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Volume 40, Number 1, February 2007

Elevated serum anti-endothelial cell autoantibodies titer is associated with lupus nephritis in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

Jui-Cheng Tseng, Ling-Ying Lu, Rieh-Jieh Hu, Chien-Kai Kau, He-Hsiung Cheng, Pey-Ru Lin, Chien-Wen Sun, Hui-Ting Liang, Hing-Chung Lam, Ming Hong Tai
Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology, Department of Medical Education and Research, and Division of Metabolism, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Received: September 13, 2005    Revised: March 26, 2006    Accepted: April 29, 2006   


Corresponding author:

Ming-Hong Tai, Ph.D, Department of Medical Education and Research, Room 3654, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, 386 Ta-Chung 1st Road, Kaohsiung 813, Taiwan. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it



Background and purpose: 

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune connective tissue disease associated with endothelial dysfunction and the existence of multiple species of autoantibodies. However, the association between endothelial dysfunction and renal manifestations remains unclear in Taiwanese SLE patients.



Serum samples were collected from SLE patients with biopsy-proven lupus nephritis (n = 32), stable SLE patients (n = 32) and healthy controls (n = 32). The SLE Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) of SLE patients was scored, and levels of anti-endothelial cell antibodies (AECA) and anti-endothelial activities in serum samples were measured by cell-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and crystal violet assay, respectively, using cultured human endothelial EA.hy926 cells.



Significantly higher AECA (p<0.001) and anti-endothelial activities (p<0.001) were found in sera from patients with lupus nephritis compared with that from stable SLE patients or controls. Moreover, AECA titers (p<0.001) and anti-endothelial activities (p<0.001) were strongly correlated with SLEDAI scores in these patients.



The strong correlations of AECA and anti-endothelial activity with lupus nephritis activity support an endothelial origin for renal complications in Taiwanese SLE patients.


Key words:

Anti-endothelial cell antibody; Endothelium; Lupus nephritis; Systemic lupus erythematosus



J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2007;40:50-55.