DS-Nh as an experimental model of atopic dermatitis induced by Staphylococcus aureus producing staphylococcal enterotoxin C

Immunology. 2003 Apr;108(4):562-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2567.2003.01588.x.


DS-Nh mice raised under conventional conditions spontaneously develop dermatitis similar to human atopic dermatitis (AD), which is associated with staphylococcal infection. In the present study, we show that Staphylococcus aureus producing staphylococcus exotoxin C (SEC) was recovered from the culture of the skin lesions of DS-Nh mice with AD-like dermatitis and that the serum levels of anti-SEC antibodies from these mice were elevated. We describe here how to promote experimental AD by epicutaneous injection with SEC-producing S. aureus to DS-Nh mice. In order to assess the role of SEC in the pathogenesis of AD, the mitogenic activity, TCRBV repertoire analysis and the production of IL-4 and IFN-gamma from spleen mononuclear cells (MNC) from DS-Nh stimulated by SEC were compared with those due to SEA, SEB and TSST. The weakest was the mitogenic activity of SEC, and higher IL-4 responses and lower IFN-gamma responses to SEC showed correlation with TCRBV8S2-positive T cells, which were selectively stimulated by SEC. We also demonstrate that SEC-producing S. aureus was able to survive in DS-Nh after intradermal injection. These results suggest a possible role for SEC in the pathogenesis of AD through host-S. aureus relationships.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / biosynthesis
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology
  • Cell Division / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / immunology
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / microbiology*
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Enterotoxins / biosynthesis
  • Enterotoxins / immunology*
  • Female
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-4 / biosynthesis
  • Lymph Nodes / microbiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / complications*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / immunology
  • Staphylococcal Infections / pathology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / immunology*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification
  • Staphylococcus aureus / metabolism
  • Superantigens / immunology


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Enterotoxins
  • Superantigens
  • Interleukin-4
  • enterotoxin C, staphylococcal
  • Interferon-gamma