Pirfenidone induces intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) down- regulation on cultured human synovial fibroblasts

M. Kaneko, H. Inoue, R. Nakazawa, N. Azuma, M. Suzuki, S. Yamauchi, S. B. Margolin, K. Tsubota, I. Saito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


Pirfenidone has been shown to modify some cytokine regulatory actions and inhibit fibroblast biochemical reactions resulting in inhibition of proliferation and collagen matrix synthesis by fibroblast. We have investigated the effect of pirfenidone on the expression of cell adhesion molecules. The synovial fibroblasts were treated with IL-1α in the presence or absence of pirfenidone (range 0-1000 μM), and assayed for the expression of adhesion molecules such as ICAM-1 and endothelial-leucocyte adhesion molecule-1 (E-selectin) by cell ELISA. Pirfenidone significantly down- regulated the expression of ICAM-1 on cultured synovial fibroblasts in a dose-dependent manner. In contrast, expression of E-selectin was not affected. Furthermore, we examined whether pirfenidone affects the cellular binding between cultured lymphocytes and IL-1α-stimulated synovial fibroblasts by in vitro binding assay and found their mutual binding was significantly suppressed in a dose-dependent manner by pirfenidone. It is speculated that down-regulation of ICAM-1 might be one of the novel mechanisms of action of pirfenidone. These data indicate a novel mechanism of action for pirfenidone to reduce the activation of synovial fibroblasts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-76
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell adhesion molecules
  • ICAM-1
  • Pirfenidone
  • Synovial fibroblasts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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