Leukocyte Adhesion Molecule Expression in Scleritis

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To analyze the expression and cellular distribution of intercellular adhesion molecule 1, E-selectin (endothelial leukocyte adhesion molecule ), vascular cell adhesion molecule 1, very late antigen 4, and lymphocyte function associated antigen 1 (LFA-1) in diseased and normal human sclera.


Monoclonal antibodies to vascular cell adhesion molecule 1, very late antigen 4, intercellular adhesion molecule 1, LFA-1, and E-selectin were used to perform immunohistochemical staining on frozen sections of 16 cryopreserved human sclera specimens and 5 conjunctival specimens.


The normal human sclera did not express any of the adhesion molecules. The expression of LFA-1 was dramatic in all the scleral and conjunctival specimens on the inflammatory cells. Intercellular adhesion molecule 1, the ligand for LFA-1, was expressed in 7 of 12 scleral specimens. Furthermore, the expression of LFA-1 and intercellular adhesion molecule 1 were focally present in areas of inflammatory infiltrate. E-selectin expression was detected on the vascular endothelial cells in 8 of 12 patients. There was variable expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 and very late antigen 4 in the inflamed sclera and conjunctiva.


Our results demonstrate the presence of LFA-1 in the sclera and in the conjunctiva of patients with scleritis. Variable expression of other leukocyte adhesion molecules was noted in the sclera and the conjunctiva of these patients.

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