Elevated levels of soluble adhesion molecules in sera and BAL fluid of individuals infected with human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1

Chest. 2000 Dec;118(6):1754-61. doi: 10.1378/chest.118.6.1754.


Study objective: T-lymphocytic alveolitis and increased levels of interleukin-2 receptor-alpha (CD25)-bearing T cells in the BAL fluid (BALF) of human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) carriers have been reported. Several chemokines and adhesion molecules may contribute to the accumulation of T lymphocytes in the lungs of HTLV-1 carriers. To clarify the correlation between adhesion molecules and HTLV-1-associated pulmonary disorders, we compared the distribution of T-lymphocyte subsets and soluble adhesion molecules, including soluble intercellular adhesion molecule (sICAM)-1, soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1), soluble L-selectin (sL-selectin), soluble E-selectin (sE-selectin), and soluble P-selectin (sP-selectin), in BALF and peripheral blood, between HTLV-1 carriers and noninfected healthy subjects.

Design: Flow cytometric analysis with monoclonal antibodies to cell-surface antigens was used to identify T-lymphocyte subsets in BALF samples from HTLV-1 carriers (n = 13) and noninfected healthy control subjects (n = 10). The levels of various soluble adhesion molecules in serum and in BALF were estimated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Results: Higher percentages of CD3+ cells, CD3-expressing human leukocyte antigen-DR antigen, and CD3+CD25+ cells were detected in the BALF of HTLV-1 carriers than in that of noninfected control subjects. The concentrations of sICAM-1, sVCAM-1, sL-selectin, SE- selectin, and sP-selectin in the sera of patients were significantly higher than those in noninfected healthy control subjects. The concentration of sICAM-1 in the BALF of patients was significantly higher than that in noninfected healthy control subjects, and the concentration of sICAM-1 correlated well with the percentage of CD3+CD25+ cells.

Conclusion: The concentrations of adhesion molecules in the sera of and sICAM-1 in the BALF of HTLV-1 carriers were significantly higher than those in noninfected individuals, and the concentration of sICAM-1 correlated well with the percentage of CD3+CD25+ cells in BALF. Our results suggest a possible interaction between activated T cells bearing CD25 and soluble adhesion molecules, especially sICAM-1, which may contribute to the pulmonary involvement in HTLV-1 carriers.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / chemistry*
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / cytology
  • CD3 Complex / analysis
  • Carrier State / metabolism
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / analysis*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Direct
  • HLA-DR Antigens / analysis
  • HTLV-I Infections / immunology
  • HTLV-I Infections / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / immunology
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / analysis
  • Selectins / analysis
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / analysis


  • CD3 Complex
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • Selectins
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1