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Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1997 Dec;216(3):456-63.

Heme induces the expression of adhesion molecules ICAM-1, VCAM-1, and E selectin in vascular endothelial cells.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pharmacology, New York Medical College, Valhalla 10595, USA.

Abstract

Heme is an important immunostimulating agent and oxidative factor contributing to endothelial cell activation. To investigate the mechanism of heme-induced endothelial cell activation, we analyzed the effect of heme and the inflammatory cytokine, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), on the expression of the heme-degrading stress protein, heme oxygenase (HO), and adhesion molecules in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Indirect immunofluorescence double labeling studies demonstrated a simultaneous increase of ICAM-1 and HO-1 after exposure of cells to heme for 24 hr. Co-expression of HO-1 and ICAM-1 was also demonstrated in TNF-alpha-exposed cells. Dot blot immunoassay and quantitative analysis by ELISA demonstrated that heme treatment for 24 hr caused a 2-fold increase in ICAM-1 expression (P < 0.002) compared with quiescent cells, while in cells stimulated by TNF-alpha for 24 hr ICAM-1 gene expression increased by 5-fold. Moreover, heme exposure also resulted in a marked increase in VCAM-1 and E selectin expression (three and four times over control levels, respectively). On the other hand, TNF-alpha treatment showed similar expression levels for VCAM-1 and E selectin, compared with stimulation by heme (100 microM). The level of HO activity in endothelial cells exposed to heme or TNF-alpha was increased from 24.7 +/- 5.7 pmol bilirubin/mg protein/min in control to 70.0 +/- 9.5 and 36.7 +/- 3.1 pmol bilirubin/mg protein/min in heme- and TNF-alpha-stimulated cells, respectively. These results suggest that upregulation of ICAM-1, VCAM-1, and E selectin expression is associated with oxidative stress induced by hemoglobin/heme and that HO-1 may play a modulating role via its ability to degrade heme to a substance with antioxidant properties.

PMID:
9402154
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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