Systemic sclerosis sera affect α
integrin and vinculin expression in dermal blood microvascular endothelial cells. Quantification of αvβ3 integrin (A) and vinculin (B) in dermal blood microvascular endothelial cells (B-MVECs) challenged with systemic sclerosis (SSc) and healthy control (CTR) sera. Data are means ± SEM of optical density in arbitrary units (a.u.). (A) The expression of αvβ3 integrin was significantly lower in cells challenged with sera from naïve SSc patients (all naïve SSc, naïve limited SSc (lSSc) and naïve diffuse SSc (dSSc)) than in cells treated with sera from healthy controls (**P < 0.001). No significant differences were found between cyclophosphamide (CYC)-treated SSc patients (all SSc, lSSc and dSSc) and healthy controls, whereas expression of αvβ3 integrin in all CYC-treated SSc was significantly higher than that in all naïve SSc (§P < 0.001). (B) The expression of vinculin was significantly higher in cells challenged with the sera of naïve dSSc than in cells treated with sera from healthy controls (**P < 0.001). No significant differences were found in any of the other conditions tested.