Biomarkers for inflammatory disease

Dec 06, 2007

Gene-expression profiles might be used to identify prognostic biomarkers for Kawasaki disease, and help to unravel the underlying biology of the illness, research published this week in the online open access journal Genome Biology reveals. The new findings also support the idea that gene-expression profiles might be used to generate biomarkers for other systemic inflammatory illnesses.

Kawasaki disease, an acute, self-limited vasculitis, is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in children in developed countries, but its aetiologic and pathogenic mechanisms remain unclear.

A team of researchers led by David Relman, Stanford University, US, and Jane Burns, University of California at San Diego, US, characterized the gene expression patterns that occur in the blood cells of patients with this disease. They examined genome-wide transcript expression patterns in the blood of 77 children with Kawasaki disease. The acute phase of the illness was accompanied by an increase in gene transcripts associated with innate immune mechanisms and proinflammatory responses, and a decrease in transcripts associated with natural killer cells and CD8+ lymphocytes, which help clear infected or abnormal cells from the body.

They showed that the transcript patterns during the acute phase of the disease varied dramatically with day of illness, and that differences in expression patterns between patients were associated with clinical parameters that physicians have used to manage and make predictions about the course of the disease. Patients who showed higher expression levels of specific transcripts (e.g., carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 1; CEACAM1) were less likely to respond to intravenous immunoglobulin, a highly effective but poorly understood treatment for preventing coronary artery aneurysms and reducing fever in Kawasaki disease.

This work contributes to our understanding of how the disease develops, how the treatment works, and how doctors might identify patients who are candidates for other therapies.

Source: BioMed Central

Explore further: Biomedical engineer looks at new applications for novel lupus drug

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scientists sleuth out proteins involved in Crohn's disease

Jul 17, 2014

(Phys.org) —University of Delaware researchers have identified a protein, hiding in plain sight, that acts like a bodyguard to help protect and stabilize another key protein, that when unstable, is involved ...

Advancing medicine, layer by layer

Jul 02, 2014

Personalized cancer treatments and better bone implants could grow from techniques demonstrated by graduate students Stephen W. Morton and Nisarg J. Shah, who are both working in chemical engineering professor ...

Slaying bacteria with their own weapons

Jun 26, 2014

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned last fall that the U.S. faces "potentially catastrophic consequences" if it doesn't act quickly to combat the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant infections, ...

Recommended for you

Monitoring the rise and fall of the microbiome

1 hour ago

Trillions of bacteria live in each person's digestive tract. Scientists believe that some of these bacteria help digest food and stave off harmful infections, but their role in human health is not well understood.

Antioxidant biomaterial promotes healing

8 hours ago

When a foreign material like a medical device or surgical implant is put inside the human body, the body always responds. According to Northwestern University's Guillermo Ameer, most of the time, that response can be negative ...

Immune response may cause harm in brain injuries, disorders

11 hours ago

Could the body's own immune system play a role in memory impairment and cognitive dysfunction associated with conditions like chronic epilepsy, Alzheimer's dementia and concussions? Cleveland Clinic researchers believe so, ...

User comments : 0