Send to

Choose Destination
Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2009 Nov;234(11):1305-15. doi: 10.3181/0901-RM-2.

The cellular and molecular immune response of the weanling piglet to staphylococcal enterotoxin B.

Author information

Department of Molecular Pathology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA.


Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) is a biothreat agent, etiologic agent of food poisoning, and potent inducer of toxic shock syndrome. This heat-stable exoprotein is thought to act as a superantigen to induce T cell-specific pathology. Most animal models do not accurately map the clinical syndrome of human SEB exposure. Previously, we have demonstrated the utility of the weanling piglet model of SEB intoxication. Here, we analyze gross and histopathologic specimens from lymphoid tissue of these animals. Hematological testing was completed to observe changes in circulating leukocytes. Further, these leukocytes were differentiated and the subsets were subsequently analyzed using flow cytometry. Cytokine mRNA was quantified in lymphoid tissue and peripheral blood cells and compared to actual protein concentration using ELISA. The mRNA expression levels for several cell markers implicated in T and B cell differentiation were quantified and compared to control animals, as were levels for apoptosis-related genes. Lymphadenopathy was constantly seen post mortem. SEB-exposed animals had a leukocytosis which increased linearly over the time course. Monocyte levels increased over time, while lymphocyte levels peaked at 6h and then returned to baseline. Most cytokines had mRNA levels that were upregulated after exposure. Detection of serum cytokine changes was accomplished; however, these patterns did not always follow those seen in the differentially expressed genes. Both pro- and anti-apoptotic genes were differentially expressed in exposed animals. This paper reports, for the first time, the immunological findings in the weanling piglet model of SEB intoxication. From this work it is clear that there is not one absolute cell-mediated pathway contributing to the pathology these animals exhibit as a result of SEB exposure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center