Intercellular adhesion molecule-1 on cultured human epithelial cell lines: influence of proinflammatory cytokines

Allergy. 1997 May;52(5):521-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.1997.tb02595.x.


The expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (CD54 or ICAM-1) on epithelial cells during acute or chronic inflammation may favor the interaction between epithelial cells and leukocytes expressing the natural ligands of ICAM-1, LFA-1 (CD11a/CD18), and Mac-1 (CD11b/CD18). We have evaluated in vitro the expression of ICAM-1 by a conjunctival (WK) and an intestinal (I407) human continuous epithelial cell line. Cells were cultured for 24 h in the presence or absence of IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, IL-1 beta, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and TGF-beta 1. Both epithelial cell lines showed a constitutive expression of ICAM-1. IFN-gamma at 500 U/ml and TNF-alpha at 200 ng/ml upregulated ICAM-1 expression; IL-1 beta at 100 pg/ml upregulated ICAM-1 on WK cells only. Cells cultured in the presence of both IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha exhibited a mean fluorescence intensity far greater than those cultured with IFN-gamma or TNF-alpha alone. I407 and WK cells were able to release soluble ICAM-1. IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha enhanced the release of sICAM-1. IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and TGF-beta 1 did not affect either ICAM-1 expression or sICAM-1 release. In conclusion, continuously cultured human epithelial cells may express ICAM-1 on their surface and release it in culture medium. These phenomena are upregulated by proinflammatory cytokines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Adhesion / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Conjunctiva / immunology*
  • Cytokines / immunology*
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Epithelium / immunology
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / immunology*
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / metabolism*
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Interleukins / immunology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / immunology
  • Up-Regulation


  • Cytokines
  • Interleukins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Interferon-gamma