To investigate whether common genetic variants in the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene are associated with Kawasaki disease (KD) and the subsequent development of coronary artery lesions.Methods
Common genetic variants in the VEGF gene were analyzed in an association study in a Dutch cohort of 170 KD patients and 300 healthy Dutch Caucasian controls. Genotyping was done with 5′-nuclease TaqMan assays and 3′-hybridization–triggered fluorescence minor groove binder Eclipse assays.Results
An association with susceptibility to KD was observed with 2 of the 6 single-nucleotide polymorphisms analyzed in VEGF: −2594 A>C (rs699947) and the 236 bp 3′ of STP C>T (rs3025039). Also for an 18-bp deletion in the promoter of VEGF a significant difference in the genotype and allele frequencies was observed between the KD patients and the controls. The haplotype CGCC (based on rs699947, rs2010963, rs25648, and rs3025039) was significantly associated with the development of KD (hap score 3.8; P = 0.0002). VEGF plasma levels were significantly higher in patients with the early phase of KD than in the healthy controls, and there was a trend toward higher VEGF plasma levels in KD patients with the −2594 CC and 236 bp 3′ of STP CC genotypes.Conclusion
Our results suggest that polymorphisms of the VEGF gene may play a role in the pathogenesis of KD.