The role of superantigens in human diseases: Therapeutic implications for the treatment of skin diseases

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Abstract

Although it is well established that immune mechanisms contribute to the pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory skin diseases such as atopic dermatitis (AD) and psoriasis, the actual events that trigger the immunological pathways resulting in these skin diseases are not well understood. Colonization and infection with Staphylococcus aureus and streptococci has been reported to exacerbate AD and psoriasis. Recent studies demonstrating that bacterial toxins can act as superantigens provide mechanism(s) by which S. aureus and streptococci could mediate an inflammatory skin lesion that consists predominantly of activated T-cells and monocytes. This review will explore the diverse mechanisms by which bacterial superantigens can induce skin inflammation following systemic or local infection. These observations provide a new direction for the development of novel approaches for the treatment of skin inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-29
Number of pages13
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology, Supplement
Volume139
Issue number53
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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