Anti-endothelial cell antibodies (AECA) are frequently detected in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), but their pathological role remains unclear. We recently developed a solubilized cell surface protein capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (CSPELISA) to detect antibodies against membrane proteins involved in autoimmune reactions. In this study, sera from 51 patients with biopsy-proven lupus nephritis (LN), 25 with SLE without renal involvement (non-LN SLE), 42 disease control (DC) subjects, and 80 healthy control (HC) subjects were tested for IgG- and IgA-AECA for human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and human glomerular EC (HGEC) by using CSP-ELISA. IgG- and IgAAECA titers were significantly higher in LN and non-LN SLE patients than in the DC or HC (P < 0.001) groups. IgG- and IgA-AECA titers for HUVEC corresponded well with those for HGEC. The IgA-AECA level correlated with the SLE disease activity index and with histological evidence of active lesions (cellular proliferations, hyaline thrombi and wire loops, leukocytic infiltration, and fibrinoid necrosis) in LN patients (P < 0.001). The sensitivity of IgA-AECA as a diagnostic test for histological evidence of active lesions in LN patients was 0.92, with a specificity of 0.70. The significant correlation of IgA-AECA with glomerular hypercellularity indicates that IgA-AECA are associated with endothelial damage in LN.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)