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Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1992 Dec;65(3):330-4.

Generalized inflammation during peritonitis evidenced by intracutaneous E-selectin expression.

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Department of Surgery, University of Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


E-selectin is a human endothelial leukocyte adhesion molecule which is expressed on endothelial cells after exposure to inflammatory mediators and which is known to be involved in the adhesion of polymorphonuclear cells to the endothelium in vitro. Data on E-selectin expression in vivo are limited. In the present report, we studied the expression of E-selectin in skin biopsies from patients with peritonitis due to a perforation of the gastrointestinal tract. Substantial E-selectin expression was observed on the vasculature of the skin from six out of eight of these severely ill patients. Skin obtained from healthy individuals stained negative, or showed a faint patchy staining in 30% of biopsies tested. These results provide evidence that E-selectin expression was induced at a distance from the primary inflammatory process on the vascular endothelium of the skin during severe peritonitis. Cutaneous E-selectin expression thus reflected on the surface of the body a state of generalized activated endothelium.

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