OBJECTIVE--To investigate the role of cytokines and cell adhesion molecules in the pathogenesis of Sjögren's syndrome (SS). METHODS--Using an indirect immunoperoxidase technique we assessed the expression of the cytokines interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1 alpha), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta), interleukin-8 (IL-8), transforming growth factor beta (TGF beta) and granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), of the adhesion molecules intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), lymphocyte function associated antigen-1 (LFA-1), the activated molecular form of LFA-1 (NKI-L16), CD2, and LFA-3, and of a panel of cellular markers in the minor salivary glands. RESULTS--In SS and chronic sialoadenitis (CS), the ductal epithelial cells and acini expressed all the cytokines examined. The percentage of glandular mononuclear cells which stained positive for cytokines did not differ significantly between SS and CS. NKI-L16 was detected on 33.6 (SD 10.1)% and 15.3 (4.3)% of LFA-1 cells in SS and CS, respectively (p < 0.002). CONCLUSION--SS and CS did not differ in the pattern of cytokines examined. The characteristic cell clustering seen in the salivary glands in SS may be caused by the upregulation of NKI-L16.
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