Regulation of Chemokine Function: The Roles of GAG-Binding and Post-Translational Nitration
Identification of the structure-function relationship of heparin, particularly between 2-O-, 6-O-, and N-sulfation and its anticoagulant or anti-inflammatory activities, is critical in order to evaluate the biological effects of heparin, especially in conjunction with modifications for oral formulation. In this study, we demonstrated that removal of 2-O, 6-O, or N-desulfation and their hydrophobic modifications have differential effects on the blocking of interactions between sLeX and P-and L-selectins, with highest inhibition by 6-O desulfation, which was consistent with their in vivo therapeutic efficacies on CIA mice. The 6-O desulfation of lower molecular weight heparin (LMWH) retained the ability of LMWH to interfere with T cell adhesion via selectin-sLeX interactions. Furthermore, 6DSHbD coated on the apical surface of inflamed endothelium directly blocked the adhesive interactions of circulating T cells, which was confirmed in vivo by suppressing T cell adhesion at post-capillary venular endothelium. Thus, in series with our previous study demonstrating inhibition of transendothelial migration, oral delivery of low anticoagulant LMWH to venular endothelium of inflamed joint tissues ameliorated arthritis by the stepwise inhibition of T cell recruitment and provides a rationale for the development of modified oral heparins as innovative agents for the treatment of chronic inflammatory arthritis.