Adhesion molecule expression on vascular endothelium and nitroblue tetrazolium reducing activity in human colonic mucosa

Scand J Gastroenterol. 1995 Sep;30(9):915-20. doi: 10.3109/00365529509101601.


Background: Expression of adhesion molecules is increased in inflamed colonic mucosa, but little is known about their functional activity in vascular endothelium.

Methods: We studied in situ nitroblue tetrazolium reducing activity and expression of E-selectin, ICAM-1, CD31, and VCAM-1 by immunohistochemistry in the same biopsy specimen in controls and patients with ulcerative colitis (UC).

Results: VCAM-1 expression was negative in mucosal vessels. E-selectin-positive vessels were significantly increased in endoscopically active colitis compared with normal mucosa. ICAM-1-positive vessels were consistently found in normal, quiescent UC and active UC. CD31-positive vessels were not significantly increased in quiescent UC and active UC compared with control. Only E-selectin significantly correlated with the histologic grade of inflammation. Nitroblue tetrazolium reducing vessels were increased in inflamed mucosa, and these vessels expressed ICAM-1 and CD31. E-selectin positivity in association with nitroblue tetrazolium reduction was mainly seen in the large mucosal vessels, but capillaries showing nitroblue tetrazolium reduction were rarely positive for E-selectin.

Conclusions: Phenotypic and functional activation of vascular endothelium might be involved in the recruitment of leukocytes and tissue destruction of inflamed colonic mucosa.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / metabolism*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / pathology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Indicators and Reagents / pharmacology
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitroblue Tetrazolium / pharmacology
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / metabolism


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Nitroblue Tetrazolium