Brown recluse spider (Loxosceles reclusa) venom induces severe dermonecrotic lesions. The mechanism for this is unknown but presents an interesting paradox: necrosis is completely dependent on the victim's neutrophils, yet neutrophils are not activated by the venom. We show Loxosceles venom is a potent, but disjointed, endothelial cell agonist. It weakly induced E-selectin expression, but not intercellular adhesion molecule-1 or IL-6 expression, yet significantly stimulated release of IL-8 and large amounts of GM-CSF by 4 h. In contrast, TNF strongly induced all of these, except for GM-CSF. PMN bound to E-selectin on venom-activated endothelial cells, apparently via counterreceptors different from those that bind E-selectin on TNF alpha-activated monolayers. Notably, PMN bound venom-activated monolayers only at intercellular junctions, did not polarize, and completely failed to migrate beneath the monolayer. Despite this, bound PMN demonstrated increased intracellular Ca2+ levels and secreted primary and secondary granule markers. The latter event was suppressed by sulfones used to treat envenomation. We have defined a new endothelial cell agonist, Loxosceles venom, that differentially stimulates the inflammatory response of endothelial cells. This, in turn, leads to a dysregulated PMN response where adhesion and degranulation are completely dissociated from shape change and transmigration.
K D Patel, V Modur, G A Zimmerman, S M Prescott, T M McIntyre