The expression and function of a new cytokine-induced endothelial cell adhesion protein, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), was characterized in vitro by using a monoclonal antibody, MoAb 4B9, which recognizes a functional epitope on this protein. As determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and radioimmunoprecipitation of metabolically labeled cells, VCAM-1 was minimally expressed on unstimulated human umbilical vein endothelium (HUVE), but was rapidly induced by recombinant human tumor necrosis factor-alpha (rhTNF-alpha), rh interleukin-1, and lipopolysaccharide. In contrast to intercellular adhesion molecule-1, VCAM-1 was not induced on dermal fibroblasts or arterial smooth muscle cells after stimulation with rhTNF, or on keratinocytes after stimulation with rh interferon-gamma. MoAb 4B9 significantly inhibited the adherence of peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) and lymphocytic cell lines, but not neutrophils, to rhTNF- activated HUVE. The inhibitory effect of MoAb 4B9 on PBL adherence to HUVE was additive to that produced by the CD18 MoAb 60.3. These results show that VCAM-1 mediates a CD18-independent pathway of peripheral blood lymphocyte adherence to cytokine-stimulated HUVE. We propose that lymphocyte binding to VCAM-1, induced on endothelium by cytokines, may be an important component of lymphocyte emigration at sites of inflammation or immune reaction.

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