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Lab Invest. 2006 Oct;86(10):1064-73. Epub 2006 Aug 7.

ADAM15 upregulation and interaction with multiple binding partners in inflammatory bowel disease.

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  • 1INSERM, U539, Nantes, France.


A disintegrin and metalloproteinase (ADAM)15 is upregulated in some tissues undergoing remodeling. This glycoprotein is characterized by adhesive function through its interaction with members of the integrin family and protease properties. The goal of this work was to describe the tissue distribution of ADAM15 and its spatial relationship with its known binding partners in inflammatory bowel disease. ADAM15 expression was examined using frozen tissues from eight patients with ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease and four normal colons by immunohistochemistry, immunoblotting and quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. In addition expression of alpha5beta1- and alphavbeta3-integrins, VE-cadherin, alpha-smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA) and collagen IV was examined using immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy. In the normal colon, ADAM15 was expressed by all epithelial cells throughout the crypt and by pericryptic myofibroblasts coexpressing alpha-SMA and collagen IV. ADAM15 was also expressed by endothelial cells and vascular myocytes in all layers of the intestinal wall as well as by nonvascular myocytes of the muscularis mucosae and muscularis propria. In inflammatory bowel diseases, ADAM15 was strongly upregulated at the mRNA level and expressed only as an active form as shown by immunoblotting analysis. Parallel to its upregulation, ADAM15 expression was found both at the plasma membrane and in the cytoplasm of epithelial cells in acute attacks of the disease. In the crypt abcesses, ADAM15-positive epithelial cells were in close contact with alpha5beta1-integrin-positive leukocytes localized between these cells and in the crypt lumen. In the regenerative areas, ADAM15-positive epithelial cells were in close contact with alpha5beta1- and alphavbeta3-positive pericryptic myofibroblasts. In endothelial cells, VE-cadherin was decreased. In contrast, ADAM15 was strongly expressed by endothelial cells and was in close contact with alpha5beta1-positive leukocytes. There is a differential expression of ADAM15 in epithelial cells during inflammatory bowel disease compared with the normal colon. In addition, the spatial relationships with its binding partners suggest a role for ADAM15 in the differentiation of regenerative colonic mucosa as well as in leukocyte transmigration across epithelial and endothelial barriers.

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