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J Immunol. 1992 Mar 15;148(6):1835-40.

Immunoreactivity of a 10-kDa antigen of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles 90033.


Identification of Ag of Mycobacterium tuberculosis recognized by T cells is essential to understanding the pathogenesis of tuberculosis and mechanism(s) of resistance to infection. Previous studies evaluating the immunoreactivity of nitrocellulose transfers of M. tuberculosis Ag separated by SDS-PAGE indicated that a high proportion of M. tuberculosis-reactive T cell lines proliferate in response to a 10-kDa Ag. We therefore purified this Ag from M. tuberculosis culture filtrates and evaluated its immunoreactivity in patients with tuberculous infection. Proliferative responses of PBMC to the 10-kDa Ag were similar to those induced by whole M. tuberculosis and greater than those elicited by other proteins isolated from culture filtrate. Furthermore, in patients with tuberculous pleuritis, proliferative responses to the 10-kDa Ag were higher in pleural fluid mononuclear cells than in PBMC, indicating that T cell reactivity to this Ag is enhanced at the site of disease. The first 15 amino acids of the 10-kDa Ag were identical to those defined previously for Bacillus Calmette-Guérin-a (BCG-a), and a T cell clone recognized the 10-kDa Ag and a peptide of BCG-a, indicating that the 10-kDa Ag corresponds to BCG-a. This Ag elicited IFN-gamma production by pleural fluid mononuclear cells and by PBMC from healthy tuberculin reactors, suggesting that the 10-kDa Ag can enhance macrophage activation and resistance to mycobacterial infection. Our findings indicate that the 10-kDa Ag of M. tuberculosis is highly immunoreactive and should be evaluated for its capacity to elicit protective immunity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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