Leukocyte adhesion molecules in rejected corneal allografts

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 1994 Feb;232(2):87-95. doi: 10.1007/BF00171669.


Leukocyte adhesion molecules are believed to play a key role in the selective recruitment of different leukocyte populations to inflammatory sites. In this study, we investigated the presence and distribution of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), E-selectin (endothelial leukocyte adhesion molecule-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) in 12 rejected corneal allografts and compared the presence of these adhesion molecules with the composition of the associated inflammatory infiltrates. ICAM-1 was focally expressed on corneal epithelial cells and its expression was increased on keratocytes, corneal and vascular endothelial cells particularly at the site of dense infiltration with mononuclear leukocytes. E-selectin was present on endothelial cells of vessels in the stroma of rejected corneal allografts which were characterized by dense infiltration with T cells and macrophages. VCAM-1 was predominantly expressed on inflammatory cells of the macrophage/monocyte lineage, but only sporadically on vascular endothelial cells in the stroma of vascularized rejected corneal allografts. Our results suggest that ICAM-1, E-selectin and VCAM-1 may all be involved in the pathogenesis of corneal allograft rejection, particularly in the generation of the inflammatory infiltrates.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / analysis*
  • Corneal Diseases / surgery
  • Corneal Transplantation / immunology*
  • E-Selectin
  • Endothelium, Corneal / immunology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / immunology
  • Graft Rejection / immunology*
  • HLA-DR Antigens / analysis
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Transplantation, Homologous
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • E-Selectin
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1