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Cell Commun Adhes. 2011 Jun;18(3):19-32. doi: 10.3109/15419061.2011.606381. Epub 2011 Sep 5.

Physiology and pathophysiology of selectins, integrins, and IgSF cell adhesion molecules focusing on inflammation. A paradigm model on infectious endocarditis.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Medical Faculty, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece.


The development of adhesion bonds, either among cells or among cells and components of the extracellular matrix, is a crucial process. These interactions are mediated by some molecules collectively known as adhesion molecules (CAMs). CAMs are ubiquitously expressed proteins playing a central role in controlling cell migration, proliferation, survival, and apoptosis. Besides their key function in physiological maintenance of tissue integrity, CAMs play an eminent role in various pathological processes such as cardiovascular disorders, atherogenesis, atherosclerotic plaque progression and regulation of the inflammatory response. CAMs such as selectins, integrins, and immunoglobulin superfamily take part in interactions between leukocyte and vascular endothelium (leukocyte rolling, arrest, firm adhesion, migration). Experimental data and pathologic observations support the assumption that pathogenic microorganisms attach to vascular endothelial cells or sites of vascular injury initiating intravascular infections. In this review a paradigm focusing on cell adhesion molecules pathophysiology and infective endocarditis development is given.

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