Absence of Fer protein-tyrosine kinase exacerbates leukocyte recruitment in response to endotoxin

Donna-Marie McCafferty, Andrew W B Craig, Yotis A Senis, Peter A Greer

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33 Citations (Scopus)


The group IV cytoplasmic protein-tyrosine kinase Fer has been linked to cellular signaling responses to many different stimuli, including growth factors and cytokines. However, the biological relevance of Fer activation in vivo has not been demonstrated to date. Recently, we generated a transgenic mouse line in which Fer protein is expressed but lacks catalytic activity. Homozygous mutant mice were viable and fertile, and showed no overt defects. In this study, we used intravital microscopy to examine the role of Fer kinase in leukocyte recruitment (rolling adhesion and emigration) in response to LPS challenge in skeletal muscle microcirculation. In addition, we measured vascular permeability changes (FITC-albumin leakage, venular-to-interstitial space) in response to Ag to examine general endothelial cell function. Local administration of LPS induced decreased leukocyte rolling velocity and increased leukocyte adhesion and emigration in wild-type mice. LPS-induced changes in leukocyte rolling velocity and rolling flux were not significantly different in Fer mutants. However, LPS-induced leukocyte adhesion (23 +/- 3 vs 11 +/- 3 cells/100 microm) and emigration (100 +/- 5 vs 28 +/- 7 cells/field) were significantly elevated in Fer-mutant mice relative to wild-type mice, respectively, suggesting an essential role for the Fer kinase in regulating inflammation-induced leukocyte emigration. Vascular permeability increases in response to Ag were similar between the two groups, indicating that the ability of endothelial cells to retract is intact in the absence of Fer kinase. These data provide the first evidence for a biological role for Fer in regulation of leukocyte recruitment during the innate immune response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4930-5
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2002


  • Animals
  • Capillary Permeability
  • Cell Movement
  • Endothelium, Vascular
  • Hemodynamics
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate
  • Inflammation
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Kinetics
  • Leukocytes
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Muscle, Skeletal
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Ovalbumin
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Rheology


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