Physicians should consider measuring anti-endothelial cell antibodies in patients with polycythemia vera, the investigators suggested.
A new analysis of anti-endothelial cell antibodies (AECAs) in patients with polycythemia vera (PV) suggests that autoimmunity may be one mechanism by which thrombosis develops.
Polycythemia vera (PV) causes thrombosis. Erythrocytosis and cell adhesiveness are responsible for thrombosis. JAK2V617F causes inflammation and autoimmunity; however, whether or not autoimmunity or inflammation causes thrombosis has yet to be proven. In 60 PV patients, we analyzed JAK2V671F and its allele burden, autoimmune Th17 cells, interleukin-17 (IL-17), anti-endothelial cell antibodies (AECAs), endothelial leukocyte adhesion molecule-1 (ELAM-1), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), and von Willebrand factor antigen (VWF: Ag). Fifty blood donors were used as the controls. All patients were on phlebotomy-maintaining hematocrit <45% and aspirin.
Of the 60 patients, 40 had thrombosis. Those patients with thrombosis had a higher JAK2V617F allele burden than those without thrombosis, andTh17 cells and IL-17 were also higher in patients with thrombosis. Interestingly, we observed a high AECA IgG ELISA ratio (ER) in patients with thrombosis, which was normal in patients without thrombosis. We found high ELAM-1 and ICAM-1 as well as high VWF:Ag in patients with thrombosis compared to patients without thrombosis. AECA-positive sera from patients with thrombosis showed enhanced binding to cytokine-treated HUVEC and a positive antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, suggesting that AECA may contribute to vascular injury. A positive correlation between AECAs, allele burden, and thrombosis was found. These results suggest that autoimmunity may be an additional mechanism in PV thrombogenesis.