2000 Volume 64 Issue 3 Pages 170-176
The cell surface expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) is upregulated following activation during inflammatory responses, mediating both cell migration and activation. The involvement of inflammation in unstable angina is suggested by the presence of activated circulating leukocytes. To examine whether plasma soluble ICAM-1 (sICAM-1) levels increase in the coronary circulation of patients with coronary organic stenosis and coronary spasm, plasma sICAM-1 levels were measured in the coronary sinus (CS) and the aortic root (Ao) simultaneously in 10 patients with 90% or more coronary narrowing and coronary spasm (coronary spastic angina (CSA) with organic stenosis), in 11 patients with coronary spasm and no significant coronary narrowing (CSA without organic stenosis), in 16 patients with stable exertional angina, and in 13 control subjects. The plasma sICAM-1 levels (ng/ml) in the CS increased in CSA with organic stenosis (230±26) as compared with CSA without organic stenosis (158±14), stable exertional angina (130±9) and control subjects (121±10) (p<0.01). The levels in the Ao also increased in CSA with organic stenosis (208±24) as compared with CSA without organic stenosis (149±13), stable exertional angina (130±11) and control subjects (121±10) (p<0.01). Furthermore, the plasma sICAM-1 levels were higher in the CS than in the Ao only in CSA with organic stenosis. These results suggest that activation of leukocytes occurs through the induction of ICAM-1 in the coronary circulation in the patients with CSA with organic stenosis.