• Circulating adhesion molecules in allergic and non-allergic asthma

      Janson, Christer; Ludviksdottir, Dora; Gunnbjornsdottir, Maria; Bjornsson, Eythor H; Håkansson, Lena; Venge, Per; Department of Medical Sciences, Respiratory Medicine and Allergology, Akademiska sjukhuset, Uppsala University, Uppsala SE 75185, Sweden. christer.janson@medsci.uu.se (W.B. Saunders, 2005-01-01)
      Circulating forms of adhesion molecules (intercellular-adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and E-selectin ) are related to the turnover of these molecules on the cell surface. In contrast to the other molecules, the levels of E-selectin probably exclusively reflect the activity of endothelial cells. The aim of this study was to compare levels of circulating adhesion molecules in patients with allergic (AA) and non-allergic asthma (NA) and to relate the levels of soluble adhesion molecules to methacholine responsiveness and lung function. The study comprised 19 patients with AA, 15 patients with NA and 17 healthy subjects. Soluble adhesion molecules, spirometry, methacholine responsiveness and peak flow variability was measured. The group of patients with AA had higher levels of sE-selectin than the reference group (P=0.046). Serum levels of sE-selectin correlated significantly with bronchial responsiveness (r=0.76) and peak flow variability (r=0.75) (P<0.01) in the NA but not in the AA group. All adhesion molecules in AA (P<0.05-<0.001), but only sE-selectin in NA (P<0.05), were correlated to airway conductance. sVCAM-1 was reduced by inhaled steroids (P<0.01). Our results indicate that endothelial cells are activated in asthma and that this activity has a bearing on airflow variability and bronchial responsiveness in NA.
    • Methotrexate markedly reduces the expression of vascular E-selectin, cutaneous lymphocyte-associated antigen and the numbers of mononuclear leucocytes in psoriatic skin

      Sigmundsdottir, Hekla; Johnston, Andrew; Gudjonsson, Johann Eli; Bjarnason, Bolli; Valdimarsson, Helgi (Munksgaard, 2004-07-01)
      A positive correlation between disease severity and the frequency of cutaneous lymphocyte-associated antigen (CLA)-positive T cells in the blood of untreated patients with psoriasis has been previously observed. A dose-dependent inverse relationship between disease severity and the frequency of circulating CLA(+) T cells in psoriasis patients on methotrexate (MTX) treatment is reported. Circulating T cells from a patient with psoriasis were monitored for CLA expression on a daily basis for 5 weeks. A decrease in the intensity and frequency of CLA(+) mononuclear leucocytes was consistently observed in the blood during the first 3-4 days after each MTX intake, but the CLA expression increased thereafter until the next weekly dose was taken. The MTX treatment of this patient was then discontinued for 16 days, and a marked subjective exacerbation was reported within 9 days, which was confirmed objectively (laser Doppler perfusion imaging) after 11 and 16 days. Biopsies taken 4 days after the last MTX intake showed only a few mononuclear leucocytes in lesional skin, but the exacerbation coincided with a marked increase in CLA expression by mononuclear blood leucocytes, followed by an increase in endothelial E-selectin and a striking influx of CLA(+) mononuclear cells into lesional skin. Conversely, a clinical improvement after the patient resumed the MTX treatment was associated with reduction in CLA expression by mononuclear cells in the blood, downregulation of endothelial E-selectin and an approximate threefold decrease in mononuclear leucocyte infiltration of lesional skin. No MTX-associated changes were detected in the expression of very late antigen-4, vascular cell-adhesion molecule-1 nor the late activation marker CD25. It is concluded that MTX decreases the expression of CLA and E-selectin and that this may be a major mechanism for the therapeutic effect of MTX on psoriatic skin lesions.