Expression and role of desmoglein (DSG)2 in endothelial cell invasion and capillary morphogenesis. (a) Western blotting of 60 μg protein from cell lysates of microvascular endothelial cells (MVECs) from normal subjects (N-MVECs) and patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc-MVECs) with anti-DSG2 antibodies. Each lane represents western blotting of MVECs obtained from a single patient. Actin was used as an internal reference standard. Numbers on the right represent the molecular weight expressed in kDa. (b) Effect of anti-DSG2 antibodies (3 μg/ml) on matrigel invasion of N-MVECs. The effect of irrelevant mouse IgG is also shown. Numbers on the x-axis refer to the total number of cells migrated through the matrigel after 6 hours. Data are the mean ± standard deviation of three experiments performed in triplicate in three N-MVEC lines. The asterisk indicates that values are significantly different from the values of control (p < 0.05). (c) Effect of anti-DSG2 antibodies on capillary morphogenesis of N-MVECs. See the legend to Figure 1 for experimental details. Irrelevant mouse IgG gave results similar to control untreated N-MVECs (not shown). These data are representative of three different experiments performed on three N-MVEC cell lines (100× magnification). Numbers reported within each panel indicate the percent of the photographic field occupied by cells ± standard deviation. The asterisk indicates that values are significantly different from the values of control N-MVECs at 6 hours after plating on Matrigel (p < 0.05).