Leukocyte extravasation is a rigorously controlled process that guides white cell movement from the vascular lumen to sites of tissue inflammation. The powerful adhesive interactions that are required for leukocytes to withstand local flow at the vessel wall is a multistep process mediated by different adhesion molecules. Platelets adhered to injured vessel walls form strong adhesive substrates for leukocytes. For instance, the initial tethering and rolling of leukocytes over the site of injury are mediated by reversible binding of selectins to their cognate cell-surface glycoconjugates.
Endothelial cells are tightly connected through various proteins, which regulate the organization of the junctional complex and bind to cytoskeletal proteins or cytoplasmic interaction partners that allow the transfer of intracellular signals. An important role for these junctional proteins in governing the transendothelial migration of leukocytes under normal or inflammatory conditions has been established.
This pathway describes some of the key interactions that assist in the process of platelet and leukocyte interaction with the endothelium, in response to injury.