Expression of intercellular adhesion molecules ICAM-1 and ICAM-2 in human endometrium: regulation by interferon-gamma

A J Thomson, M R Greer, A Young, F Boswell, J F Telfer, I T Cameron, J E Norman, S Campbell

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The purpose of this study was to localize intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 and ICAM-2 in human endometrium and myometrium throughout the menstrual cycle, and to determine whether the expression of these molecules is regulated by interferon (IFN)-gamma. ICAM-1 and ICAM-2 distribution was examined in endometrial biopsies by immunocytochemistry, and Northern blotting was used to quantify ICAM-1 and ICAM-2 mRNA expression in isolated endometrial glands. Stromal fibroblast cultures were exposed to IFN-gamma and the effect on expression of ICAM-1 and ICAM-2 was determined by immunocytochemistry and Northern blotting. ICAM-1 was localized in vivo to the apical surface of the glandular epithelium, the vascular endothelium and endometrial stromal cells throughout the menstrual cycle. Stromal expression of ICAM-1 was up-regulated in menstrual specimens. Northern blotting confirmed the presence of ICAM-1 mRNA in isolated endometrial glands. The expression of ICAM-1 antigen and message was increased in stromal cell culture after incubation with IFN-gamma in a time-dependent manner, suggesting that this cytokine stimulates the expression of ICAM-1 in the endometrial stroma. ICAM-2 antigen expression was restricted to the vascular endothelium. ICAM-2 mRNA was absent in endometrial glands. The widespread distribution of ICAM-1 in human endometrium suggests that this molecule is involved in the process of menstruation, the functioning of glands, blood vessels and stroma, and in regulating leukocyte trafficking into the tissue. ICAM-2 is restricted to the vascular endothelium where it might modulate leukocyte invasion of the stroma and myometrial connective tissue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-70
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Human Reproduction
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999


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