Alterations in circulating intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and L-selectin: further evidence for chronic inflammation in ischemic heart disease.Am Heart J. 1996 Jul; 132(1 Pt 1):1-8.AH
Atherosclerosis is increasingly thought to be a chronic inflammatory disease. Inflammation requires transmigration of leukocytes from the circulation to the tissues. Adhesion of leukocytes to endothelial calls is the initial event in an inflammatory response and is mediated by expression of several adhesion molecules. In this study we characterize the contribution of intercellular adhesion molecules (ICAM-1) and L-selectin in patients with different coronary artery disease syndromes. Serum concentrations of cICAM-1 and sL-selectin were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 31 patients with stable angina, 30 patients with unstable angina, 18 patients with acute myocardial infarction and 20 healthy subjects in a control group. All patients underwent coronary angiography. Mean (+/-SE) cICAM-1 levels were higher (p < 0.05) in patients with stable angina (249 +/- 6 ng/ml), unstable angina (260 +/- 16 ng/ml), or acute myocardial infarction (261 +/- 24 ng/ml) compared with those in subjects in the control group (171 +/- 11 ng/ml). In contrast, levels of sL-selectin were lower (p < 0.01) in patients with stable angina (1.2 +/- 0.1 microg/ml), unstable angina (1.1 +/- 0.6 microg/ml), or acute myocardial infarction (1.1 +/- 0.1 microg/ml) compared with those in subjects in the control group (1.8 +/- 0.1 microg/ml). No difference was found in cICAM-1 or sL-selectin levels among patients with stable angina, unstable angina, or acute myocardial infarction. No correlation was seen between cICAM-1 or sL-selectin levels and extent (or severity) of coronary artery disease or leukocyte count. L-selectin expression was observed to be depressed in patients with severe angina compared with that in members of the control group. To examine the mechanism of reduction in sL-selectin levels and L-selectin expression on leukocytes, leukocytes from the control group were stimulated in vitro. Stimulation of leukocytes resulted in a rapid downregulation of surface L-selectin expression, measured by flowcytometry, similar to the suppressed expression of L-selectin found on leukocytes from patients with coronary artery disease. In conclusion, altered cICAM-1 and sL-selectin levels in patients with coronary artery disease reflect the presence of a chronic inflammatory process. This inflammatory process results in downregulation of leukocyte expression of L-selectin and thus lower circulating sL-selectin levels.