The human skin contacts molecules from house dust mites that are ubiquitous in many environments. These mite-derived molecules may penetrate the skin epidermis and dermis and contact microvascular endothelial cells and influence their function. The purpose of this study was to determine the response of normal human dermal microvascular endothelial cells to extracts of the dust mites, Dermatophagoides farinae, D. pteronyssinus, and Euroglyphus maynei with and without endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide). Endothelial cells were stimulated with mite extracts and the expression of surface molecules and the secretion of cytokines were measured in the absence and presence of polymyxin B to bind endotoxin. All three mite extracts stimulated endothelial cells to express intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and E-selectin and to secrete interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP-1), and granulocyte/macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF). Euroglyphus maynei-induced expression of all the cell surface molecules was not inhibited when the endotoxin activity in the mite extract was inhibited. In contrast, endothelial cells challenged with D. farinae or D. pteronyssinus extract depleted of endotoxin activity expressed only constitutive levels of ICAM-1, VCAM-1, and E-selectin. D. farinae and E. maynei extracts depleted of endotoxin activity still induced secretion of IL-8 and MCP-1 but at reduced levels. Only constitutive amounts of IL-6, G-CSF, and GM-CSF were secreted in response to any of the endotoxin-depleted mite extracts. Extracts of D. farinae, D. pteronyssinus, and E. maynei contain both endotoxins and other molecules that can stimulate expression of cell adhesion molecules and chemokine receptors and the secretion of cytokines by normal human microvascular endothelial cells.
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