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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. The etiopathogenesis of premature CVD is not fully understood, but recently interferon-alpha (IFNα) has been implicated as a contributing factor. Since IFNα has been associated with both disease activity and endothelial dysfunction in lupus patients, we aimed to determine whether IFNα has direct effects on human aortic endothelial cell (HAoEC) function in vitro. We studied the function of IFNα2b-treated HAoECs in terms of cell proliferation, capillary-like network formation, and nitric oxide (NO) generation. Changes in gene expression were also analyzed using an exon gene array. IFNα2b regulated the expression of 198 genes, including recognized interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs). Gene ontology analysis showed over-representation of genes involved in antigen presentation and host response to virus but no significant changes in clusters of genes recognized as important in endothelial cell activation or dysfunction. HAoEC proliferation, tubule formation, and NO bioavailability were unchanged, suggesting that IFNα in isolation does not have a direct impact on aortic endothelial cell function.

Original publication




Journal article


J Interferon Cytokine Res

Publication Date





404 - 412


Aorta, Cell Proliferation, Endothelial Cells, Humans, Interferon alpha-2, Interferon-alpha, Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic, Nitric Oxide, Recombinant Proteins