The Aminopeptidase CD13 Induces Homotypic Aggregation in Neutrophils and Impairs Collagen Invasion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Christine A Fiddler
  • Helen Parfrey
  • Andrew S Cowburn
  • Gillian Murphy
  • Edwin R Chilvers

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Cambridge


Aminopeptidase N (CD13) is a widely expressed cell surface metallopeptidase involved in the migration of cancer and endothelial cells. Apart from our demonstration that CD13 modulates the efficacy of tumor necrosis factor-α-induced apoptosis in neutrophils, no other function for CD13 has been ascribed in this cell. We hypothesized that CD13 may be involved in neutrophil migration and/or homotypic aggregation. Using purified human blood neutrophils we confirmed the expression of CD13 on neutrophils and its up-regulation by pro-inflammatory agonists. However, using the anti-CD13 monoclonal antibody WM-15 and the aminopeptidase enzymatic inhibitor bestatin we were unable to demonstrate any direct involvement of CD13 in neutrophil polarisation or chemotaxis. In contrast, IL-8-mediated neutrophil migration in type I collagen gels was significantly impaired by the anti-CD13 monoclonal antibodies WM-15 and MY7. Notably, these antibodies also induced significant homotypic aggregation of neutrophils, which was dependent on CD13 cross-linking and was attenuated by phosphoinositide 3-kinase and extracellular signal-related kinase 1/2 inhibition. Live imaging demonstrated that in WM-15-treated neutrophils, where homotypic aggregation was evident, the number of cells entering IL-8 impregnated collagen I gels was significantly reduced. These data reveal a novel role for CD13 in inducing homotypic aggregation in neutrophils, which results in a transmigration deficiency; this mechanism may be relevant to neutrophil micro-aggregation in vivo.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0160108
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2016