The Journal of Physiological Sciences

, Volume 62, Issue 1, pp 63–69 | Cite as

Live-cell visualization of the trans-cellular mode of monocyte transmigration across the vascular endothelium, and its relationship with endothelial PECAM-1

  • Ken HashimotoEmail author
  • Noriyuki Kataoka
  • Emi Nakamura
  • Kimiko Hagihara
  • Takeaki Okamoto
  • Hiroaki Kanouchi
  • Satoshi Mohri
  • Katsuhiko Tsujioka
  • Fumihiko Kajiya
Short Communication


In response to atherogenic stimuli, blood monocytes transmigrate across the vascular endothelium not only through endothelial cell–cell junctions (para-cellular) but also through endothelial cells themselves (trans-cellular). The molecular mechanism of the latter is mostly unknown, because it rarely happens, especially in vitro. Although many reports have recognized trans-cellular migration from snapshot images of leukocytes halfway across the endothelium at non-junctional locations, it often produces a false-positive result, because some leukocytes that initiate trans-cellular migration withdraw and return to the apical endothelial surface. Thus, analyzing the entire process is essential. In this study, complete monocyte trans-cellular migration was successfully captured for live cells, with simultaneous visualization of endothelial PECAM-1. We suggest the possible existence of both PECAM-1-related migration at peri-junctional sites and PECAM-1-unrelated migration at sites remote from junctions. This is the first report to describe the entire process of monocyte trans-cellular migration for live cells and its relationship with endothelial PECAM-1.


Atherosclerosis Leukocyte Endothelium Trans-cellular migration PECAM-1 



This work was supported in part by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research in Japan (18300156 and 19700391), and grants from Kawasaki Medical School (Project-Research 18-306T and 19-314Y). Ken Hashimoto is also supported by grants from Takeda Science Foundation (Japan) for research on monocyte trans-endothelial migration.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 (AVI 986 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Physiological Society of Japan and Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ken Hashimoto
    • 1
    Email author
  • Noriyuki Kataoka
    • 2
  • Emi Nakamura
    • 1
  • Kimiko Hagihara
    • 1
  • Takeaki Okamoto
    • 3
    • 5
  • Hiroaki Kanouchi
    • 4
  • Satoshi Mohri
    • 1
  • Katsuhiko Tsujioka
    • 1
  • Fumihiko Kajiya
    • 2
  1. 1.First Department of PhysiologyKawasaki Medical SchoolKurashikiJapan
  2. 2.Department of Medical EngineeringKawasaki University of Medical WelfareKurashikiJapan
  3. 3.Department of Natural SciencesKawasaki Medical SchoolKurashikiJapan
  4. 4.Department of Veterinary PathobiologyFaculty of Agriculture, Kagoshima UniversityKagoshimaJapan
  5. 5.Department of Home Economics EducationFaculty of Education, Ehime UniversityMatsuyamaJapan

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