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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2000 Apr;105(4):820-6.

Application of Staphylococcal enterotoxin B on normal and atopic skin induces up-regulation of T cells by a superantigen-mediated mechanism.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Gentofte Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The skin of patients with inflammatory skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis is frequently colonized with Staphylococcus aureus. Colonization with S aureus has been reported to exacerbate atopic dermatitis. Recent studies have demonstrated that S aureus isolated from the skin of patients with atopic dermatitis releases bacterial toxins that act as superantigens. We have previously applied the staphylococcal superantigen staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) on intact human skin and found that the application led to induction of dermatitis.

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of the study was to determine whether superantigen-induced dermatitis is primarily due to a T cell-superantigen-mediated reaction or represents nonspecific cytokine-driven inflammation.

METHODS:

We applied SEB, vehicle, and sodium lauryl sulfate on normal skin in healthy (n = 6) and atopic subjects (n = 6) and biopsy specimens were taken from all treated areas. The biopsy specimens from all subjects and peripheral blood from the atopic subjects were analyzed for the T-cell receptor (TCR) Vbeta repertoire with mAbs against TCR Vbeta 2, 3, 8.1, 12, 14, and 17.

RESULTS:

From all subjects, both healthy and patients with atopic dermatitis, skin biopsy specimens from SEB-treated areas demonstrated selective accumulation of T cells expressing SEB-reactive TCR Vbeta 12 and 17 (P <.05). This selective up-regulation was not found in the sodium lauryl sulfate-treated areas.

CONCLUSION:

Our data strongly support that superantigen-induced T-cell activation is involved in the dermatitis seen after experimental application of SEB on intact skin.

PMID:
10756235
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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