Research

Mechanisms of Coronary Artery Aneurysm Formation in Kawasaki Disease

     Kawasaki disease is a multisystem vasculitis affecting the coronary arteries. It is now the number one cause of acquired heart disease in children in the developed world. We have developed an animal model of Kawasaki disease which accurately reflects the disease seen in children. Our lab has identified a novel superantigen which initiates the immune response leading to coronary artery damage. Towards understanding the path from systemic inflammation to localized coronary artery disease, we have identified key molecules involved in disease pathogenesis. Using both in vitro and in vivo methods involving genetically modified mice, we have identified critical mechanisms involved in vessel wall breakdown. The ultimate goal of these studies is to identify key molecules to target for development of new therapeutic agents in treatment of Kawasaki disease.

Coronary arteritis H&E stain - day 28
Coronary arteritis H&E stain - day 28
Coronary arteritis EVG stain - day 42
Coronary arteritis EVG stain - day 42
IFNg visualized on 2% agarose gel stained with ethidium bromide
T cell activation by a superantigen versus a conventional peptide antigen
MMP-9 western blot