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Selectins and their counter receptors: a bitter sweet attraction.
  1. F A Symon,
  2. A J Wardlaw
  1. Department of Respiratory Medicine, University of Leicester School of Medicine, Glenfield Hospital, UK.


    Selectins are adhesion receptors expressed by leucocytes, platelets, and endothelial cells. They mediate the initial binding of leucocytes to vascular endothelium in the post-capillary venules. This is an essential first step in leucocyte migration into tissue. The selectin family of adhesion receptors consists of three C-type lectins (E, P, and L selectin). Their ligands (counter structures) are sialylated and fucosylated carbohydrate molecules which, in most cases, decorate mucin-like glycoprotein membrane receptors. Studies using blocking monoclonal antibodies have shown that inhibition of selectin function can ameliorate a range of inflammatory processes, offering the possibility that antagonists of selectin function may be useful in the treatment of inflammatory lung diseases such as asthma.

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