Background: To clarify the role of eosinophils in the pathogenesis of Kimura's disease and the values of measuring serum levels of eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) for monitoring disease activity might be very important, but there are few reports about this matter.
Methods: A total 14 serum and 7 tissue samples from patients with Kimura's disease were studied. The concentrations of ECP and cytokines (interleukin-4 (IL-4), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), and interleukin 5 (IL-5)) in sera from patients with Kimura's disease were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The density of eosinophils and the degree of activation of eosinophils in the tissue were also studied immunohistochemically.
Results: The concentration of ECP in sera from patients with Kimura's disease was significantly higher than that in the control group (p<0.05). At the time of the remission, a significant decrease of ECP was observed. In interfollicular areas, most infiltrated eosinophils were positive for EG2 antibody (64.0-94.0%) and the mean percentage of EG2-positive eosinophils was 75.7%. The concentrations of IL-4, GM-CSF, and IL-5 in sera from patients with Kimura's disease were within normal ranges or below the detectable level in all sera examined.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that eosinophils play an important role in the pathogenesis of Kimura's disease and ECP may be used as an additional parameter of disease activity.