Myeloid-specific integrin α9 modulates arterial thrombosis by enhancing NETosis.
Evidence suggests that neutrophils contribute to thrombosis via several mechanisms, including neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) formation. Integrin α9β1 is highly expressed on neutrophils when compared with monocytes. It undergoes affinity upregulation on neutrophil activation, and stabilizes adhesion to the activated endothelium. The role of integrin α9 in arterial thrombosis remains unexplored. We generated novel myeloid cell-specific integrin α9−/− mice (α9fl/flLysMCre+) to study the role of integrin α9 in arterial thrombosis. α9fl/fl littermates were used as controls. We report that α9fl/flLysMCre+ mice were less susceptible to arterial thrombosis in ferric chloride (FeCl3) and laser injury-induced thrombosis models with unaltered hemostasis. Neutrophil elastase-positive cells were significantly reduced in α9fl/flLysMCre+ mice concomitant with reduction in neutrophil count, myeloperoxidase levels, and red blood cells in the FeCl3 injury-induced carotid thrombus. The percentage of cells releasing NETs was significantly reduced in α9fl/flLysMCre+ mouse neutrophils stimulated with thrombin-activated platelets. Furthermore, we found a significant decrease in neutrophil-mediated platelet aggregation and cathepsin-G secretion in α9fl/flLysMCre+ mice. Transfusion of α9fl/fl neutrophils in α9fl/flLysMCre+ mice restored thrombosis similar to α9fl/fl mice. Treatment of wild-type mice with anti-integrin α9 antibody inhibited arterial thrombosis. This study identifies the potential role of integrin α9 in modulating arterial thrombosis.