Inflammatory cytokine S induce intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) mRNA synthesis and protein secretion by human retinal pigment epithelial cell cultures

Chandrasekharam N. Nagineni, R. Krishnan Kutty, Barbara Detrick, John J. Hooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Retinal inflammatory diseases in man are associated with an upregulation in the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) in cells within the retina and with an increase in soluble ICAM-1 within the vitreous. These studies suggest that this protein may contribute to immunopathological processes within the eye. The effects of inflammatory mediators on the regulation of the expression and secretion of ICAM-1 by human retinal pigment epithe lial cell cultures (HRPE) were investigated in order to identify the possible source of soluble ICAM-1 and the conditions which enhance its production. Immunofluorescence studies on TNF-α and/or IFN-γ treated HRPE cells demonstrated cellular expression of ICAM-1 which was predominantly localized to intercellular junctions. Moreover, treatment of HRPE for 24 h with tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) (10 ng/ml), interferon gamma (IFN-γ) (500 u/ml), interleukin 1 alpha (IL-1α) (10 ng/ml) and IL-1β (10 ng/ml) results in the secretion of ICAM-1, ranging from 9 to 13 ng per 106 cells. IFN-γ acts synergistically with (TNF-α) and IL-1 in the secretion of ICAM-1 by HRPE. Only 1.75 ng of soluble ICAM-1 was detected in untreated HRPE cells. In contrast, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), IL-6, IFN-α or TGF-β did not exhibit any influence on ICAM-1 secretion by these cells, Northern blot analysis reveals an increased expression of ICAM-1 mRNA in HRPE stimulated with IFN-γ, TNF-α or IL-1 for 24 h. In untreated cells, ICAM-1 mRNA is not detectable. There is a progressive increase in ICAM-1 mRNA levels in cytokine-treated HRPE, that reaches steady state by 12 h. Furthermore, a close correlation is noted between ICAM-1 mRNA levels and the secretion of ICAM-1 protein, suggesting regulation at the level of gene transcription. ICAM-1 secretion by RPE might actively participate in the immune reactions in the retina, by recruiting and activating lymphocytes, and contribute to the immunopathological processes in inflammatory diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)622-630
Number of pages9
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • ICAM-1
  • Inflammation
  • Retinal pigment epithelial cells
  • Uveitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry
  • Hematology
  • Molecular Biology


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