Activated Platelets Induce Endothelial Cell Activation via an Interleukin-1β Pathway in Systemic Lupus ErythematosusHighlights
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Objective—Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is associated with the premature development of cardiovascular disease. The platelet–endothelium interaction is important in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. In this study, we investigated the platelet phenotype from patients with SLE and matched controls, and their effect on endothelial cells.
Approach and Results—Platelet aggregability was measured in 54 SLE subjects off antiplatelet therapy (mean age 40.1±12.8 years; 82% female; 37% white) with age- and sex-matched controls. Platelets were coincubated with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and changes to gene expression assessed by an RNA array and quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. SLE disease activity index ranged from 0 to 22 (mean 5.1±3.9). Compared with controls, patients with SLE had significantly increased monocyte and leukocyte–platelet aggregation and platelet aggregation in response to submaximal agonist stimulation. An agnostic microarray of HUVECs cocultured with SLE platelets found a platelet-mediated effect on endothelial gene pathways involved in cell activation. Sera from SLE versus control subjects significantly increased (1) activation of control platelets; (2) platelet adhesion to HUVECs; (3) platelet-induced HUVEC gene expression of interleukin-8, and intercellular adhesion molecule 1; and (4) proinflammatory gene expression in HUVECs, mediated by interleukin-1β–dependent pathway. Incubation of SLE-activated platelets with an interleukin-1β–neutralizing antibody or HUVECs pretreated with interleukin-1 receptor antibodies attenuated the platelet-mediated activation of endothelial cells.
Conclusions—Platelet activity measurements and subsequent interleukin-1β–dependent activation of the endothelium are increased in subjects with SLE. Platelet–endothelial interactions may play a role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease in patients with SLE.
- blood platelets
- cardiovascular diseases
- endothelial cells
- lupus erythematosus, systemic
- platelet aggregation
- Received July 6, 2016.
- Accepted January 20, 2017.
- © 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.