The glycosylation of the acute phase glycoprotein alpha 1-acid glycoprotein (AGP) in human sera is subject to marked changes during acute inflammation as a result of the cytokine-induced hepatic acute phase reaction. The changes described thus far comprise alterations in the type of branching of the carbohydrate structures as revealed by increased reactivity of AGP with concanavalin A. We now report on acute inflammation-induced increases in alpha 1-->3-fucosylated AGP molecules, as detected by the reactivity of AGP towards the fucose-binding Aleuria aurantia lectin (AAL) in crossed affino-immunoelectrophoresis of human sera. Laparotomy of women, for the removal of benign tumors of the uterus, was used as a model for the development of the hepatic acute phase response. Hugh increases were detected in the amounts of strongly AAL-reactive fractions of AGP, presumably containing three or more fucosylated N-acetyllactosamine units. At least part of these Lewis X-type glycans (Gal beta 1-->[Fuc alpha 1-->3]GlcNAc-R) appeared to be substituted also with an alpha 2-->3-linked sialic acid residue. This was revealed by the laparotomy-induced abundant staining of AGP with an antisialyl Lewis X monoclonal antibody (CSLEX-1) on blots of sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels containing AGP isolated from the sera of a patient at various days after operation. It is concluded that acute inflammation induces a strong increase in sialyl Lewis X-substituted AGP molecules that persists at a high level throughout the inflammatory period. We postulate that these changes represent a physiological feedback response on the interaction between leukocytes and inflamed endothelium, which is mediated via sialylated Lewis X structures and the selectin endothelial-leukocyte adhesion molecule 1.

This content is only available as a PDF.