Antiendothelial cell antibodies in vascular inflammation

Luca Catelli, Cristina Luzzana, Piersandro Riboldi, Pier Luigi Meroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Endothelium is one of the main targets of the immune-mediated inflammatory process in systemic autoimmune vasculitis. Endothelial cells (EC) are now considered as a dynamic, heterogeneous tissue that plays key roles in haemostatic balance and vessel tone regulation and that secretes a wide panel of pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines and growth factors. The availability of EC culture techniques led to the formal demonstration of anti-endothelial cell antibodies (AECA) in a variety of disorders that have in common an immune-mediated damage of the vessel wall. More interestingly, AECA have been shown to mediate different effects that can be pivotal in autoimmune vasculitis: cytotoxicity, release of endothelial mediators (vWF, arachidonic acid metabolites, Endothelin-1) and the induction of a pro-inflammatory and a pro-coagulant phenotype. Altogether these findings suggest that EC might act as active players in the pathogenesis of autoimmune vasculitis being at the same time the target for autoantibodies (and cell-mediated immune responses) and the source of mediators of the immune-mediated inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-146
Number of pages12
JournalClinical and Applied Immunology Reviews
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Antiendothelial cell antibodies
  • Autoimmune vasculitis
  • Cytokines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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