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Binding of both proteinase 3 (PR3) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) to endothelial cells (EC) has been suggested to be involved in the vascular damage seen in patients with Wegener's granulomatosis or microscopic polyangiitis. In the present study we investigated in detail the interaction of MPO and PR3 with cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and its matrix products. In addition, we investigated whether interaction of PR3 or MPO with HUVEC monolayers also resulted in antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) mediated by anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-positive patient sera or rabbit IgG anti-PR3 or anti-MPO. Preincubation of HUVEC monolayers with PR3 or MPO resulted in a dose-dependent binding of both PR3 and MPO. However, HUVEC, preincubated with PR3 or MPO, followed by ANCA or by rabbit anti-PR3 or anti-MPO, were not susceptible to ADCC. Detailed analysis of the binding of PR3 to HUVEC monolayers showed that PR3 binds primarily to the extracellular matrix of endothelial cells, and to a very limited extent to the cells themselves. For MPO it was shown that it binds both to the extracellular matrix and to the endothelial cells themselves. However, after binding to HUVEC cultures, MPO was not detectable by polyclonal rabbit or human antibodies specific for MPO, probably because MPO is bound to sites not accessible for immunoglobulins. Binding of PR3 to HUVEC cultures (cells + matrix) was inhibited by fetal calf serum and by alpha 1-antitrypsin, but inactivation of enzymatic activity of PR3 by PMSF did not influence binding of PR3 to HUVEC cultures. Binding of MPO to HUVEC cultures was not influenced by fetal calf serum.


Journal article


Clin Exp Immunol

Publication Date





52 - 60


Animals, Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic, Antibody-Dependent Cell Cytotoxicity, Autoantibodies, Autoantigens, Blood Proteins, Cells, Cultured, Endothelium, Vascular, Extracellular Matrix, Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis, Humans, In Vitro Techniques, Myeloblastin, Peroxidase, Protein Binding, Rabbits, Serine Endopeptidases