The plasma levels of inter-a inhibitor proteins (IAIPs) are decreased in patients with sepsis and the reduced levels correlate with increased mortality. In the present study, we examined the effects of IAIPs on human neutrophils to better understand the beneficial effects of IAIPs in the treatment of sepsis. We demonstrated that IAIPs induced a spherical shape that was smaller in size with a smooth cellular surface in a concentration-dependent manner. These changes were inhibited by a specific antibody against IAIPs. In contrast, bikunin, light chain of IAIP, had no effect on neutrophil morphology. The neutrophils treated with IAIPs could easily pass through the artificial microcapillaries and were prevented from entrapment inside the capillaries. Coincubation of human blood neutrophils with a confluent human vascular endothelial monolayer showed that adhesion of neutrophils on endothelial cells was suppressed by treatment with IAIPs. IAIPs inhibited the spontaneous release of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in a concentration-dependent fashion. ROS inhibition was associated with reductions in p47phoxphosphorylation on Ser328. These results suggest that IAIP-induced morphological changes that render neutrophils quiescent, facilitate passage through the microvasculature, and reduce adhesion to vascular endothelial cells and production of ROS. Thus, IAIP plays a key role in controlling neutrophil activation.
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