Expression of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) on the human oviductal epithelium and mediation of lymphoid cell adherence

E. Utreras, P. Ossandon, C. Acuna-Castillo, L. Varela-Nallar, C. Muller, J. A. Arraztoa, H. Cardenas, M. Imarai

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16 Citations (Scopus)


The epithelium of the human oviduct expresses the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II and shows endocytic properties towards luminal antigens. Therefore, the epithelial cells might behave as antigen-presenting cells, inducing a local immune response. The activation of antigen-specific T cells not only requires presentation of the peptide antigen by MHC class II, but also the presence of co-stimulatory molecules in the antigen-presenting cells. Therefore, the expression of the intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) was examined in the epithelium of the human oviduct. Most oviducts showed epithelial ICAM-1 expression, as assessed by immunocytochemistry, western blot analysis and RT-PCR assay, and the expression was restricted to the luminal border of ciliated and secretory cells. Interferon γ, interleukin 1 and lipopolysaccharide treatments increased the percentage of ICAM-1-positive cells in primary cultures, indicating that the expression of ICAM-1 in the oviduct might be upregulated in vivo by inflammatory cytokines or bacterial infections. Binding assays between allogenic phytohaemagglutinin-activated lymphocytes and epithelial monolayers expressing ICAM-1 demonstrated that this molecule stimulated lymphocyte adherence. The presence of ICAM-1, in addition to MHC class II, supports the putative role of the oviductal epithelium in antigen presentation. The exclusive apical distribution of ICAM-1 indicates that T-cell activation would occur in a polarized manner. Binding of lymphoid cells to the surface of the oviductal epithelium may help to retain these immune cells that are required for the clearance of pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-123
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Reproduction and Fertility
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Embryology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Developmental Biology


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