Analysis of adhesion molecules in patients with idiopathic portal hypertension

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Abstract

Background:

The aetiology of idiopathic portal hypertension (IPH) is unknown. However, some evidence of immunological abnormalities in IPH patients has been reported.

Methods:

As adhesion molecules are important in the interaction between lymphocytes and accessory and target cells, the expression and release of the soluble form of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM-1) were examined in this study.

Results:

In IPH patients, the serum level of soluble VCAM-1 was found to be increased, compared with that of healthy subjects, fatty liver patients and chronic hepatitis patients. The level of soluble ICAM-1 of IPH patients was found to be slightly increased, compared with that of healthy subjects; however, it was not different from the level in patients with other diseases. The expression of VCAM-1 was observed in the sinusoidal lining cells and endothelial cells around the liver vessels of several IPH patients. In contrast, ICAM-1 was weakly expressed in sinusoidal lining cells and hepatocytes in the liver tissue of only one of four IPH patients.

Conclusions:

This differential pattern of VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 was found in IPH patients and it was suggested that VCAM-1 might be an important molecule in the occurrence of IPH.

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