Anti-vascular endothelial cell antibodies (AECA). Comparison of two assay methods and clinical applications

O. Meyer, P. Kaiser, T. Haim, C. J. Edgell, C. Pasquier, M. De Bandt, F. Bridey, H. Sellak, J. Lansaman, M. F. Kahn

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10 Scopus citations


Vascular endothelial cells may be a target for autoantibodies (AECAs) against membrane antigens that are constitutively expressed, induced or bound to their surface. To test this hypothesis, we used an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with two types of human endothelial cells as the substrate, i.e., human umbilical cord vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) or the hybrid cell line EAhy-926 obtained by fusion of HUVECs with the bronchial carcinoma cell line A549. A comparative functional study of these two cell types demonstrated that EAhy-926 cells produced only small amounts of VIII von Willebrand factor and tissular factor, did not contain Weibel Palade bodies visible under the electron microscope, and expressed ICAM-1 and selectin E in levels of no more than 15% of those expressed by human umbilical cord vein endothelial cells both after stimulation by bacterial lipopolysaccharide and under basal conditions. However, the two assay methods yielded similar IgG AECA titers when used on sera from patients with rheumatoid vasculitis or antiphospholipid syndrome. These antibodies did not exhibit cytotoxicity for cord vein or EAhy-926 cells. They were not specific for endothelium, since their activity decreased by a mean of 40% after incubation of sera with the epithelial cell line A549. A cross-sectional study of 565 sera demonstrated that anti-vascular IgG and IgM AECAs reactive with EAhy-926 cells occurred mainly in patients with dermatomyositis (IgG, 58%; IgM, 22%), systemic scleroderma (IgG, 48%; IgM, 18%), primary Sjogren's syndrome (IgG, 44%; IgM, 12%) and secondary and primary systemic vasculitides (IgG, 38%; IgM, 18%) including Wegener's granulomatosis. A longitudinal study in patients with Wegener's granulomatosis showed that AECAs were predictive of disease activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)737-747
Number of pages11
JournalRevue du Rhumatisme (English Edition)
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-endothelial cell antibodies
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Vasculitis
  • Wegener granulomatosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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