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International Journal of Vascular Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 543141, 10 pages
Research Article

Etanercept Suppresses Arteritis in a Murine Model of Kawasaki Disease: A Comparative Study Involving Different Biological Agents

1Department of Pathology, Nippon Medical School, 1-1-5 Bunkyo-ku, Sendagi, Tokyo 113-8603, Japan
2Department of Pediatrics, Nippon Medical School, 1-1-5 Bunkyo-ku, Sendagi, Tokyo 113-8603, Japan
3Laboratory for Immunopharmacology of Microbial Products, Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, 1432-1 Horinouchi, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-0355, Japan

Received 20 December 2012; Accepted 23 February 2013

Academic Editor: John A. Kern

Copyright © 2013 Ryuji Ohashi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Coronary arteritis, a complication of Kawasaki disease (KD), can be refractory to immunoglobulin (IVIG) treatment. To determine the most effective alternative therapy, we compared the efficacy of different agents in a mouse model of KD. Vasculitis was induced by injection of Candida albicans water-soluble fractions (CAWS) into a DBA/2 mouse, followed by administration of IVIG, etanercept, methylprednisolone (MP), and cyclosporine-A (CsA). At 2 and 4 weeks, the mice were sacrificed, and plasma cytokines and chemokines were measured. CAWS injection induced active inflammation in the aortic root and coronary arteries. At 2 weeks, the vasculitis was reduced only by etanercept, and this effect persisted for the subsequent 2 weeks. At 4 weeks, IVIG and CsA also attenuated the inflammation, but the effect of etanercept was more significant. MP exerted no apparent effect at 2 or 4 weeks. The suppressive effect exerted by etanercept on cytokines, such as interleukin- (IL-)6, IL-12, IL-13, and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), was more evident than that of others. The extent of arteritis correlated with the plasma TNF-α levels, suggesting a pivotal role of TNF-α in KD. In conclusion, etanercept was most effective in suppressing CAWS-induced vasculitis and can be a new therapeutic intervention for KD.