Humoral autoimmunity against endothelium: Theory or reality?

Pierluigi Meroni, Nicoletta Ronda, Elena Raschi, Maria O. Borghi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the discovery of anti-endothelial cell antibodies (AECA) in a heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by endothelial damage, their pathogenic role is still debated. Experimental in vitro models indicate that they can either damage endothelial cells or trigger cell signaling by reacting with as yet undefined surface molecules. However, clinical studies suggest that, in addition to AECA, other pathogenic mechanisms are involved in the vasculitic process. Recently, antibodies specific for β2 glycoprotein I, the phospholipid-binding protein targeted by anti-phospholipid antibodies, have been shown to display anti-endothelial activity. These autoantibodies recognize β2 glycoprotein I adhered to the endothelium and induce a cell perturbation that might underlie the thrombophilic state of the antiphospholipid syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-281
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Immunology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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