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Int J Radiat Biol. 1997 Aug;72(2):201-9.

Late and persistent up-regulation of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) expression by ionizing radiation in human endothelial cells in vitro.

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Institut de Protection et de Súreté Nucléaire, Département de Protection de la santé de l'Homme et de Dosimétrie, IPSN, Fontenay-aux-Roses, France.


Adhesion molecules play a key role in cellular traffic through vascular endothelium, in particular during the inflammatory response when leukocytes migrate from blood into tissues. Since inflammation is one of the major consequences of radiation injury, we investigated the effect of ionizing radiation on cell-surface expression of the intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), the vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and E-selectin in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Flow cytometry performed on irradiated HUVEC revealed both a time- (from 2 to 10 days) and dose- (from 2 to 10 Gy) dependent up-regulation of basal expression of ICAM-1, and no induction of VCAM-1 or E-selectin. The radiation-induced increase in ICAM-1 expression on HUVEC was correlated with augmented adhesion of neutrophils on irradiated endothelial cells. Interleukin-6 (Il-6) or other soluble factors released by irradiation were not involved in the enhanced ICAM-1 expression by irradiation. Northern blot analysis showed an overexpression of ICAM-1 mRNA from 1 to 6 days after a 10 Gy exposure. Our data suggest that ICAM-1 participates in the radiation-induced inflammatory reaction of the endothelium.

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