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ELAM-1 is an adhesion molecule for skin-homing T cells

Abstract

ENDOTHELIAL cell leukocyte adhesion molecule-1 (ELAM-1) has been described as an inducible endothelial cell-adhesion molecule for neutrophils, and is believed to have a key role in the extravasation of these cells at sites of acute inflammation1–3. Here we report that ELAM-1-transfected COS cells also bind a unique skin-associated subset of circulating memory T cells defined by the expression of the cutaneous lymphocyte-associated antigen4,5. T cells expressing this antigen bind at least as well as neutrophils to expressed ELAM-1, whereas other lymphocytes in the peripheral blood bind poorly, or not at all. Immunohistological survey of chronically inflamed tissue specimens revealed that vascular expression of ELAM-1 occurs at cutaneous sites in preference to noncutaneous sites. We conclude that at sites of chronic inflammation, ELAM-1 may function as a skin vascular addressin, a tissue-selective endothelial cell-adhesion molecule for skin-homing memory T lymphocytes.

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