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J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2010 Feb;30(2):99-105. doi: 10.1089/jir.2008.0121.

Abnormalities in intracellular processing and expression of interferon-gamma receptor in adherent cells from lepromatous leprosy patients.

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  • 1Centro de Investigación en Inmunología y Dermatología, Departamento de Fisiología, CUCS, Universidad de Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Jalisco, México.


Peripheral blood mononuclear cells in lepromatous leprosy (LL) patients produce low levels of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and interleukin-12 (IL-12), and these cells exhibit partial or complete deficiency in the IL-12 receptor. The behavior of the IFN-gamma receptor (IFN-gamma R) has not been described in cells from people with leprosy. We found higher levels of mRNA for IFN-gamma R1 and IFN-gamma R2 in adherent cells stimulated with IFN-gamma and Mycobacterium leprae membrane proteins from LL patients compared with healthy subjects. Flow cytometry showed no significant difference in IFN-gamma R1 expression between LL patients and healthy subjects. Immunoblotting detected only the mature glycosylated form of the 61-67 kDa IFN-gamma R2 protein in healthy subjects. In contrast, cells from LL patients showed three different expression patterns: (1) the immature deglycosylated form of the 34.8 kDa IFN-gamma R2 protein, (2) the mature glycosylated 61-67 kDa form, and (3) both forms. Our data indicate the existence of abnormalities in the intracellular processing and protein expression of the IFN-gamma R in response to specific stimuli such as IFN-gamma and M. leprae membrane proteins in adherent cells of LL patients.

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