Elevated serum levels of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) in Kawasaki disease.
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play an important role in the progression of tumour cells and the invasion of inflammatory cells by degrading the extracellular matrix. In the MMP family, MMP-9 gelatinase is thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of inflammatory arteritis by disrupting the elastic lamina. The aim of the present study is to investigate the potential role of MMP-9 in Kawasaki disease (KD), an acute type of systemic vasculitis in children. We studied the total levels of MMP-9 (free proMMP-9 and free MMP-9) in the sera using a new assay system and the expression of MMP-9 mRNA in the leucocytes using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in 18 patients with KD, 10 patients with sepsis and 10 healthy children (HC). The serum MMP-9 levels were significantly higher (P < 0.01) in the acute phase of KD than in the acute phase of sepsis and HC. In the time course of KD, the serum MMP-9 levels decreased significantly (P < 0.01) from the subacute through the convalescent phases. In the acute phase of KD, the serum MMP-9 levels showed a significantly positive correlation (P < 0.05) with the circulating leucocyte counts, especially the neutrophil counts. Furthermore, the expression of MMP-9 mRNA in the circulating leucocytes increased in the acute phase of KD and decreased from the subacute through the convalescent phases. These findings indicate that an excessive amount of MMP-9 is present in the plasma during the acute phase of KD, thus suggesting that circulating leucocytes may be a source of the MMP-9 secreted into the circulation.
Takeshita, S; Tokutomi, T; Kawase, H; Nakatani, K; Tsujimoto, H; Kawamura, Y; Sekine, I
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