Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Pathol. 1994 May;144(5):938-51.

Endothelial and smooth muscle cells express leukocyte adhesion molecules heterogeneously during acute rejection of rabbit cardiac allografts.

Author information

Vascular Medicine and Atherosclerosis Unit, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115.


Interactions of leukocytes with vascular wall cells figure prominently in acute rejection and development of vascular occlusive disease after cardiac transplantation. To investigate the time course and distribution among different types of vessels of expression of endothelial leukocyte adhesion molecules, issues difficult to address in humans, we studied heterotopic transplants of Dutch-Belted rabbit hearts into New Zealand white recipients without immunosuppression (average time to graft failure 8.2 +/- 0.4 days). We found constitutive expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) by coronary arterial endothelium in normal rabbits, whereas myocardial capillaries and the endocardial lining cells showed little or no expression of VCAM-1. VCAM-1 expression increased within 1 day after transplantation on the endothelium of the transplanted aorta and endocardium and on myocardial microvascular endothelial cells. ICAM-1 expression increased remarkably on all endothelia studied from 2 to 8 days after transplantation. Adhesion molecule expression on coronary artery endothelial cells also increased during severe allograft rejection (from a histological score of 1.7 +/- 0.6 pretransplant to 4.8 +/- 0.2 8 days after transplant for VCAM-1 and from 0.9 +/- 0.6 to 4.4 +/- 0.3 for ICAM-1, n = 43 arteries in 5 animals, mean +/- SD). In addition, coronary artery and aortic smooth muscle cells also showed induction of VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 8 days after transplant. We conclude that endothelial activation in a transplanted organ can occur rapidly and varies among microvascular, endocardial, and coronary artery endothelial cells, a point germane to the interpretation of endomyocardial biopsies. Augmented expression of adhesion molecules precedes temporally leukocyte accumulation in vessels. In addition, our finding of activation of coronary artery smooth muscle cells during acute rejection suggests that such episodes may contribute to the development of accelerated coronary arteriosclerosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center