Editors' ChoiceMEDICINE

Full Metal Abscess

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Science Signaling  19 Feb 2008:
Vol. 1, Issue 7, pp. ec68
DOI: 10.1126/stke.17ec68

Tissue abscesses form when bacteria meet cells of the immune system, most notably neutrophils. Corbin et al. (see the Perspective by Novick) now find that the abundant neutrophil protein, calprotectin, protects the host against bacterial growth by chelating metal ions used by the bacteria as nutrients. In mice during bacterial infection, calprotectin was localized to tissue abscesses, where it chelated manganese and zinc ions. Infected mice lacking calprotectin had elevated metal levels and increased bacterial growth in tissue abscesses.

B. D. Corbin, E. H. Seeley, A. Raab, J. Feldmann, M. R. Miller, V. J. Torres, K. L. Anderson, B. M. Dattilo, P. M. Dunman, R. Gerads, R. M. Caprioli, W. Nacken, W. J. Chazin, E. P. Skaar, Metal chelation and inhibition of bacterial growth in tissue abscesses. Science 319, 962-965 (2008). [Abstract] [Full Text]

R. P. Novick, Combating impervious bugs. Science 319, 910-911 (2008). [Summary] [Full Text]

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