Serum levels of soluble adhesion molecules in stem cell transplantation-related complications

Bone Marrow Transplant. 2001 May;27(9):977-82. doi: 10.1038/sj.bmt.1703026.


To assess the involvement of vascular endothelial cell activation and damage in stem cell transplantation (SCT)-related complications, such as acute and chronic GVHD and thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA), we investigated the changes in serum levels of soluble forms of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1) and E-selectin (sE-selectin) in SCT. The soluble form of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) was also analyzed. In patients with acute GVHD (grades II-IV), serum levels of sE-selectin and sICAM-1 increased around onset of GVHD (day 30). While the increase of sE-selectin levels was transient, sICAM-1 levels remained high until day 60. In patients with extensive chronic GVHD, sVCAM-1 as well as sE-selectin levels significantly increased. The appearance of clinical symptoms was preceded by elevations of sVCAM-1 and sE-selectin levels on day 60, and sICAM-1 levels on days 30 and 60. For the analysis of TMA, to exclude the influence of GVHD, serum levels were measured in auto-SCT patients. Around the onset of TMA, sVCAM-1 and sE-selectin levels significantly increased in patients with TMA without an increase of sICAM-1 levels. These findings support the notion that activation and injury of endothelium are commonly involved in the pathogenesis of acute and chronic GVHD and TMA.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / blood*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • E-Selectin / blood
  • Endothelium, Vascular / injuries
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Graft vs Host Disease / blood
  • Graft vs Host Disease / etiology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / blood
  • Leukemia / complications
  • Leukemia / therapy
  • Solubility
  • Thrombosis / blood
  • Thrombosis / etiology
  • Time Factors
  • Transplantation, Autologous / adverse effects
  • Transplantation, Homologous / adverse effects
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / blood


  • Biomarkers
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • E-Selectin
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1