ICAM-1 (Interstitial Cell Adhesion Molecule) is an adhesin which lines the vessels endothelium and enables the recruitement of circulating blood inflammatory cells (neutrophils, monocytes, lymphocytes, mastocytes) and their transendothelial migration to build the inflammatory response. ICAM expression is increased with the transition from the small white subcutaneous adipocyte to a large visceral adipocyte. Fat mass expansion generates hypoxia through vessel compression producing ICAM leading to a vicious cycle promoting fibrosis and inflammation.
High ICAM level is found in metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes, endothelial dysfunction, atheroma and cardiovascular diseases.
In obese patients ICAM, produced by the adipose tissue’s vascular frame, has a twofold action :
- Paracrin, favorising macrophages aflow and the collagen fibers development
- Systemic, inducing endothelial dysfunction and an associated inflammation