Inflammatory serum cytokines and chemokines increase associated with the disease extent in pediatric Langerhans cell histiocytosis

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Objective:Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) is characterized by immature dendritic cell proliferation, infiltration of LCH lesions by various inflammatory cells, and a lesional cytokine storm. It is classified into three groups on the basis of disease extent, namely, multisystem with risk-organ involvement (MS+), multisystem without risk-organ involvement (MS−), and single-system (SS) disease. We comprehensively analyzed whether serum levels of cytokines/chemokines reflect the disease extent.Methods:Serum samples from 52 children with LCH (eight, 25, and 19 with MS+, MS−, and SS, respectively) and 34 control children were analyzed quantitatively for 48 humoral factors. DNA samples extracted from biopsied LCH lesions from 12 patients were tested for BRAF V600E status.Results:The LCH patients had significantly higher serum levels of IL-1Ra, IL-3, IL-6, IL-8, IL-9, IL-10, IL12, IL-13, IL-15, IL-17, IL-18, TNF-α, G-CSF, M-CSF, MIF, HGF, VEGF, CCL2, CCL3, CCL7, CXCL1, and CXCL9 than the controls by univariate analysis. Of these IL-9, IL-15 and MIF were significant by multivariate analysis; but not differed between MS and SS diseases. MS disease associated with significantly higher IL-2R, IL-3, IL-8, IL-18, M-CSF, HGF, CCL2, CXCL1, and CXCL9 levels than SS disease by univariate analysis. Of these, CCL2 and M-CSF were significant by multivariate analysis. IL-18 levels were significantly higher in MS+ disease than MS− disease. The LCH patients with BRAF V600E mutation had higher serum levels of CCL7.Conclusion:Numerous inflammatory cytokines and chemokines play a role in LCH. Of those, more specific ones reflect the disease extent (MS vs. SS and MS+ vs. MS−) or the BRAF V600E mutation status. It is thought that the most responsible cytokines and chemokines involved in the poor outcome may become future candidate therapeutic targets in LCH.HighlightsThe serum inflammatory cytokine/chemokine levels are remarkably high in LCH patients.These values are associated with the disease extent.The high serum IL-18 value may be associated with poor response to chemotherapy.LCH cells with BRAF V600E mutation might produce higher amount of chemokines.

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