Circulating isoforms of cellular adhesion molecules (CAMs) have been described recently, and elevated levels of certain sCAMs have been reported in various inflammatory diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). There are previously no reports on sCAMs in cutaneous LE. Sera from 61 patients with LE: systemic (SLE: n=24), chronic cutaneous (discoid LE, DLE: n= 19) or subacute cutaneous (SCLE: n=8), chronic biologically false positive (CBFP) reactors for syphilis (n= 10) and 32 controls were examined for sICAM-1, sVCAM-1 and sE-Selectin with specific ELISA kits. Protocol forms were reviewed. We found significantly elevated levels of sE-Selectin in patients with DLE and widespread cutaneous symptoms, and a correlation between active cutaneous disease as well as polymorphous light eruption (PLE) and elevated levels of sE-Selectin. In contrast, patients with systemic LE did not have elevated levels of sE-Selectin, but in concordance with earlier reports, sICAM-1 and sVCAM-1 levels were elevated compared to controls in SLE, as well as in SCLE patients, which has not been reported previously. Since activated endothelial cells are the only source for E-Selectin, the elevated sE-Selectin level in patients with widespread and active cutaneous disease suggests a more important role for endothelial cells in the pathogenesis of cutaneous LE than previously assumed.