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Low Expression of ICAM-1 in Blood Eosinophils in Patients With Active Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Perez-Lucendo I1, Gomez Torrijos E2, Donado P3, Melero R1, Feo-Brito F2, Urra JM1

1Immunology Department, Hospital General Universitario de Ciudad Real, Spain
2Allergology Department, Hospital General Universitario de Ciudad Real, Spain
3Pediatric Department, Hospital General Universitario de Ciudad Real, Spain

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2021; Vol 31(4) : 316-321
doi: 10.18176/jiaci.0489

Background: Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a chronic and isolated inflammation of the esophagus characterized by a marked infiltration of eosinophilic leukocytes. Diagnosis and course of the disease are based exclusively on histopathology. Therefore, patients must undergo several esophageal biopsies, implying a risk associated with the procedure and considerable use of resources.
Objective: The presence of active circulating eosinophils, which are quantifiable through the expression of specific cellular activation proteins in their membrane, could be consistent with histopathological findings, which are currently the only valid parameters in studies on EoE.
Methods: The activity of peripheral blood eosinophils from patients with EoE was analyzed by identifying 5 surface molecules (CD69, IL- 5Rα, CD44, ICAM-1, CD63), which are seen to be expressed by the active eosinophils in flow cytometry. The results were compared with the infiltrate of eosinophils present in patients’ esophageal biopsies.
Results: ICAM-1 levels decreased significantly in patients with active EoE compared with nonactive EoE patients, allergic patients, and healthy controls. In patients with EoE, an inverse correlation was observed between the number of eosinophils in the esophageal biopsy and the percentage of ICAM-1 expression in peripheral blood eosinophils. No differences were observed for the remaining molecules studied.
Conclusion: Expression of ICAM-1 in blood eosinophils could be a useful noninvasive marker for the diagnosis and assessment of patients with EoE.

Key words: Eosinophilic esophagitis, Eosinophils, Flow cytometry, ICAM-1

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