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Therapeutic Down-Modulators of Staphylococcal Superantigen-Induced Inflammation and Toxic Shock

Author(s): Teresa Krakauer

Journal: Toxins
ISSN 2072-6651

Volume: 2;
Issue: 8;
Start page: 1963;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: staphylococcal superantigens | therapeutics | inflammatory mediators | toxic shock | murine models

Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) and related superantigenic toxins are potent stimulators of the immune system and cause a variety of diseases in humans, ranging from food poisoning to toxic shock. These toxins bind directly to major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules on antigen-presenting cells and specific Vb regions of T-cell receptors (TCR), resulting in hyperactivation of both monocytes/macrophages and T lymphocytes. Activated host cells produce massive amounts of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, activating inflammation and coagulation, causing clinical symptoms that include fever, hypotension, and shock. This review summarizes the in vitro and in vivo effects of staphylococcal superantigens, the role of pivotal mediators induced by these toxins in the pathogenic mechanisms of tissue injury, and the therapeutic agents to mitigate the toxic effects of superantigens.
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