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Adhesion Molecules in CNS Disorders: Biomarker and Therapeutic Targets

[ Vol. 12 , Issue. 3 ]


Qingyi Ma, Sheng Chen, Damon Klebe, John H. Zhang and Jiping Tang   Pages 392 - 404 ( 13 )


Mounting evidence has been provided regarding the crucial role of leukocyte extravasation and subsequent inflammatory response in several central nervous system (CNS) disorders. The infiltrated leukocytes release proinflammatory mediators and activate resident cells, leading to tissue injury. Leukocyte-endothelia interaction is critical for leukocyte extravasation and migration from the intravascular space into the tissue during inflammation. The basic physiology of leukocyte-endothelia interaction has been investigated extensively. Traditionally, three kinds of adhesion molecules, selectin, integrin, and immunoglobulin families, are responsible for this multiple-step interaction. Furthermore, blocking adhesion molecule function by genetic knockout, antagonizing antibodies, or inhibitory pharmacological drugs provides neuroprotection, which is associated with a reduction in leukocyte accumulation within the tissue. Detection of the soluble form of adhesion molecules has also been proven to predict outcomes in CNS disorders. Lately, vascular adhesion protein-1, a novel adhesion molecule and endothelial cell surface enzyme, has been implicated as a brake in the rolling step of the adhesion cascade, and also a regulator of leukocyte transmigration step. In this review, we summarize the functions of traditional adhesion molecules as well as vascular adhesion protein-1in the leukocyte adhesion cascade. We also discuss the diagnostic and therapeutic potential of adhesion molecules in CNS disorders.


Adhesion molecule, CNS disorders, leukocyte adhesion cascade, vascular adhesion protein-1.


Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA.

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