Up-regulation of the endothelial cell adhesion molecule intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) by autoantibodies in autoimmune vasculitis

P A Johnson, H D Alexander, S A McMillan, A P Maxwell

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Abstract

Autoimmune vasculitis is characterized by the presence of autoantibodies, particularly anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) and anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA), in patient sera. These autoantibodies have an incompletely understood role in development of vascular injury. The expression or up-regulation of cell adhesion molecules is an early phase in the development of an inflammatory vascular lesion. Autoantibody-positive sera from patients with vasculitis were assessed for their ability to modulate adhesion molecule expression by human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Autoantibody-positive serum samples from 11 out of 21 patients with primary vasculitis produced substantial up-regulation of ICAM-1 on HUVEC. Autoantibody-negative samples did not produce adhesion molecule up-regulation. Up-regulation of adhesion molecules on HUVEC was observed with samples positive for ANA, a phenomenon not previously reported. Preincubation of the sera with purified antigens recognized by ANCA failed to block this activation. In addition, MoAbs to ANCA antigens were ineffective at inducing ICAM-1 up-regulation, suggesting that activation is independent of the molecular specificity of the antibody. This capacity of ANCA- and ANA-positive sera to up-regulate adhesion molecules on endothelial cells may be a factor in the vessel wall inflammation seen in ANCA-associated vasculitis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-42
Number of pages9
JournalClinical and experimental immunology
Volume108
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1997

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