Objective. The potential role of cell adhesion molecules in the pathogenesis of Sjögren's syndrome (SS) was assessed by examining their expression in salivary gland (SGL) tissue.

Methods. Intercellular adhesion molecule type 1 (ICAM-1), lymphocyte function-associated antigen type 1 (LFA-1), LFA-3, CD2, and CD44 expression were determined using indirect immunofluorescence techniques.

Results. In inflamed labial SGL tissue, ICAM-1 expression was evident on infiltrating LFA-1+/CD2+/LFA-3+ mononuclear cells, and to a limited extent on SGL acinar epithelial cells adjacent to sites of intense inflammation.

Conclusion. In SS, the SGL microenvironment is characterized by only a modest up-regulation of ICAM-1 expression on epithelial cells, despite the presence of T cells bearing an activated phenotype.