SAgs encompass a group of proteins that are able to elicit a dram

SAgs encompass a group of proteins that are able to elicit a dramatic T cell-dependent immune response [9] via interaction with the TCR-Vβ chain. Exposure to SAgs leads to production of massive amounts of proinflammatory cytokines, including interferon (IFN)-γ, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1α and IL-2 [10]. The resultant inflammatory cytokine cascade leads to many downstream effector functions, including up-regulation of matrix degrading enzymes. The most studied prototypical bacterial SAg is staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB), and it

has INCB018424 manufacturer been shown to induce the rapid production of IL-2, IFN-γ, TNF-α and TNF-β by splenocytes as soon as 30 min after injection in mice [11]. SAgs have been implicated in many human diseases, most notably food poisoning and toxic shock syndrome, as well as a number of inflammatory/autoimmune diseases, including insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) [12], rheumatoid arthritis (RA) [13], multiple sclerosis (MS) [14] and KD [6,15]. Common to each of these inflammatory diseases is the production of TNF-α, which mediates a number of important events during the inflammatory immune response. TNF-α is a pleiotropic cytokine with multiple downstream effects, one of which is up-regulation of matrix degrading proteases, including members of the matrix-metalloproteinase

(MMP) family. MMPs are capable of degrading extracellular matrix proteins, and have been found to play a role in tissue destruction in RA, KD and MS [16–18]. A murine model selleck chemical of KD was first developed by Lehman et al. [19]. Lactobacillus casei cell wall extract (LCWE) containing

SAg activity induces coronary arteritis in mice, which mimics closely that which develops in children with KD [19,20]. The disease induced in mice resembles that in human in terms of its time–course, susceptibility in the young, pathology and response to treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), the therapeutic agent used in KD children. The ability of LCWE to induce disease is dependent on its supergenic activity, with stimulation and expansion of the T cell subset why expressing TCR-Vβ2, 4 and 6 [20]. Using this animal model of KD, we identified three critical steps involved in disease progression and aneurysm formation: T cell proliferation, TNF-α cytokine production and TNF-α-mediated MMP-9 production. The localized production of MMP-9 at the coronary artery results in elastin breakdown and aneurysm formation [21,22]. The 3-hydroxy-3-methylgultaryl co-enzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors, also known as statins, are very powerful inhibitors of the mevalonate pathway, which directs the biosynthesis of isoprenoids and cholesterol. They are the leading therapeutic regimen for treating hypercholesterolaemia and reducing cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in the setting of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease [23].

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