Cloned endothelium derived from autoimmune vascular disease retain structural and functional characteristics of normal endothelial cells.
MRL/1pr mice demonstrate anatomic specificity in their development of vasculitis including the small- and medium-sized muscular arteries of the mesentery. To define the functional role of endothelium in vasculitis, we have cloned endothelial cells derived from inflamed small- and medium-sized arteries. Primary cells were derived by enzymatic dispersement and endothelial cells were selected by utilizing a combination of specific culture conditions. Cloned endothelium were developed utilizing limiting dilution cultures supplemented by endothelial cell growth factor. The cloned endothelial cells express many structural features of mature endothelial cells including Factor VIII-RA, non-muscle-specific actin, and Weibel-Palade bodies. Functionally, the clones express functional receptors for the scavenger pathway for LDL metabolism. The cells do not express Class I MHC antigens; however, IFN-beta and IFN-gamma stimulate Class I MHC expression after 24 h, which induces lysis of virus-infected cloned endothelium by Class I-restricted virus-primed T cells. In direct contrast to site-identical vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), endothelial cells do not spontaneously express Class II MHC antigens, nor do they secrete biologically relevant levels of IL-1 unless triggered by lipopolysaccharide. The availability of site-specific cloned endothelium along with cloned VSMCs from autoimmune mice should resolve major experimental controversies involving the pathophysiology of inflammatory vascular disease.
Moyer, CF; Huggins, E; Sarantopoulos, S; Lewis, JC; Sajuthi, D; Biron, CA; Reinisch, CL
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