Antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity of human vascular endothelium in systemic sclerosis

Clin Exp Immunol. 1984 Sep;57(3):548-56.


Sera from 39 patients with systemic sclerosis were examined for a cytotoxic effect on human umbilical vein endothelium. Although none of the sera produced direct cytotoxicity of 51Cr-labelled endothelial cells, even with added complement, nine sera did produce increased 51Cr release when co-cultured with endothelial cells and normal human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The effector cells involved in this cytotoxicity possessed Fc receptors but were non-T and non-adherent while the responsible serum factor(s) was present in IgG containing fractions. This cytotoxicity tended to occur in patients with both circulating immune complexes and precipitating antibodies to nuclear and cytoplasmic antigens who, as a group, had more severe and extensive visceral disease than those without such serological abnormalities. Control studies using sera from both 27 normal controls and 19 patients with either diabetes or extensive athero-sclerotic vascular disease failed to reveal any similar cytotoxicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibody-Dependent Cell Cytotoxicity*
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex / analysis
  • Arteriosclerosis / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Centrifugation, Density Gradient
  • Chromatography, Gel
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Diabetes Mellitus / immunology
  • Endothelium / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rosette Formation
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / immunology*
  • Umbilical Veins / immunology


  • Antigen-Antibody Complex