Activation of mucosal Vβ3+ T cells and tissue damage in human small intestine by the bacterial superantigen, Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin B



Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin B (SEB) was added to explants of fetal human intestine in organ culture or administered into the lumen of fetal small intestine prior to culture. Both routes produced a massive increase in lamina propria T cells expressing Vβ33, and to a lesser extent, those expressing Vβ5 and Vβ12. SEB-activated lamina propria T cells produced interleukin-2 and interferon-Y and T cell activation was accompanied by tissue damage, which was inhibited by FK506.