Cellular and molecular alterations in spinal cord injury patients with pressure ulcers: A preliminary report

J. M. Cruse, H. Wang, R. E. Lewis, J. Cespedes, R. S. Morrison, W. C. Lineaweaver, S. Dilioglou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The study was designed to investigate the changes, both numerically and functionally, of the molecules critical to wound healing in spinal cord injury (SCI) patients. Spinal cord injury patients who demonstrated delayed healing of their pressure ulcers were used as study subjects. Age-matched healthy individuals served as controls. Adhesion molecule expression of the peripheral blood leukocytes, including lymphocytes and granulocytes, was measured by flow cytometric analysis. Binding capacity of the lymphocytes was evaluated using human umbilical cord vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) as the binding matrix. Samples from pressure ulcers of the patients were immunostained to define fibronectin, kalinin, β4 integrin, α2β1, α3β1, α5β1, and CD138 expression. Compared to healthy controls, there was decreased expression of CD11a, CD11b, CD18, CD49b, CD49c, CD49d, CD54, and CD8 in patients' lymphocyte populations and CD11a, CD18, CD49c, CD49d, and CD8 in patients' granulocyte populations. The binding capacity, expressed as percentage binding of the lymphocytes to the HUVEC matrix, was greatly diminished in the patients. There was markedly diminished immunohistochemical staining of fibronectin in pressure ulcers. These findings showed that delayed healing of pressure ulcers in SCI patients can be attributed to reduced adhesion molecule expression, impaired cell-cell interaction, and lack of extracellular matrix structural and functional protein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-131
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental and Molecular Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2002


  • Cellular adhesion molecules
  • Fibronectin
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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