Fractalkine induces angiogenic potential in CX3CR1-expressing monocytes

Youngrok Park, Joon Lee, Jae Yong Kwak, Kyoungmi Noh, Eunjung Yim, Hyun Kyung Kim, Young June Kim, Hal E. Broxmeyer, Jeong A. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


We report the unique role of CX3CL1 (or fractalkine) on CD11b + myelomonocytic cells expressing CX3CR1, the only known receptor for CX3CL1, in promoting blood perfusion recovery. In a mouse ischemic hind-limb model, CD11b + CX3CR1 + cells migrated to ischemic femoral muscles through CX3CL1-mediated chemotaxis. CD11b + CX3CR1 + macrophages isolated from ischemic tissues [tissue (T)-CD11b + CX3CR1 + ] of muscle exert a proangiogenic effect through platelet factor-4 (CXCL4; PF-4) production. PF-4 does not promote angiogenesis by itself but, instead, increases VEGF-mediated angiogenesis. Despite proangiogenic effects of muscle-derived T-CD11b + CX3CR1 + macrophages, their clinical implementation is limited because muscle excision is required for cell harvesting. Therefore, we focused on the more accessible bone marrow (BM)-CD11b + CX3CR1 + monocytes, which migrate from BM into ischemic muscles via CX3CL1-mediated chemotaxis. PF-4 expression was not detected in BM-CD11b + CX3CR1 + monocytes under normal conditions, but CX3CL1 (50 ng/ml) induced high PF-4 expression and enabled BM-CD11b + CX3CR1 + monocytes to achieve a similar angiogenic potential to that of T-CD11b + CX3CR1 + macrophages ex vivo. Furthermore, we were able to identify a subset of monocytes that express CD11b and CX3CR1 in human peripheral blood and confirmed the proangiogenic effect of CX3CL1 treatment. Thus, CX3CL1-treated CD11b + CX3CR1 + monocytes may be of potential therapeutic use to significantly accelerate recovery of blood perfusion in ischemic diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-66
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • Angiogenesis
  • CX3CL1
  • CX3CR1
  • Monocyte

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology

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  • Cite this

    Park, Y., Lee, J., Kwak, J. Y., Noh, K., Yim, E., Kim, H. K., Kim, Y. J., Broxmeyer, H. E., & Kim, J. A. (2018). Fractalkine induces angiogenic potential in CX3CR1-expressing monocytes. Journal of Leukocyte Biology, 103(1), 53-66.