Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2003 Dec;189(6):1785-91.

Penetration of toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 across porcine vaginal mucosa ex vivo: permeability characteristics, toxin distribution, and tissue damage.

Author information

Procter & Gamble Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate transvaginal penetration of toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 and its effects on permeability and tissue integrity in vitro with the use of excised porcine vaginal mucosa.


Permeability to tritiated water (1 and 10 microg/mL applied toxin) and transmucosal flux of (35)S-methionine-labeled toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (10 and 20 microg/mL) for up to 12 hours were assessed with the use of a continuous flow perfusion system. The location of labeled toxin that penetrated the mucosal tissue strata was determined. The integrity of toxin-treated, intact, scalpel-incised tissue was evaluated histopathologically.


Toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 caused a non-dose-dependent increase in mucosal permeability and traversed the intact mucosa at a low rate without disrupting tissue integrity. In incised vaginal mucosa, toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 induced subepithelial separation and atrophy that were analogous to clinically relevant vaginal lesions that were reported in fatal cases of menstrual toxic shock syndrome.


An in vitro model could be used to demonstrate that toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 permeates the vaginal mucosa and distributes throughout the tissue. Histologic evaluation of tissues that were exposed to toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 demonstrated lesions that were similar to those lesions that were reported in cases of menstrual toxic shock syndrome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center