To clarify the functional state of T cells in Kawasaki disease, we analysed mRNA expression levels of Th1/Th2 cytokines (IFN-γ and IL-4) along with Th1/Th2-inducing transcription factors, T-bet and GATA-3, which play pivotal roles in the development of Th1 and Th2 cells, respectively. By real-time PCR, IFN-γ mRNA levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNC) were significantly decreased in Kawasaki disease patients compared with those with measles, and tended to be lower than those in healthy controls. T-bet mRNA levels were significantly decreased in patients with Kawasaki disease compared with healthy controls. In addition, IL-4 and GATA-3 mRNA levels were significantly decreased in Kawasaki disease compared with healthy controls. Regulatory cytokine mRNA levels (TGF-β and IL-10) were also decreased in Kawasaki disease. The mRNA levels of IFN-γ showed a significant positive correlation with those of T-bet in Kawasaki disease. These results suggest that the suppressed function of Th1 and Th2, associated with the suppression of both T-bet and GATA-3 gene expression, may be one of the immunological characteristics of Kawasaki disease.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy