In vitro, expression of E-selectin is largely restricted to endothelial cells activated by inflammatory cytokines. Under activated conditions, cytokines such as interleukin (IL) 10, released by keratinocytes in large quantities, may also increase the expression of E-selectin on the dermal microvasculature. The aim of the present study was to investigate the expression of E-selectin on cultured human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMEC) isolated from neonatal foreskins when exposed to IL-10. Expression of E-selectin was determined by immunofluorescence microscopy, FACS analysis, an HL-60 cell-binding assay, and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis. For comparison with large blood vessel cells, the expression of E-selectin on human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) was also determined in parallel by FACS and reverse transcriptase-PCR analysis under identical conditions. These studies demonstrate that IL-10 induces the expression of E-selectin on both HDMEC and HUVEC and that the level of expression of HDMEC is comparable with that induced by IL-1 beta and tumor necrosis factor-alpha. When HL-60 cells are incubated with HDMEC pretreated with IL-10, a consistent increase in adherence of HL-60 to endothelial cells is observed. This adherence was found to be mediated by L-selectin. PCR analysis and the quantification of E-selectin cDNA by a novel, highly sensitive and specific PCR-immunoassay demonstrate the induction of E-selectin mRNA at the transcriptional level. The induction of the expression of E-selectin by IL-10 on HDMEC may provide additional insights into the pathogenic mechanism of neutrophil accumulation at the site of inflammation in inflammatory skin diseases.