In situ hybridization analysis of ICAM-1 (CD54) mRNA on conjunctival epithelium during allergic inflammation

Clin Exp Allergy. 1997 Jul;27(7):737-43.


Background: The intercellular adhesion molecule ICAM-1 has been detected by immunohistochemical methods on epithelial cells of the conjunctiva and nose during allergic inflammation.

Objective: The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether ICAM-1 expression on conjunctival epithelium derives from endogenous synthesis or is merely due to passive uptake of soluble ICAM-1 released from inflammatory cells.

Methods: In situ hybridization was performed using a 3' end dygoxygenin-labelled specific DNA oligonucleotide probe on fixed conjunctival smears from allergic subjects challenged with, or naturally exposed to the allergen, and from healthy subjects. Immunocytochemistry for ICAM-1 was performed by alkaline phosphatase antialkaline phosphatase.

Results: In allergic patients, both naturally exposed to the allergen and after specific challenge, a clear hybridization pattern on epithelial cells was apparent. Out of allergen exposure, some symptomfree pollinosic subjects, as well as a few healthy volunteers showed mild ICAM-1 mRNA cytoplasmic staining in the absence of immunohistochemically detectable ICAM-1. This finding may explain the very early appearance of ICAM-1 on conjunctival epithelium following specific challenge in allergic individuals.

Conclusions: These results indicate that the presence of ICAM-1 on conjunctival epithelium during allergic inflammation derives from endogenous synthesis and not from uptake of soluble ICAM-1.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Conjunctiva / immunology*
  • Conjunctivitis, Allergic / immunology*
  • Epithelium / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / biosynthesis*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasal Cavity / immunology
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1