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Am J Pathol. 1986 Jan;122(1):169-76.

Enhancement of endotoxin-induced isolated renal tubular cell injury by toxic shock syndrome toxin 1.


The pathogenesis of toxic shock syndrome (TSS) remains unknown. On the basis of experimental data, it has been hypothesized that staphylococcal TSS Toxin 1 (TSST-1) may interact synergistically with low levels of endotoxin and give rise to many of the clinical findings. We have demonstrated previously that lipid A, the biologically active component of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), or endotoxin, induces dose-dependent necrosis of isolated rat renal tubular cells (RTCs). In the present studies, the authors investigated whether this injury could be augmented by TSST-1. The viability of RTCs was assessed by vital dye exclusion. Incubation of freshly isolated rat RTCs with either 1 ng/ml of TSST-1 or 0.1 ng/ml LPS or lipid A had minimal cytotoxicity (less than 6%). Exposure of RTCs to 1 ng/ml TSST-1 for 20 minutes, followed by washing, resulted in a significant enhancement of cytotoxicity when RTCs were exposed to 0.1 ng/ml LPS or lipid A. The sensitization of RTCs by TSST-1 to LPS- or lipid-A-induced injury was prevented by methylamine and chloroquine, two inhibitors of receptor-mediated endocytosis (RME). Chelation of extracellular calcium by 2 mM EGTA also blocked the TSST-1-induced sensitization of RTCs to LPS or lipid A. Inhibition of RTC arachidonic acid metabolism by methylprednisolone, indomethacin, ibuprofen, and piriprost significantly inhibited RTC necrosis induced by TSST-1 and LPS or lipid A by 33-62%. Thiourea and deferoxamine, agents which ameliorate oxidant injury, also inhibited this synergistic injury by 34-67%. Thus, TSST-1 enhanced the cytotoxic effects of LPS/lipid A, and the sensitization of RTCs appeared to involve RME or TSST-1. Oxidative metabolism of arachidonic acid and generation of reactive oxygen species appeared to participate in LPS/lipid-A-mediated RTC death.

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