Immunohistochemical staining with monoclonal antibodies showed a differential distribution of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1/CD54) and lymphocyte function-associated antigen 3 (LFA-3/CD58) and their respective counterreceptors lymphocyte function-associated antigens 1 (LFA-1/CD11a) and 2 (LFA-2/CD2) on ten melanoma cell lines and in 46 surgically removed metastatic melanoma lesions. CD11a and CD2 were not detected on melanoma cells while CD54 and CD58 were coexpressed on the majority of the melanoma cell populations investigated. CD54 showed a higher degree of intra- and intertumor heterogeneity than CD58. γ-Interferon and/or tumor necrosis factor α upregulated the expression of CD54 by melanoma cells, but neither modulated that of CD58 nor induced that of CD11a and CD2. Anti-CD54 and anti-CD58 monoclonal antibodies partially inhibited the lysis of melanoma cells by allogeneic natural killer cells, lymphokine-activated killer cells and, to a greater extent, by autologous tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. Soluble CD54 (cCD54) purified from serum of patients with melanoma inhibited the lysis of melanoma cells F0–1 by natural killer cells in a dose-dependent fashion. These results suggest that membrane-bound CD54 and CD58 and cCD54 play a role in host-tumor interactions in patients with malignant melanoma and may account for the relationship between CD54 expression in primary lesions and the clinical course of disease.

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This work was supported by the Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro and by USPHS Grant CA39559 awarded by the National Cancer Institute.

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