The role of very late antigen-1 in immune-mediated inflammation

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


The α1β1 integrin, also known as "very late antigen" (VLA)-1, is normally expressed on mesenchymal cells, some epithelial cells, activated T cells, and macrophages, and interacts, via the I-domain of the extracellular domain of the α1 subunit, with collagen molecules in the extracellular matrix (ECM). By "outside-in" transmembranal signaling to the interior of the cell, it mediates adhesion, migration, proliferation, remodeling of the ECM, and cytokine secretion by endothelial cells, mesangial cells, fibroblasts, and immunocytes. Importantly, its expressions and functions are enhanced by inflammatory cytokines including interferon (IFN)γ and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α, thus augmenting angiogenesis and fibrosis linked, in particular, to inflammation. Moreover, within the immune system, VLA-1 marks effector memory CD4+ and CD8+ T cells that are retained in extralymphatic tissues by interactions of the integrin with collagen and produce high levels of IFNγ. Thus, immune-mediated inflammation in vivo is inhibited by blockade of the VLA-1-collagen interaction in experimental animal models of arthritis, colitis, nephritis, and graft versus host disease (GVHD), suggesting that inhibiting the interaction of the α1 I-domain with its ligands or modulating "outside-in" signaling by VLA-1 would be a useful approach in the human diseases simulated by these experimental models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-129
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2004


  • Alpha1beta1 integrin
  • Arthritis
  • Collagen
  • Endothelial cells
  • Integrins
  • Memory T cells
  • T cells
  • VLA-1


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