Endothelial intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and glycoprotein E-selectin (ELAM-1) allow the homing of leukocytes to inflammation sites. A circulating form of ICAM-1 markedly increases in inflammatory CNS disorders. In the present study, the serum levels of ICAM-1, ELAM-1 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) were measured in patients with acute (AIDP) and chronic (CIDP) inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathies and cryoglobulinemic neuropathy (CGN). Immunoenzymometric assays revealed increased sICAM-1 levels in some of these patients; furthermore, high titres of ELAM-1 and TNF-alpha were detected in two patients with AIDP and one patient with CGN. Our data extend previous observations on inflammatory PNS disorders by showing that, in addition to ICAM-1, ELAM-1 also represents a useful marker of endothelial activation and that, taken together, the two molecules may serve as an indicator of specific pathogenetic mechanisms.