CD11c/CD18 signals very late antigen-4 activation to initiate foamy monocyte recruitment during the onset of hypercholesterolemia

Greg A. Foster, Lu Xu, Alagu A. Chidambaram, Stephanie R. Soderberg, Ehrin J. Armstrong, Huaizhu Wu, Scott I. Simon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Recruitment of foamy monocytes to inflamed endothelium expressing VCAM-1 contributes to the development of plaque during atherogenesis. Foamy CD11c+ monocytes arise in the circulation during the onset of hypercholesterolemia and recruit to nascent plaque, but the mechanism of CD11c/CD18 and very late Ag-4 (VLA-4) activation and cooperation in shear-resistant cell arrest on VCAM-1 are ill defined. Within 1 wk of the onset of a Western high-fat diet (WD) in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice, an inflammatory subset of foamy monocytes emerged that made up one fourth of the circulating population. These cells expressed 3-fold more CD11c/CD18 and 50% higher chemokine receptors than nonfoamy monocytes. Recruitment from blood to a VCAM-1 substrate under shear stress was assessed ex vivo using a unique artery-on-a-chip microfluidic assay. It revealed that foamy monocytes from mice on a WD increased their adhesiveness over 5 wk, rising to twice that of mice on a normal diet or CD11c-/- mice fed a WD. Shear-resistant capture of foamy human or mouse monocytes was initiated by high-affinity CD11c, which directly activated VLA-4 adhesion via phosphorylated spleen tyrosine kinase and paxillin within focal adhesion complexes. Lipid uptake and activation of CD11c are early and critical events in signaling VLA-4 adhesive function on foamy monocytes competent to recruit to VCAM-1 on inflamed arterial endothelium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5380-5392
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'CD11c/CD18 signals very late antigen-4 activation to initiate foamy monocyte recruitment during the onset of hypercholesterolemia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this