Involvement of Chemokines and Th1 Cytokines in the Pathogenesis of Mucocutaneous Lesions of Behçet's Disease

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Abstract

Objective

To investigate a possible pathogenic role of cytokines in Behçet's disease (BD) by focusing on the analysis of cytokine gene expression within mucocutaneous BD lesions.

Methods

The study group comprised 20 patients with active BD. In this group, a set of chemokines as well as Th1 and Th2 cytokines in biopsy specimens obtained from oral and genital ulcers, pseudofolliculitis lesions, and lesions at the site of pathergy testing were studied using real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction.

Results

We observed important increases in the expression of interleukin-8 (IL-8) (∼700-fold), monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (∼65-fold), interferon-γ (∼71-fold), and IL-12 (∼69-fold) messenger RNA in BD lesions compared with normal skin. Except for IL-10 (∼75-fold increase), Th2 cytokines (i.e., IL-4 and IL-13) were absent.

Conclusion

Our data suggest a direct role of Th1 lymphocytes in the pathogenesis of mucocutaneous BD lesions.

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