Adhesion molecules in inflammatory diseases Review uri icon


  • Cell adhesion molecules (CAM) have a key role in the inflammatory response. Selectins, integrins and immunoglobulin (Ig) gene superfamily adhesion receptors mediate the different steps of the migration of leucocytes from the bloodstream towards inflammatory foci. The activation of endothelial cells (EC) upregulates the expression of several CAM and triggers the interaction of these cells with leucocytes. Selectins are involved in the initial interactions (tethering/rolling) of leucocytes with activated endothelium, whereas integrins and Ig superfamily CAM mediate the firm adhesion of these cells and their subsequent extravasation. During rolling, leucocytes are activated through the intracellular signals generated by CAM and chemokine receptors. Blockade of the function or expression of CAM has emerged as a new therapeutic target in inflammatory diseases. Different drugs are able to interfere with cell adhesion phenomena. In addition, new antiadhesion therapeutic approaches (blocking monoclonal antibodies, soluble receptors, synthetic peptides, peptidomimetics, etc.) are currently in development.

publication date

  • 1998-01-01

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