Methylene blue modulates adhesion molecule expression on microvascular endothelial cells

Methylene blue modulates adhesion molecule expression on microvascular endothelial cells

Isabella Werner, Fengwei Guo, Ulrich A. Stock, Michèle Lupinski, Patrick Meybohm, Anton Moritz, Andres Beiras-Fernandez

Objective and design: As methylene blue (MB) has been recently proposed to preserve blood pressure in case of vasoplegic syndrome and shock, an entity directly related to systemic inflammation, we aimed to elucidate the effect of MB on the expression of adhesion-molecules in endothelial-cells.

Materials and treatment: Human microvascular endothelial-cells (HuMEC-1) were treated with 10, 30 or 60 µM MB for 30 min and 2 h each. Additionally, the treated HuMEC-1 were co-cultured with either human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) or Jurkat cells (human T-lymphocytes) for 2 h.

Methods: HuMEC-1 were analyzed after MB treatment and after co-culture experiments for expression of different adhesion-molecules (ICAM-1, VCAM-1, L-selectin, E-selectin) via FACS measurement and western blot analysis. The supernatants of the experiments were analyzed with regard to the soluble forms of the adhesion molecules.

Results: We found that MB is able to modulate the expression of adhesion-molecules on EC. Administration of MB increases the expression of E-selectin and VCAM-1 depending on the dosage and time of exposure. ICAM-1 measurements provide evidence that different circulating blood cells can differently alter the adhesion-molecule expression on EC after MB exposure.

Conclusion: Our results provide evidence regarding the immunomodulatory effect of MB upon endothelial-cells after inflammation.