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BACKGROUND: Platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule(PECAM)-1 (CD31) is expressed on the surface of endothelial cells, platelets, monocytes, neutrophils, and certain T-cell subsets. Treatment of endothelial cells with anti-PECAM-1 antibody inhibits leukocyte transmigration. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that, in transplantation, the absence of PECAM-1 expression on donor endothelial cells would reduce the number of leukocytes transmigrating into the allograft, thereby attenuating the development of transplant arteriosclerosis. METHODS: PECAM-1 and PECAM (C57BL/6/H2 ) abdominal aortic allografts were transplanted into BALB/c (H2 ) recipients; syngeneic grafts were used as controls. Aortic grafts were analyzed by performing morphometry, immunohistochemistry, and quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction for the detection of intragraft cytokine mRNA production. RESULTS: Intimal proliferation was exacerbated in PECAM-1 grafts (57+/-5% for PECAM-1 vs. 36+/-6% for PECAM-1; <0.005; n=6). The absence of PECAM-1 expression on donor endothelial cells did not reduce the overall number of graft-infiltrating cells significantly but instead resulted in a significant increase in infiltration by macrophages (F4/80 cells), leading to significantly elevated intragraft mRNA expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase. During the development of transplant arteriosclerosis, PECAM-1 donor endothelial cells were replaced by recipient PECAM-1 endothelial cells, a process that occurred only in the allogeneic situation. Endothelial replacement commenced 14 days after transplantation and was complete by day 30. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that PECAM-1 expression by donor endothelial cells attenuates the development of transplant arteriosclerosis, possibly by affecting macrophage infiltration.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1267 - 1273


Animals, Aorta, Abdominal, Arteriosclerosis, Endothelium, Vascular, Macrophages, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Knockout, Nitric Oxide Synthase, Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II, Platelet Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule-1, RNA, Messenger, Tissue Donors, Transplantation, Homologous, Tunica Intima