Increased soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 concentrations in patients with primary or systemic lupus erythematosus–related antiphospholipid syndrome: Correlations with the severity of thrombosis




Recent studies have shown that in vitro endothelial cells are activated by antiphospholipid antibodies and may support leukocyte adhesion. We studied levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM-1, sCD54), soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (sVCAM-1, sCD106), and soluble E-selectin (soluble endothelial leukocyte adhesion molecule 1 [sELAM-1, sCD62E]) in sera from patients with primary antiphospholipid syndrome (primary APS), and compared them with those from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus–associated APS (SLE-APS) or pure SLE, as well as with those from 2 control groups composed of healthy volunteers and patients with thrombosis unrelated to autoimmune diseases.


Serum samples from 24 patients with primary APS, 15 patients with SLE-APS, 22 patients with pure SLE, 48 control patients with thrombosis, and 18 healthy volunteers were examined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays specific for sICAM-1, sVCAM-1, and sELAM-1.


Serum levels of sVCAM-1, but not sICAM-1 or sELAM-1, were significantly increased in all patient study groups compared with thrombosis control patients and healthy volunteers, but did not differ between the groups of patients with primary APS, SLE-APS, or pure SLE. Concentrations of sVCAM-1 were significantly higher in primary APS or SLE-APS patients with severe, recurrent thrombosis and were negatively correlated with platelet counts in primary APS patients. In patients with primary APS, sVCAM-1 levels were higher if there was thrombotic kidney involvement and correlated with creatinemia.


Serum sVCAM-1 concentrations are increased in patients with primary APS, especially those with repeated thrombotic events or kidney involvement. These findings suggest that endothelial/monocyte interaction may be important in the pathogenesis of primary APS.