Increased expression of intercellular adhesion molecules in biliary atresia

Peter Dillon, Deborah Belchis, Thomas Tracy, Robert Cilley, Laurie Hafer, Thomas Krummel

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71 Scopus citations


The expression of the inflammatory adhesion molecules intercellular adhesion molecule-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, and endothelial leukocyte adhesion molecule-1, was studied in six infants with biliary atresia using an immunoperoxidase technique on frozen sections. Controls consisted of five patients with various conditions including total parenteral nutrition-induced cholestasis, choledochal cyst, viral hepatitis, metastatic carcinoma, and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. None of the patients were in liver failure. Bile ducts from the control subjects did not express any of the inflammatory adhesion molecules on ductal epithelium. In marked contrast, all of the biliary atresia specimens demonstrated strong intercellular adhesion molecule-1 expression and occasional vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 staining on epithelial cell membranes of both intra-and extrahepatic ductal structures. Hepatocytes and sinusoidal lining cells including Kupffer cells showed a pattern of intense intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 expression in all specimens with active inflammation that could not differentiate the biliary atresia cases from the control group. Lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 intensely stained the inflammatory cell infiltrate in the biliary atresia and inflamed control specimens. The strong expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 on biliary ductal epithelium in patients with biliary atresia suggests a potential role for this adhesion molecule in the pathogenesis of this devastating neonatal hepatic disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-267
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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