Expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) in benign naevi and malignant melanomas.
Hansen NL, Ralfkiaer E, Hou-Jensen K, Thomsen K, Drzewiecki KT, Rothlein R, Vejlsgaard GL
Intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) is a membrane-bound glycoprotein that is a ligand for lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) and is important for a number of cell adhesions in immune reactions. The molecule is expressed by several cell types (e.g. macrophages, endothelial cells, keratinocytes, melanoma cells and cell lines) and there are some indications that expression of this molecule in melanocytic lesions is confined to malignant tumours and is more pronounced in metastatic and advanced tumours than in earlier lesions. In an attempt to elucidate this issue, we have studied biopsy samples from benign naevi (n = 7) and malignant melanomas (n = 33) regarding reactivity with monoclonal anti-ICAM-1 (CD54). The results indicate that the great majority of malignant melanomas are ICAM-1-positive. The most abundant staining is seen in metastatic melanomas. In primary melanomas, staining is more variable and generally weaker. However, no correlation was found between the degree of ICAM-1 labelling and the degree of tumour invasion. Furthermore, ICAM-1 expression was not confined to malignant lesions, but was also seen in benign naevi. These data contrast with earlier reports and indicate that ICAM-1 expression is unlikely to be of major prognostic or diagnostic value in melanocytic tumours.