Overexpression of RANTES using a recombinant adenovirus vector induces the tissue-directed recruitment of monocytes to the lung.
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RANTES (regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted) is a member of the C-C superfamily of chemokines and is reported to function as a potent chemoattractant for monocytes, eosinophils, and a subpopulation of CD4+ T cells. Using a recombinant human type 5 adenovirus containing the murine RANTES cDNA (Ad5E3 mRANTES), which is capable of expressing biologically active cytokine upon infection, we initiated a study to characterize the biologic functions of RANTES cytokine in vivo. Intratracheal administration of Ad5E3 mRANTES targeted transient RANTES expression to the bronchial epithelium of the lung in Sprague-Dawley rats. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluids (BAL) collected at 24 h had increased chemotactic activity vs controls as measured in a murine CD4+ T cell Boyden chamber microchemotaxis assay. There was a dramatic increase in the number of cells (macrophage, monocytes, and neutrophils) recovered from BAL samples taken from Ad5E3 mRANTES-treated animals at 24 h, with a >50-fold increase in monocytes, indicating a proinflammatory effect for this cytokine in vivo. This effect on monocytes was transient, decreasing by 7 days, with evidence of increased eosinophils and lymphocytes at this time. Histologic examination of lung sections at 24 h revealed greatly increased numbers of mononuclear cells, primarily monocytes, within the lungs of Ad5E3 mRANTES-treated animals, with increased extravasation of monocytes around blood vessels, indicating an ongoing process of peripheral blood monocyte recruitment. This study provides further evidence for RANTES to be a monocyte chemoattractant in vivo.
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