Urokinase plasminogen activator receptor promotes macrophage infiltration into the vascular wall of ApoE deficient mice.
Gu J-M., Johns A., Morser J., Dole WP., Greaves DR., Deng GG.
The urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) regulates macrophage adhesion and migration by binding directly to matrix proteins and signaling through integrin complexes. In this study, we examined the role of uPAR on macrophage infiltration into the vascular wall. Stable murine macrophage (Raw264.7) cell lines expressing high levels of human uPAR, human urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA), or both were established using expression vectors driven by the human CD68 promoter. Stimulation with human uPA specifically induced phosphorylation of early response regulated kinase (ERK) in cells expressing human uPAR but not in sham transfected cells. The human uPAR expressing Raw264.7 cells showed increased adhesion to both human uPA and vitronectin (Vn). Raw264.7 cells expressing human uPAR or both human uPAR and uPA, but not uPA alone, were detected in the aortic wall of ApoE(-/-) mice, and no cells were detected in that of age-matched C57BL/6J mice after intravenous infusion of the cells. Blocking of Mac-1/ICAM-1 interaction by anti-alphaM antibody (M1/70) significantly reduced the infiltration of huPAR-expressing Raw264.1 cells into aorta of ApoE(-/-) mice. Treatment of C57BL/6J mice with angiotensin II resulted in infiltration of Raw264.7 cells expressing human uPAR. These data demonstrate that uPAR plays a key role in promoting macrophage infiltration into the arterial wall of ApoE(-/-) mice.