Comparative studies of the colonic in situ expression of intercellular adhesion molecules (ICAM-1, -2, and -3), β2 integrins (LFA-1, Mac-1, and p150,95), and PECAM-1 in ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease

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A dysregulated local immune defense with a constant influx of leukocytes provides a basis for continuous intestinal inflammation in ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD). Cell adhesion molecules are pivotal for the migration of leukocytes from the circulation toward the colonic epithelium. A study quantifying the cells expressing intercellular adhesion molecules (ICAMs), β2 integrins, and platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1) in the colon was performed to illustrate the leukocyte migration pathway in inflammatory bowel disease. Serial colonic sections (10 UC, 10 CD, and 10 controls) were stained immunohistochemically for ICAM-1, ICAM-2, ICAM- 3, CD11a, CD11b, CD18, and PECAM-1. Cell adhesion molecule expression was evaluated quantitatively with reference to topographic localization. In UC, polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) in contact with the crypt epithelium and in crypt abscesses expressed CD11b. CD tissue was characterized by CD11a-, CD11c-, and ICAM-1-expressing cells. ICAM-1 was detected on endothelial cells, leukocytes, and apical parts of epithelial membranes, whereas ICAM-2 was expressed on basal epithelial membranes. Most infiltrating leukocytes expressed ICAM-3, whereas perivascular mononuclear cells expressed PECAM-1. Interestingly, the epithelial basement membrane in UC stained for CD18. In conclusion, CD11b, CD18, and ICAM-2 seem to be important for PMN transepithelial migration in UC, whereas CD11a, CD11c, ICAM-1, and ICAM-3 seem central in leukocyte locomotion and aggregation in CD. Differentiated upregulation of cell adhesion molecules is suggested to be essential for the diversities between UC and CD.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1115-1124
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2000

    Research areas

  • β Integrins, Colon, Crohn's disease, Immunoelectron microscopy, Immunohistochemistry, Inflammatory bowel disease, Intercellular adhesion molecules, PECAM-1, Ulcerative colitis

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