Background Atypical streptococcal infections (Streptoccocus Sanguis, Salivarius) are implicated in the pathogenesis of Behcet’s Disease (BD), a systemic vasculitis of unknown aetiology.
Objectives This study aimed to investigate in mononuclear cell culture supernatants, in vitro cytokine responses to S. Sanguis in patients with BD compared to psoriasis (PS) and healthy controls (HC).
Methods Twelve patients with BD (4F/8M, mean age: 33.6 years), 7 with PS (4F/3M, mean age: 38.2 years) and 10 HC (7F/3M, mean age: 27.5 years) were included in the study. IL-4, IL-10, and IFN-γ responses were measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cell culture supernatants by ELISA after 48 h stimulations with S. Sanguis (10 μg/ml) and PHA (20 μg/ml). Positive responses were defined as above mean+2SD of unstimulated samples from HC.
Results Positive IL-10 responses to S. Sanguis were observed in 5/12 patients with BD (mean: 94 pg/ml), 2/7 with PS (76 pg/ml), and 3/10 with HC (57 pg/ml). IFN-γ responses were prominent both after S. Sanguis (BD: 4/12 positive, 31 pg/ml; PS: 1/7 positive, 19 pg/ml; HC: 1/10 positive,19 pg/ml) and PHA (BD: 4/12 positive, 493 pg/ml; PS: 1/7 positive, 47 pg/ml; HC: 0/10 positive, 10 pg/ml). No IL-4 responses were observed in any group against both antigens.
Conclusion Although Th1 type cytokine responses are generally accepted to be dominant in BD, in addition to IFN-γ, a prominent IL-10 response against S. Sanguis is observed in this study. These results suggest that a more complex cytokine profile is present in BD against microbial antigens.
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