Cell adhesion molecules in the development of inflammatory infiltrates in giant cell arteritis: inflammation-induced angiogenesis as the preferential site of leukocyte-endothelial cell interactions

Arthritis Rheum. 2000 Jan;43(1):184-94. doi: 10.1002/1529-0131(200001)43:1<184::AID-ANR23>3.0.CO;2-N.


Objective: To investigate the expression pattern of adhesion molecules involved in leukocyte-endothelial cell interactions in giant cell arteritis (GCA).

Methods: Immunohistochemical analysis was performed on frozen temporal artery sections from 32 patients with biopsy-proven GCA and from 12 control patients with other diseases. Adhesion molecules identified were intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1), ICAM-2, ICAM-3, vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1), platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule 1 (PECAM-1), E-selectin, P-selectin, L-selectin, lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA-1), very late activation antigen 4 (VLA-4), Mac-1 (CD18/CD11b), and gp 150,95 (CD18/CD11c). Clinical and biochemical parameters of inflammation in the patients, as well as the duration of previous corticosteroid treatment, were prospectively recorded.

Results: Constitutive (PECAM-1, ICAM-1, ICAM-2, and P-selectin) and inducible (E-selectin and VCAM-1) endothelial adhesion molecules for leukocytes were mainly expressed by adventitial microvessels and neovessels within inflammatory infiltrates. Concurrent analysis of leukocyte receptors indicated a preferential use of VLA-4/VCAM-1 and LFA-1/ICAM-1 at the adventitia and Mac-1/ICAM-1 at the intima-media junction. The intensity of inducible endothelial adhesion molecule expression (E-selectin and VCAM-1) correlated with the intensity of the systemic inflammatory response. Previous corticosteroid treatment reduced, but did not completely abrogate, the expression of the inducible endothelial adhesion molecules E-selectin and VCAM-1.

Conclusion: Inflammation-induced angiogenesis is the main site of leukocyte-endothelial cell interactions leading to the development of inflammatory infiltrates in GCA. The distribution of leukocyte-endothelial cell ligand pairs suggests a heterogeneity in leukocyte-endothelial cell interactions used by different functional cell subsets at distinct areas of the temporal artery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antigens, CD / analysis
  • Antigens, CD / immunology
  • Antigens, Differentiation*
  • CD18 Antigens / analysis
  • CD18 Antigens / immunology
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / analysis
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / immunology*
  • Cell Communication / immunology
  • E-Selectin / analysis
  • E-Selectin / immunology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / immunology
  • Female
  • Giant Cell Arteritis / drug therapy
  • Giant Cell Arteritis / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Integrin alpha4beta1
  • Integrins / analysis
  • Integrins / immunology
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / analysis
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / immunology
  • L-Selectin / analysis
  • L-Selectin / immunology
  • Leukocytes / chemistry
  • Leukocytes / cytology*
  • Leukocytes / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1 / analysis
  • Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1 / immunology
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen / analysis
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / immunology*
  • P-Selectin / analysis
  • P-Selectin / immunology
  • Platelet Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / analysis
  • Platelet Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / immunology
  • Receptors, Lymphocyte Homing / analysis
  • Receptors, Lymphocyte Homing / immunology
  • Temporal Arteries / chemistry
  • Temporal Arteries / immunology
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / analysis
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / immunology


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • CD18 Antigens
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • E-Selectin
  • ICAM2 protein, human
  • ICAM3 protein, human
  • Integrin alpha4beta1
  • Integrins
  • Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen
  • P-Selectin
  • Platelet Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Receptors, Lymphocyte Homing
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • L-Selectin