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J Immunol. 1993 Sep 15;151(6):3274-82.

Neuropeptides induce rapid expression of endothelial cell adhesion molecules and elicit granulocytic infiltration in human skin.

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  • 1Department of Public Health Medicine, United Medical School, London.


Inflammatory cell infiltrates and cell adhesion molecule expression have been examined in normal human skin after intradermal injection of sensory neuropeptides substance P (n = 6), vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (n = 6), and calcitonin gene-related peptide (n = 6) together with PBS as control (n = 4). Each neuropeptide induced rapid, time-dependent neutrophil influx into dermis, which was initially observed at 15 min and persisted for 8 h after injection. Increases in numbers of neutrophils with time after substance P, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide and calcitonin gene-related peptide were highly significant when compared with controls p < 0.005, p < 0.005, p < 0.005, respectively (analysis of variance). Substance P additionally induced marked eosinophilic accumulation at 4 and 8 h in four of six subjects. These changes paralleled rapid translocation of P-selectin from cytoplasmic Weibel-Palade granules to luminal membranes by 15 min, and significant up-regulation of E-selectin expression at 4 and 8 h. Increases in percentage of E-selectin positive vessels with respect to time after each neuropeptide were highly significant when compared with controls, p < 0.005, p < 0.005, p < 0.005 (ANOVA), respectively, and were significantly correlated with neutrophil infiltrates, r = 0.55, p < 0.001. VCAM-1 was not expressed, and constitutive ICAM-1 expression on dermal endothelium was unchanged at all time points examined (0-8 h). Induction of endothelial adhesion molecule expression by neuropeptides provides a mechanism for neutrophil accumulation in neurogenic inflammation. Substance P-induced eosinophil accumulation in the absence of VCAM-1 expression suggests that mechanisms distinct from VCAM-1/very late antigen-4 binding mediate selective tissue eosinophilia.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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