Send to

Choose Destination
Atherosclerosis. 2001 Sep;158(1):241-6.

Autoantibodies and endothelial dysfunction in well-controlled, uncomplicated insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus patients.

Author information

Laboratory of Clinical Biochemistry, Department of Cellular Biotechnology and Haematology, University of Rome La Sapienza, Viale Regina Elena 324, 00161 Rome, Italy.


Patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) are well known to be at high risk of vascular disease, and dysfunction of vascular endothelium is considered as an early step in the development of diabetic complications. Because of the involvement of autoimmunity in the pathogenesis of IDDM, our aim was to assess, in 45 IDDM patients without clinically evident vascular complications, whether early signs of endothelial cell dysfunction were correlated to alterations of the immune system. IDDM patients were characterized by significantly increased serum levels of C-reactive protein, of polymorphonuclear cells-derived elastase, of endothelin-1 (ET-1) and of thrombomodulin, while plasma concentrations of fibronectin (FNT) were significantly decreased, with a statistically significant inverse correlation between ET-1 and FNT values. The presence of circulating immune complexes (CIC) was investigated in 36 out of our 45 IDDM patients, and values above the cut-off were found in 17 (47.2%) of them. One-third of all patients showed values above the cut-off for IgG-aCL. In IDDM patients, at variance from the control group, the levels of ET-1 were directly correlated to those of von Willebrand factor, of anticardiolipin beta(2)-GPI and of CIC, with an inverse correlation with plasma FNT. An association between antiphospholipid antibodies and endothelial dysfunction and/or activation is therefore suggested, pointing to a synergism, in the early phases of IDDM vascular disease, between generation of autoantibodies and endothelial activation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center