Delta-toxin From Staphylococcus Aureus as a Costimulator of Human Neutrophil Oxidative Burst

J Infect Dis. 1997 Dec;176(6):1531-7. doi: 10.1086/514152.


Delta-toxin from Staphylococcus aureus is responsible for various pathophysiologic effects. By studying different cell types in binding of delta-toxin in low, noncytotoxic concentrations, a specific binding of fluorescein-labeled delta-toxin to neutrophils and monocytes was found. Studying direct effects of delta-toxin on neutrophils, a dose-dependent up-regulation of complement receptor 3 expression was found. Oxygen radical production, as determined by Luminol-enhanced chemiluminescence, was not directly induced by delta-toxin, and this toxin was also unable to prime neutrophils for an enhanced response to FMLP or complement-opsonized zymosan. However, the priming response induced by lipopolysaccharide or tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) was significantly further enhanced in the presence of delta-toxin. Furthermore, as a direct effect on human monocytes, delta-toxin induced TNF-alpha production. These data provide evidence that delta-toxin has direct and indirect effects on the activity of neutrophils and monocytes with regard to its proinflammatory capacity.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / chemical synthesis
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Bacterial Proteins / pharmacology
  • Complement System Proteins / immunology
  • Hemolysin Proteins / metabolism*
  • Hemolysin Proteins / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Lipopolysaccharides / metabolism
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Luminescent Measurements
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen / metabolism
  • Monocytes / metabolism
  • Monocytes / microbiology
  • N-Formylmethionine Leucyl-Phenylalanine / pharmacology
  • Neutrophils / metabolism*
  • Neutrophils / microbiology
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Receptors, Formyl Peptide
  • Receptors, Immunologic / metabolism
  • Receptors, Peptide / metabolism
  • Respiratory Burst*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / metabolism*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / pharmacology
  • Up-Regulation
  • Zymosan / pharmacology


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Hemolysin Proteins
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Receptors, Formyl Peptide
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Receptors, Peptide
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • N-Formylmethionine Leucyl-Phenylalanine
  • delta hemolysin protein, Staphylococcus aureus
  • Complement System Proteins
  • Zymosan