Polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid is a potent activator of endothelial cells

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine; Department of Pathology

Publication Date


Document Type



Animals; Cell Adhesion Molecules; Cells, Cultured; Cytokines; Endothelium, Vascular; Humans; Interferons; Interleukins; Pancreas; Pancreatitis; Poly I-C; Rats; Rats, Inbred BB; Rats, Inbred WF


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


Polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly I:C) is a synthetic double-stranded polyribonucleotide that elicits immune responses analogous to those observed during viral infection. It is also known to modulate the expression of certain autoimmune disorders including diabetes mellitus in the BB rat and NOD mouse. The mechanism underlying these immunomodulatory effects is not known, but it could involve activation of vascular endothelium. We now report that parenteral poly I:C induces rat pancreatic endothelium to hyperexpress intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (CD54). This is accompanied by a perivascular recruitment of mononuclear cells to the exocrine pancreas. Corollary in vitro studies demonstrated that poly I:C is a potent activator of both rat and human endothelial cells in culture. It upregulates endothelial expression of several leukocyte adhesion molecules, stimulates the release of interleukin-6 and interleukin-8, and antagonizes interferon-gamma induction of major histocompatibility complex class II expression. We conclude that poly I:C activates endothelial cells to express surface molecules and cytokines in a pattern classically associated with leukocyte recruitment. These effects may in part contribute to the immunomodulatory effects of poly I:C in animal models of autoimmunity.


Am J Pathol. 1994 Jul;145(1):137-47.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The American journal of pathology

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Link to article in PubMed

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