VCAM-1 expression on endothelium in lesions from cutaneous lupus erythematosus is increased compared with systemic and localized scleroderma

Br J Dermatol. 1996 Nov;135(5):678-86.


The cutaneous lesions in systemic sclerosis (SSc) and lupus erythematosus (LE) are pathologically distinct and may display separate cell adhesion receptors. We have scored lesional skin for the presence of cell adhesion molecules that may influence inflammatory and fibrotic processes in five patients with LE, six patients with diffuse scleroderma and four patients with morphoea. The immunohistological distribution, and the number and intensity of cells staining, were recorded for VCAM-1, ICAM-1, E-selectin, alpha 2 to alpha 6 and beta 2 integrins and HLA-DR. VCAM-1 staining intensity was increased on endothelium from lesions in LE compared with SSc (P = 0.05). Low-level VCAM-1 and E-selectin expression was present on endothelium from uninvolved skin including that from patients with morphoea. HLA-DR expression was increased on infiltrating mononuclear cells (P < 0.05) and keratinocytes in LE (P < 0.05) and the number of fibroblasts staining for ICAM-1 was increased in lesions from patients with SSc, although this did not reach statistical significance. Overall, with respect to endothelial adhesion events, our findings support an important role for VCAM-1 in sustaining chronic inflammation in cutaneous LE.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / analysis*
  • E-Selectin / analysis
  • Female
  • HLA-DR Antigens / analysis
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Cutaneous / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Scleroderma, Localized / metabolism*
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / metabolism*
  • Skin / chemistry


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • E-Selectin
  • HLA-DR Antigens