Role of adhesion molecules in eosinophil activation: A comparative study on the effect of adhesion molecules on eosinophil survival


Dr Junichi Chihara, Department of Clinical and Laboratory Medicine, Akita University School of Medicine, 1-1-1 Hondo, Akita-city, Akita 010-8543, Japan. Email:


Background:  Adhesion molecules participate in an important part of inflammatory process in relation to the accumulation of inflammatory cells, such as eosinophils. The expression of adhesion molecules differs depending upon the cells and tissue. In the present study, to elucidate these differences, a comparative study was performed on the prolongation of eosinophil survival via adhesion molecules.

Methods:  Blood eosinophils were purified using Percoll and anti-CD16 antibody coated magnetic beads. Eosinophils were incubated with or without the various concentrations of adhesion molecules for 18 or 36 h. Eosinophil survival was analyzed by a flow cytometer with staining by annexin V (AV) and propidium iodide (PI).

Results:  Intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1, fibronectin (FN) and cellular fibronectin (cFN), but not vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1, significantly prolonged eosinophil survival compared with control. The present comparative study for eosinophil survival showed the following tendency: cFN = FN > ICAM-1 > VCAM-1. Moreover, enhancement of prolonged eosinophil survival by connecting segment-1 was greater than that by FN and cFN.

Conclusions:  The regulation of adhesion molecules, by not only preventing eosinophil adhesion but also eosinophil activation, may be a potential target in the treatment of allergic inflammatory disorders.