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Antioxid Redox Signal. 2012 Nov 15;17(10):1441-6. doi: 10.1089/ars.2012.4660. Epub 2012 Jun 25.

Does oxidative stress play a critical role in cardiovascular complications of Kawasaki disease?

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  • 1Department of Therapeutic Research and Medicine Evaluation, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.


The aim of the present work was to evaluate the contribution of the different reactive oxidizing species to systemic oxidative stress in the whole blood of patients with Kawasaki disease (KD). This is a rare generalized systemic vasculitis typical of the early childhood characterized by inflammation and endothelial dysfunction with a high risk for cardiovascular fatal events. We found that, compared to age-matched healthy donors, blood from KD patients showed increased production of oxygen- and nitrogen-derived species as detected by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spin probing with the cyclic hydroxylamine 1-hydroxy-3-carboxy-pyrrolidine. The (•)NO pathway involvement was also confirmed by the decreased concentrations of the endogenous (•)NO synthase inhibitor asymmetric dimethyl-arginine and the increased amounts of 3-nitrotyrosine in plasma. Further, increased plasma yields of the proinflammatory enzyme myeloperoxidase were also observed. The appearance of circulating red blood cell alterations typically associated with oxidative imbalance and premature aging (e.g., decrease of total thiol content, glycophorin A, and CD47 expression, as well as increase of phosphatidylserine externalization) has also been detected. Collectively, our observations lead to hypothesize that the simultaneous oxidative and nitrative stress occurrence in the blood of KD patients may play a pathogenetic role in the cardiovascular complications often associated with this rare disease.

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