Table of Contents
Journal of Toxins
Volume 2013, Article ID 476909, 7 pages
Research Article

Anthrax Lethal Toxin Inhibits the Production of Proinflammatory Cytokines

1AFG Biosolutions Inc., 9119 Gaither Road, Gaithersburg, MD 20877, USA
2Biotechnology Unit, NIDDK, NIH, Building 6 Room B1-33, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
3Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University, MSN 8-146, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, MD 20723, USA

Received 11 January 2013; Revised 5 March 2013; Accepted 6 March 2013

Academic Editor: Andreimar M. Soares

Copyright © 2013 Aiguo Wu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In previous studies, we have found that anthrax lethal toxin (LeTx) induces apoptosis in both murine macrophages and human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). In this study, we further report that bacterial cell wall (CW) components of Bacillus (B.) anthracis are powerful inducers of proinflammatory cytokines from the PBMCs. These effects are deprived when the LeTx is present. The major causative element for this suppression is lethal factor (LF) rather than protective antigen (PA). These results indicate that the roles of LeTx in anthrax pathogenesis, particularly its effects on cytokine production, should be reevaluated as our findings and other reports are controversial to the conventional concept.