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Gastroenterology. 1999 Mar;116(3):694-701.

The role of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 and neutrophils in acute pancreatitis and pancreatitis-associated lung injury.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Digestive Diseases Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



Intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) and neutrophils play important roles in many inflammatory processes, but their importance in both acute pancreatitis and pancreatitis-associated lung injury has not been defined.


To address this issue, mice that do not express ICAM-1 were used and depleted of neutrophils by administration of antineutrophil serum. Pancreatitis was induced by administering either supramaximal doses of the secretagogue cerulein or feeding a choline-deficient, ethionine-supplemented diet. The severity of pancreatitis was evaluated by quantitating serum amylase, pancreatic edema, acinar cell necrosis, and pancreas myeloperoxidase activity (i.e., neutrophil content). Lung injury was evaluated by quantitating lung myeloperoxidase activity and pulmonary microvascular permeability. ICAM-1 was quantitated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and was localized by light-microscopic immunohistochemistry.


It was found that serum, pancreas, and lung ICAM-1 levels increase during pancreatitis. Both pancreatitis and the associated lung injury are blunted, but not completely prevented, in mice deficient in ICAM-1. Neutrophil depletion also reduces the severity of both pancreatitis and lung injury. However, the combination of neutrophil depletion with ICAM-1 deficiency does not reduce the severity of pancreatitis or lung injury to a greater extent than either neutrophil depletion or ICAM-1 deficiency alone. Neither pancreatitis nor pancreatitis-associated lung injury are completely prevented by ICAM-1 deficiency, neutrophil depletion, or combined ICAM-1 deficiency plus neutrophil depletion.


The observations indicate that ICAM-1 plays an important, neutrophil-mediated, proinflammatory role in pancreatitis and pancreatitis-associated lung injury. The studies also indicate that ICAM-1 and neutrophil-independent events also contribute to the evolution of pancreatitis and lung injury in these models.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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