Expression of E-selectin on activated endothelium is a critical initial step that leads to extravasation of leucocytes during inflammation, yet E-selectin is largely uncharacterized in several animal species including the horse. We have sequenced and compared E-selectin genes derived from activated cultures of purified equine (horse), cervid (black-tailed deer) and ovine (sheep) pulmonary artery endothelial cells (ECs). Phylogenetic and amino acid sequence comparisons indicate that bovine, cervid and ovine E-selectin are similar, whereas human and equine E-selectin are more closely related to each other than to the ruminant molecules. Human E- and P-selectin-specific monoclonal antibodies that also recognize equine E-selectin were identified and used to characterize its expression. Expression of E-selectin was more readily induced by lipopolysaccharide treatment in equine ECs than in human ECs and supported adhesion and activation of neutrophils, consistent with the extreme sensitivity of horses to endotoxaemia and septic shock.
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