Expression of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 in human malignant mesothelioma

Luigi P. Ruco*, Petronella A.J.M. de Laat, Cristian Matteucci, Sergio Bernasconi, Francesca Maria Sciacca, Theo H. Van Der Kwast, Henk C. Hoogsteden, Stefania Uccini, Alberto Mantovani, Marjan A. Versnel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) are cytokine-inducible adhesion molecules which recognize ligands that are highly expressed on leukocytes. Expression of ICAM-1 and VCAM- 1 was investigated in tissue sections of 16 cases of malignant mesothelioma (seven epithelial, eight biphasic, and one sarcomatoid) using immunohistochemistry. Neoplastic cells were diffusely and intensely stained for ICAM-1 in all cases. VCAM-1 was detected in 14 of 16 cases. The percentage of VCAM-1-positive tumour cells was more than 50 per cent in eight cases and the staining was observed mainly in epithelial-like cells. VCAM-1 was rarely expressed in other malignant tumours of epithelial origin, being present in only 1 of 58 cases of carcinoma originating from different anatomical sites. At the cellular level, ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 appeared co-distributed, the staining for both being cytoplasmic with a membrane reinforcement. The regulation of VCAM-1 expression by neoplastic mesothelial cells was investigated in vitro using 14 mesothelioma cell lines. ICAM-1 was expressed by cultured cells of all mesothelioma cell lines, even in the absence of cytokines. VCAM-1 was detected in 10-50 per cent of the cells in three non-stimulated mesothelioma cell lines (mero-95, mero-96, and mero-134), and was absent or poorly expressed in the remaining 11. Exposure of a negative cell line (mero-48a) to an optimal concentration of tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) or interleukin-13 (IL- 13) for 6-18 h resulted in the induction of VCAM-1 mRNA synthesis and in VCAM- 1 expression at the membrane level in 60-70 per cent of the cells. These findings are consistent with the possibility that TNFα, IL-13, or other activating signals are released in the turnout micro-environment and regulate the expression of VCAM-1 in malignant mesothelioma cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-271
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1996


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