Anti-endothelial cell antibodies in patients with coronary atherosclerosis

Immunol Lett. 2000 Jul 3;73(1):23-7. doi: 10.1016/s0165-2478(00)00192-9.


Anti-endothelial cell antibodies (AECA) have been shown to possess endothelial cell activation properties and to harbor pathogenic potential in experimental animal models of autoimmune systemic disorders. Atherosclerosis is a form of an inflammatory condition in which the immune system has been shown to be involved. The aim of the present study was to assess the presence of AECA in patients with coronary atherosclerosis. A total of 134 patients admitted for chest pain of suspected anginal origin were evaluated for coronary artery atherosclerosis by angiography. Sera were drawn prior to the procedure for the determination of AECA employing cyto-ELISA. AECA positive sera were further evaluated for its ability to promote in vitro E-selectin expression by HUVEC using a cell-based ELISA. Patients with no coronary artery involvement had levels of AECA that did not differ from those obtained for patients with confirmed coronary atherosclerosis (one, two or three vessel disease). Furthermore, AECA positive sera from patients, with or without coronary atherosclerosis displayed similar capacity of inducing E-selectin expression by endothelial cells. AECA may not stand as an optimal mean of discriminating atherosclerotic from non-atherosclerotic patients. The ability of AECA to activate endothelial cells is also not unique to patients with atherosclerosis and is evident also in age-matched control subjects.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Artery Disease / immunology*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / metabolism
  • E-Selectin / metabolism*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Autoantibodies
  • E-Selectin
  • anti-endothelial cell antibody