During acute inflammation, P-selectin is transiently mobilized from Weibel-Palade bodies to the surface of histamine-activated endothelial cells, where it mediates rolling adhesion of neutrophils under hydrodynamic flow. During chronic or allergic inflammation, sustained expression of P-selectin on the endothelial cell surface has been observed. We found that the cytokines interleukin 4 (IL-4) or oncostatin M (OSM) induced a five- to ninefold increase in P-selectin messenger RNA (mRNA) in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) that persisted as long as 72 h. IL-4 elevated P-selectin mRNA by increasing its transcription rate rather than by prolonging its already long half-life. Stimulation of P-selectin transcription by IL-4 or OSM required new protein synthesis and tyrosine phosphorylation of cellular proteins. Tumor necrosis factor alpha, IL-1 beta, lipopolysaccharide, or IL-3 did not increase P-selectin mRNA in HUVEC, and did not augment the IL-4-induced increase in P-selectin transcripts. IL-4 or OSM increased P-selectin protein on the cell surface as well as in Weibel-Palade bodies. Under flow conditions, neutrophils rolled on P-selectin expressed by IL-4-treated HUVEC, and even more neutrophils rolled on P-selectin after IL-4-treated HUVEC were stimulated with histamine. These data demonstrate that IL-4 or OSM stimulates endothelial cells to synthesize more P-selectin over prolonged periods. The increased expression of P-selectin may facilitate the emigration of leukocytes into sites of chronic or allergic inflammation.

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