Ionizing radiation causes histological changes in normal tissues that resemble those resulting from the inflammatory response. Inflammation is a multistep process requiring expression of adhesion molecules on the surface of endothelial cells which results in leukocyte extravasation. E-selectin is an adhesion molecule that mediates leukocyte 'rolling' on the endothelium and is required for the inflammatory response. We quantified E-selectin expression and selectin-dependent adhesion of leukocytes to human endothelial cells after X irradiation to determine whether E-selectin participates in the radiation-mediated inflammation-like response. Immunofluorescence staining of irradiated endothelial cells demonstrated expression of E-selectin on the cell surface similar to that elicited by treatment with interleukin-1 (IL- 1). Radiation-mediated expression of E-selectin was dependent on dose and time and occurred at doses as low as 0.5 Gy. Furthermore, the increased adhesion of leukocytes to irradiated endothelial cells was prevented by an E- selectin-blocking antibody. Sialyl Lewis X is one of the molecules on the surface of leukocytes that adheres to E-selectin. The anti-inflammatory agents glycyrrhizin and carminic acid, which are structural analogues of sialyl Lewis X, attenuated adhesion of leukocytes to endothelial cells treated with X rays or IL-1. These data implicate a new class of anti- inflammatory agents in the prevention of adhesions of leukocytes to the irradiated vascular endothelium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-47
Number of pages7
JournalRadiation research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997


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