HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein 120 increases intercellular adhesion molecule-1 expression by human endothelial cells

Lab Invest. 2002 Mar;82(3):245-55. doi: 10.1038/labinvest.3780418.


Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection is often associated with central nervous system damage and vascular complications. However, the mechanisms of this association are largely unknown. We examined the effect of HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein 120 (gp120) on cell adhesion molecule expression by endothelial cells. We found, for the first time, that both soluble and membrane-bound gp120 could significantly increase the expression of human endothelial intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) at both mRNA and protein levels, but not vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and E-selectin. The specificity of gp120-mediated response was demonstrated by blocking experiments using a specific monoclonal antibody against gp120, which successfully abolished the gp120-mediated increase of ICAM-1 expression. Furthermore, there was a significant increase of human monocytic cell line THP-1 adherence onto the gp120-treated endothelial monolayers. This increased cell adhesion was effectively blocked by either anti-gp120 or anti-ICAM antibodies. These findings suggest that HIV-1 gp120-mediated endothelial ICAM-1 expression could be one of the important mechanisms of HIV-1 pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Blocking / immunology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Cell Adhesion / immunology
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120 / genetics
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120 / immunology
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120 / pharmacology*
  • HIV-1*
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / biosynthesis*
  • Monocytes / drug effects
  • Monocytes / physiology
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Antibodies, Blocking
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • HIV Envelope Protein gp120
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1