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Br J Dermatol. 1995 Jul;133(1):6-12.

Cutaneous colonization with staphylococci influences the disease activity of Sézary syndrome: a potential role for bacterial superantigens.

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Department of Dermatology, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Japan.


It has previously been shown that circulating Sézary cells respond in vitro to superantigenic staphylococcal exotoxins in a manner that is restricted by their V beta usage. This study was conducted to examine whether cutaneous colonization with Staphylococcus aureus influences the activity of the skin lesions of Sézary syndrome, and whether S. aureus isolated from patients with Sézary syndrome stimulates circulating Sézary cells in vitro. Two patients with Sézary syndrome, whose skin was colonized with S. aureus, were treated with antibacterial agents, and the relation between the severity of the skin disease and the degree of S. aureus colonization was assessed. In addition, the patients' peripheral blood mononuclear cells were cultured in the presence of mitomycin C-treated S. aureus or superantigenic staphylococcal toxins. The antibacterial treatment improved the skin disease, and eliminated S. aureus in both patients. In one patient, 98% of the peripheral blood mononuclear cells bore V alpha 2V beta 17 of the T-cell receptor, indicative of the presence of an extremely high percentage of circulating Sézary cells. The peripheral blood lymphocytes from this patient responded well in vitro to superantigenic staphylococcal enterotoxin (SE), but not to SEA or toxic shock syndrome toxin-1, or to mitomycin-treated S. aureus isolated from the same patient. Cutaneous colonization by S. aureus influences the disease activity of CTCL, possibly by activation of Sézary cells by bacterial superantigenic exoproteins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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