Effect of cell density on the expression of adhesion molecules and modulation by cytokines

A. J. Stanley, R. E. Banks*, J. Southgate, P. J. Selby

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Little is known about the regulation of integrin expression. Using flow cytometry, we have characterized the expression of integrin subunits and other adhesion molecules in bladder and colonic cell lines and studied their modulation by the cytokines tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-α) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ). We show that although TNF-α and IFN-γ may modulate integrin expression, these effects are, in the case of some integrin subunits, secondary to cytokine-induced changes in cell density. Cell density-dependent changes in the expression of α2 α3-, α6-, β1-, and β4-integrin subunits were seen. IFN-γ produced density-independent decreases in expression of α2- and β1-integrins and increases in expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), α3-, α6-, and β4-integrins. produced increases in β1-integrin and ICAM-1 expression which were also density-independent. The expression of some integrin subunits is clearly density-dependent and the alterations seen are dependent on the cell line studied. This study illustrates the importance of including appropriate density-related controls in all investigations examining adhesion molecule expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-343
Number of pages6
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 1995


  • Adhesion molecules
  • Bladder cancer
  • Cell density
  • Cell lines
  • Cytokines
  • Integrins

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