Association Between Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1, -2, -3 Plasma Levels and Disease Activity of Ankylosing Spondylitis in the Chinese Han Population

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2016 May;41(10):E618-24. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000001328.


Study design: We investigated the association between ICAM-1, -2, -3 plasma levels and ankylosing spondylitis (AS) disease activity.

Objective: In the present study, we aimed to investigate the association between ICAM-1, -2, -3 plasma levels and AS disease activity in the Chinese Han population.

Summary of background data: AS is a chronic inflammatory rheumatic disease that effects the sacroiliac joints and axial skeleton. The intercellular adhesion molecules (ICAMs) are members of the immunoglobulin superfamily and have been identified to play major roles in inflammation and immune responses.

Methods: A total of 60 patients with AS and 60 healthy individuals were selected. The plasma levels of proinflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and ICAM-1, -2, -3, were analyzed by ELISA. Disease severity-related indexes, including the Bath ankylosing spondylitis disease activity index (BASDAI), Bath ankylosing spondylitis functional index (BASFI), and ankylosing spondylitis disease activity score (ASDAS), were assessed, along with the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) level.

Results: Both ICAM-1 and ICAM-2 levels in plasma were markedly increased in AS patients compared with levels in the plasma of controls. There was no difference between controls and patients in term of ICAM-3 levels. Furthermore, in patients, correlation analysis showed that TNF-α and IL-6 production, as well as the ESR and CRP levels, have positive relationships with ICAM-1 and ICAM-2 plasma levels; the BASDAI, BASFI, and ASDAS scores were also found to be positively correlated with ICAM-2. However, no significant correlations between ICAM-1 levels and BASDAI, BASFI, or ASDAS were detected in our study.

Conclusion: The current findings suggest that ICAM-2 may be a potential biomarker reflecting disease activity and functional ability in AS patients.

Level of evidence: 5.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antigens, CD / blood*
  • Asian People*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / blood*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Population Surveillance / methods
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / blood*
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / diagnosis*
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Antigens, CD
  • Biomarkers
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • ICAM1 protein, human
  • ICAM2 protein, human
  • ICAM3 protein, human
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1