Author(s): Peroni DG, Djukanovi R, Bradding P, Feather IH, Montefort S,
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Abstract We have investigated the expression of cell surface markers and leucocyte cell adhesion molecules by immunohistochemistry in bronchial biopsies from 10 mild atopic asthmatics and 8 normal, nonatopic subjects. Significantly increased numbers of eosinophils (p<0.01) were evident in the bronchial submucosa of asthmatic subjects. In epithelium there were more CD44+ (p<0.02) and lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1)+ (p<0.06) leucocytes in asthmatics than in normal subjects. Bronchial epithelial cells stained positively with anti-CD44 monoclonal antibodies (moAb) in both groups; however, when the staining was expressed as percentage of the total basement membrane, a considerable and highly significant increase was observed in the asthmatics (median 80 vs 22\%, p=0.003). Few leucocytes were positive for very late activation antigen (VLA)-1, VLA-2 and VLA-4. The moAb for VLA-6 stained the basement membrane of the bronchial epithelium; while intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) were constitutively expressed in endothelium. A positive correlation was found between LFA-1+ cells and activated eosinophils (EG2+) in the submucosa (p<0.005; r(s)=0.80). We conclude that even in mild asthma there is evidence of increased expression of cell surface ligands, and suggest that adhesive mechanisms play a role both in cell recruitment and disease activity.
This article was published in Eur Respir J
and referenced in Journal of Steroids & Hormonal Science