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Am J Physiol. 1992 Jul;263(1 Pt 1):L79-87.

Selective induction of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 by interferon-gamma in human airway epithelial cells.

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Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis 63110.


To evaluate the factors controlling migration of leukocytes into pulmonary airway epithelium, we determined the biochemical mechanisms responsible for the regulation of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) expression on cultured monolayers of human tracheal epithelial cells (HTECs) or SV40 virus-transformed human bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS-2B). Validation experiments with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) demonstrated little detectable ICAM-1 expression on unstimulated cells or on cells incubated with interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), but HUVEC monolayers responded to interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) or tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) with significant increases in ICAM-1 and ICAM-1-dependent adherence of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs). HTEC monolayers also exhibited no significant basal ICAM-1 expression but, in contrast to HUVEC monolayers, had marked increases in ICAM-1 expression and ICAM-1-dependent PMN adherence only after incubation with IFN-gamma (and not after IL-1 beta or TNF-alpha) treatment. BEAS-2B cells also exhibited relatively selective IFN-gamma stimulation of ICAM-1 expression and ICAM-1-dependent PMN adherence but (like late passage HTEC) showed significant basal ICAM-1 expression. Differences in IFN-gamma effect on ICAM-1 levels between HUVEC and HTEC monolayers were not due to differences in number or responsiveness of IFN-gamma receptors, because both cell types exhibited a similar number of receptors and other IFN-gamma-dependent responses of HUVECs remained active. In all analyses, ICAM-1 mRNA levels correlated closely with detection of ICAM-1 on the cell surface.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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