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.