Inhibition of polymorphonuclear leukocyte chemotaxis by alpha-macrofetoprotein, an acute-phase reactant of the rat

Inflammation
J van GoolW Boers

Abstract

alpha-Macrofetoprotein (alpha M FP) is a normal fetal plasma constituent in the rat, with very low plasma levels in the adult phase but rising sharply after injury. This fetal acute-phase protein is a strong inhibitor of inflammatory edema. Fetal inflammatory reactions show diminished exudation, but also impaired emigration of polymorph nuclear cells (PMNs). Therefore we studied the effect of alpha M FP on chemotaxis of PMN in vitro and in vivo. In vitro experiments showed a strong inhibitory effect on casein-induced leukotaxis (Boyden technique) with a clear dose-effect relationship. In vivo with glycogen-induced pleurisy and peritonitis, high alpha M FP levels are accompanied by diminished PMN emigration and vice versa. The significance of these findings is discussed in relation to fetal pathology and also as a model showing the modulating effects of acute-phase proteins on the inflammatory reaction induced by tissue injury.

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