Effects of CX3CR1 and CXCR2 antagonists on running-dependent intramuscular neutrophil recruitments and myokine upregulation

Muscle contractile activity stimulates intramuscular recruitment of immune cells including neutrophils emerging to serve as a prerequisite for exerting proper muscular performance, although the underlying mechanisms and their contributions to myokine upregulation remain ill-defined. We previously reported that pharmacological inhibition of CX3CR1, a fractalkine receptor, dampens gnawing-dependent neutrophil recruitment into masseter muscles along with compromising their masticatory activity. By using a running exercise model, we herein demonstrated that hindlimb muscles require collaborative actions of both CX3CR1- and CXCR2-mediated signals for achieving neutrophil recruitment, upregulation of myokines including interleukin (IL)-6, enhanced GLUT4 translocation, and adequate endurance capability. Mechanistically, we revealed that a combination of CX3CR1 and CXCR2 antagonists, i.e., AZD8797 and SB2205002, inhibits exercise-inducible ICAM-1 and fractalkine upregulations in the area of the endothelium and muscle-derived CXCL1 upregulation, both of which apparently contribute to the intramuscular neutrophil accumulation in working muscles. Intriguingly, we also observed that 2 h of running results in intramuscular augmentation of innate lymphoid type 2 cells (ILC2s) markers, i.e., Bcl11b mRNA levels and anti-GATA-3-antibody-positive signals, and that these effects are completely abolished by administration of the combination of CX3CR1 and CXCR2 antagonists. Taken together, our findings strongly suggest that the exercise-evoked regional interplay among working myofibers, the adjacent endothelium, and recruited immune cells including neutrophils and possibly ILC2s, mediated through these local factors, plays a key role in the organization of the intramuscular microenvironment supporting the performance of hindlimb muscles during running.