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Autoimmun Rev. 2002 Dec;1(6):365-72.

Antiendothelial cell antibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus.

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EA 2216 Immunologie et Pathologie, Laboratory of Immunology, Brest University Medical School Hospital, BP 824, F 29609 Brest, France.


Sera from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus have been reported to contain IgM and/or IgG binding to endothelial cells (EC), i.e. anti-EC antibodies (AECA). Similar autoantibodies have been claimed to occur in a number of conditions associated with vasculitis. The original cyto-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) remains the most widely used method for the detection of AECAs, although numerous pitfalls have been identified since then. These difficulties may explain why a consensus on the prevalence of AECAs has not been reached thus far. It is therefore desirable to confirm a positive result in the cyto-ELISA using other methods, such as flow cytometry, immunoprecipitation or Western blot. Yet, these methods appear to be difficult to use on a routine basis. With regard to the AECA effects, their binding induces activation of ECs, as substantiated by up-regulation of adhesion molecules, and synthesis of cytokines and chemokines, followed by their secretion. Some of these autoantibodies encourage the local production of tissue factor, and thereby favour coagulation. Other AECAs trigger apoptosis of ECs, although the Fas receptor does not seem to be involved in this process. In fact, since the target antigens are not well defined, the current challenge is to identify EC target molecules, and thus to gain further insights into the pathogenesis of diseases with vasculitis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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