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Pediatr Res. 2005 Dec;58(6):1306-10.

Induction of MCP1, CCR2, and iNOS expression in THP-1 macrophages by serum of children late after Kawasaki disease.

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  • 1Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Grantham Hospital, The University of Hong Kong, China.


Evidence of premature atherosclerosis late after Kawasaki disease (KD) is accumulating. Given the potential roles of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), chemokine receptor CCR-2, and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in atherogenesis, we sought to determine whether serum obtained from children late after KD would induce expression of these genes in macrophages in vitro. A total of 79 subjects were studied, which comprised 57 KD patients, 33 of whom had coronary aneurysms, and 22 age-matched controls. Expression of MCP-1, CCR2, and iNOS mRNA in THP-1 macrophages in the presence of patient and control serum was quantified as a ratio to beta-actin mRNA and expressed as a percentage of control. MCP-1 expression was significantly increased in the presence of serum from patients with coronary aneurysms. Expression of CCR2 and iNOS was significantly increased when THP-1 macrophages were incubated with serum from patients with and without coronary aneurysms. The magnitude of induction of MCP-1, CCR2, and iNOS or in combinations correlated positively with serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels and negatively with high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level. In conclusion, the serum of patients with a history of KD induces expression of MCP-1, CCR2, and iNOS in THP-1 macrophages in vitro. Induction of these genes in vivo may be related to chronic inflammation and may have important implications for premature atherosclerosis.

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