Small molecule-mediated activation of the integrin CD11b/CD18 reduces inflammatory disease

Dony Maiguel, Mohd Hafeez Faridi, Changli Wei, Yoshihiro Kuwano, Keir M. Balla, Dayami Hernandez, Constantinos J. Barth, Geanncarlo Lugo, Mary Donnelly, Ali Nayer, Luis F. Moita, Stephan Schürer, David Traver, Phillip Ruiz, Roberto I. Vazquez-Padron, Klaus Ley, Jochen Reiser, Vineet Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The integrin CD11b/CD18 (also known as Mac-1), which is a heterodimer of the α M (CD11b) and β 2 (CD18) subunits, is critical for leukocyte adhesion and migration and for immune functions. Blocking integrin-mediated leukocyte adhesion, although beneficial in experimental models, has had limited success in treating inflammatory diseases in humans. Here, we used an alternative strategy of inhibiting leukocyte recruitment by activating CD11b/CD18 with small-molecule agonists, which we term leukadherins. These compounds increased the extent of CD11b/CD18-dependent cell adhesion of transfected cells and of primary human and mouse neutrophils, which resulted in decreased chemotaxis and transendothelial migration. Leukadherins also decreased leukocyte recruitment and reduced arterial narrowing after injury in rats. Moreover, compared to a known integrin antagonist, leukadherins better preserved kidney function in a mouse model of experimental nephritis. Leukadherins inhibited leukocyte recruitment by increasing leukocyte adhesion to the inflamed endothelium, which was reversed with a blocking antibody. Thus, we propose that pharmacological activation of CD11b/CD18 offers an alternative therapeutic approach for inflammatory diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalScience Signaling
Issue number189
StatePublished - Sep 6 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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