allergic diseases.