The orderly migration of various white blood cell types to inflammatory sites is a highly regulated process that involves a diversity of adhesion and signaling molecules. This cellular influx is initiated by relatively low affinity interactions that allow for leukocytes to roll along the vascular surface. This rolling phenomenon is mediated by adhesive interactions between lectin containing adhesion molecules, termed selectins, on both the vascular endothelium and leukocytes, and carbohydrate ligands immobilized on mucin-like scaffolds. This adhesion allows for a rapid recognition of various cell types under the conditions of vascular flow, with the result that inflammatory cells are specifically decelerated adjacent to sites of inflammation. This review focuses on the various biochemical aspects of the interactions between the selectins and their cognate carbohydrate ligands, with an emphasis on the importance of these adhesive events to the inflammatory response.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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