Selective upregulation of intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM-1) by ultraviolet B in human dermal microvascular endothelial cells

Lynn A. Cornelius, Norbert Sepp, Lian Jie Li, Klaus Degitz, Robert A. Swerlick, Thomas J. Lawley, S. Wright Caughman

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7 Scopus citations


Although a portion of ultraviolet light (UV) penetrates into the dermis, histologic changes that occur within the dermal microvasculature have largely been attributed to the elaboration of biologic substances, such as interleukin 1 (IL-1), from other constitutive cells of the skin, as opposed to a direct effect of UV on the endothelial cell. As a potential model for understanding early molecular events occurring in UV-induced cutaneous inflammation, we have examined the direct effects of UVB, as well as cytokine-positive controls, upon human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMEC) cell adhesion molecule (CAM) gene expression. Cultured HDMEC were exposed to varying dosages of UVB, and examined for cell surface and mRNA expression of the CAMs intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and E-selectin (formerly ELAM-1). Following UVB exposure, dose-dependent increases in baseline cell surface expression of 1CAM-I were demonstrated by fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis with concomitant increases in ICAM-1 mRNA, as shown by Northern blot analysis; there was no induction of either E-selectin or VCAM-1. The UVB-induced ICAM-1 upregulation could not be blocked by antibodies to IL-1 or tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α). In fact, ICAM-1 gene regulatory region based CAT reporter gene plasmids, including constructs containing IL-1- and TNF-α-responsive elements, did not display increased CAT expression after transfection into HDMEC followed by UVB exposure, though control cytokine-treated transfectants did. Thus, UVB selectively upregulates ICAM-1, but not E-selectin or VCAM-1, mRNA and cell surface expression in HDMEC, and this upregulation is not dependent upon the autologous secretion and activity of either IL-1 or TNF-α.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-28
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1994


  • E-selectin/ VCAM-1/TNF-α/IL-1


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