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Lab Invest. 1996 Jan;74(1):241-52.

Coexpression of heat-shock protein 60 and intercellular-adhesion molecule-1 is related to increased adhesion of monocytes and T cells to aortic endothelium of rats in response to endotoxin.

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Institute for General and Experimental Pathology, Medical School, University of Innsbruck, Austria.


Bacterial cell-wall lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is the main endotoxin contributing to local inflammation and systemic toxicity during Gram-negative infections and induces aortic endothelial injury with or without cell death and replication followed by increased leukocyte adhesion. Heat-shock protein (hsp) 60 is under study in our laboratory as a potential antigen inducing immunologic attack to endothelial cells in atherogenesis. To investigate the mechanism of LPS-induced endothelial injury and the phenotypes of adhering cells, Lewis rats were treated in vivo or, in aortic organ cultures, with LPS to determine the expression of intercellular-adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and hsp60 on aortic endothelium and to characterize phenotypes of adhering leukocytes. Increased ICAM-1 expression by aortic endothelium was observed as early as 3 hr after LPS injection and persisted up to 72 hr, whereas elevated levels of hsp60 were found between 6 and 48 hr. In vitro application of various types of stress, such as LPS, H2O2, and high temperature, not only stimulated endothelial expression of hsp60 but, concomitantly, that of ICAM-1. The number of adhering leukocytes was significantly increased on aortic endothelium 6 hr after LPS administration, and the predominant leukocytes adhering to stressed endothelium were monocytes (80%) and T lymphocytes (8 to 20%). In organ cultures of rat aortic intimal, LPS, and H2O2 evoked increased leukocyte adhesion, which proved to be selective, because adherent leukocytes were mostly Ia+ monocytes and T cells, i.e., activated. Adhering T cells were gamma/delta antigen-receptor positive in 8 to 16% after LPS stress, whereas these cells amount to only 2 to 4% of peripheral blood T cells. Blocking of adhesion molecules ICAM-1, LFA-1 alpha, and/or LFA-1 beta reduced adhesion up to 34%. Increased coordinated LPS-dependent expression of hsp60 and ICAM-1 correlates with monocyte and T-cell adhesion to aortic endothelium. These observations may be significant for elucidating the mechanism of the initiating events in the development of atherosclerosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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