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Immunopharmacology. 1996 Mar;31(2-3):213-21.

Thalidomide selectively modulates the density of cell surface molecules involved in the adhesion cascade.

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Department of Pathology, Rheinisch-Westfaelische Technische Hochschule (RWTH), Aachen, Germany.


The mode of action of thalidomide (THD) in clinical cases of vasculitis is still not clear. Expression of adhesion molecules on endothelial cell lines was therefore assessed in vitro. THD is capable of changing the density of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) induced ICAM-1 (CD54), VCAM-1 (CD106) and E-selectin antigens on HUVEC. Furthermore, modulation of L-selectin (CD62L) by THD can be demonstrated on human leukocytes in vitro. The molecules investigated are involved in the neutrophil-endothelial cell interaction and participate in the adhesion cascade. Blunting of cytokine induced up-regulation of these adhesion molecules may account at least in part for anti-vasculitic effects of thalidomide.

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