• activation of endothelial cells;
  • antiphospholipid antibodies;
  • antiphospholipid syndrome;
  • E-selectin;
  • thrombosis

Summary.  Antiphospholipid (aPL) antibodies, detected in patients with antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) are associated with thrombosis, pregnancy loss and thrombocytopenia. Studies have shown that aPL are thrombogenic in vivo, but the mechanism(s) involved are not completely understood. Several studies have demonstrated that aPL antibodies activate endothelial cells (ECs) in vitro, as determined by up-regulation of adhesion molecules: E-selectin (E-sel); intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and in vivo. The objectives of these study were to determine the effects of aPL antibodies on the expression of E-selectin on ECs, on the adhesion of monocytes to ECs and to study the role of E-selectin on aPL antibodies enhanced thrombus formation and activation of ECs in vivo. We demonstrated that the surface expression of E-selectin on HUVEC by ELISA was increased 400-fold when treated with tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and 421-fold when treated with aPL antibodies during 4 h. APL antibodies also induced activation of the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB). APL antibodies increased significantly the number of adhering leukocytes to ECs in vivo in C57BL/6 J mice when compared to IgG-NHS treated mice. This effect was abrogated in E-selectin-deficient mice. The thrombus size was significantly increased in C57BL/6 J mice treated with aPL antibodies when compared to mice treated with IgG-NHS. This enhancement in thrombus size by aPL antibodies was abrogated in E-selectin-deficient mice treated with aPL antibodies.