Normal endothelial cell function

Lupus. 2000;9(3):183-8. doi: 10.1191/096120300678828299.


Endothelial cell functions, primarily involving regulated mediator secretion or altered surface protein expression, are vital for normal homeostasis. Endothelial cells secrete the potent vasodilator and anti-platelet agent prostacyclin and nitric oxide, and also the potent vasoconstrictor peptide endothelin-1; they control the selective adhesion and emigration of leukocytes from the bloodstream; and they are the source of circulating von Willebrand factor, tissue plasminogen activator and type 1 plasminogen activator inhibitor. The properties of healthy endothelium ensure that an antithrombotic and anticoagulant balance is maintained in the bloodstream, and provide a tonic vasodilator action that controls blood flow and pressure on a minute-to-minute basis. Disturbances of normal endothelial function are strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and autoimmune vasculitic diseases including lupus.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arteriosclerosis / blood
  • Arteriosclerosis / etiology
  • Arteriosclerosis / physiopathology
  • Blood Coagulation
  • Blood Platelets / physiology
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Movement
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology*
  • Fibrinolysis
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / physiology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / blood
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / physiopathology
  • Vasoconstriction / physiology