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Vitronectin is present in large concentrations in serum and the extracellular matrix. Although vitronectin is known to modulate neutrophil adhesion and chemotaxis, and to contribute to neutrophil-associated proinflammatory processes, a role in apoptosis has not been demonstrated. In thepresent studies,wefound that neutrophils demonstrated more rapid progression to spontaneous or TNF-related apoptosisinducing ligand-induced apoptosis when incubated under vitronectinfree conditions thanwhen vitronectinwas present. The ability of native vitronectin to delay neutrophil apoptosis was not recapitulated by the vitronectin somatomedin B domain. In contrast, inclusion of the cyclo[Arg-Gly-Asp-D-Phe-Val] peptide in cultures containing vitronectin resulted in enhanced neutrophil apoptosis, showing that the vitronectin RGD motif (Arg-Gly-Asp motif) was responsible for the antiapoptotic effects of vitronectin. Addition of antibodies to β1, β3, or β5, but not to β2 or β4 integrins, reversed the ability of vitronectin to diminish neutrophil apoptosis. The ability of vitronectin to enhance neutrophil viability was dependent on activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 kinases, but not on the p38 kinase. Increased numbers of apoptotic neutrophils were present in the lungs of LPS-treated transgenic vitronectin-deficient mice, as compared with control mice. These results demonstrate a novel antiapoptotic function for vitronectin. Copyright © 2012 by the American Thoracic Society.

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American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology

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