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Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2012 Jan-Mar;25(1):99-105.

Increased percentages of tumor necrosis factor-alpha+/interferon-gamma+ T [corrected] lymphocytes and calprotectin+/tumor necrosis factor-alpha+ monocytes in patients with acute Kawasaki disease.

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  • 1Department of Medical and Phorensic Biopathology and Biotechnology, University of Palermo, Italy.

Erratum in

  • Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2012 Apr-Jun;25(2):2 p following 556.


In vivo exposure to microorganisms resident in the oral cavity is considered as a possible cause of Kawasaki disease (KD), and some epitopes derived from streptococci display homology with Factor H of Complement. Additionally, calprotectin, a major calcium binding protein released by neutrophils and activated monocytes, could be directly involved in endothelial damage occurring in KD. The aim of our study is to evaluate the percentages of IFN-gamma+ and/or TNF-alpha+ lymphocytes and double positive calprotectin/TNF-alpha monocytes (CD14+) after in vitro stimulation with streptococcal- and/or Factor H-derived peptides, in patients with acute KD. Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMCs) obtained from KD patients and febrile controls were stimulated in vitro with peptides. After culture, cells were collected, stained with fluorochrome-labelled monoclonal antibodies against CD3, CD14, calprotectin, IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha, and cytofluorimetric analyses were performed. Our results showed increased percentages of TNF-alpha+/IFN-gamma+ lymphocytes in KD patients in respect to controls when PBMCs were stimulated with streptococcal or Factor H-derived epitopes. In addition, also calprotectin+/TNF-alpha+ monocytes from KD patients were activated after PBMC in vitro stimulation. These findings lead us to speculate that some peptides, derived from oral streptococci and cross-reactive with the human Factor H of Complement, could induce lymphocyte and monocyte activation potentially involved in the pathogenesis of KD. Our results should be confirmed by further studies enrolling more patients and controls than those analyzed in our study.

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