The antiphospholipid-protein syndrome
The pathogenesis of the antiphospholipid syndrome remains uncertain. Antibodies that react with phospholipids may not be directly responsible for cellular injury, but may be part of the immune network through which autoantibodies with pathogenic potential are generated. The latter may recognize proteins such asβ2-glycoprotein I that form complexes with phospholipids, proteins whose functions depend upon interaction with phospholipids such as protein C and its cofactors, altered lipoproteins such as oxidized low-density lipoproteins, or other molecules that share only antigenic similarity. Thus, a spectrum of autoantibodies that recognize different lipid-protein complexes may develop in these patients and contribute to the observed clinical heterogeneity of the syndrome. Current techniques do not permit identification of the subset of patients with antiphospholipid antibodies at risk for thrombosis or abortion and there are no prospective, controlled trials addressing the prophylaxis or treatment of affected individuals. Identification of the cellular targets of antibodies to lipid-protein moieties is needed to identify patients at risk for these complications and as a means to monitor therapy.