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Infect Immun. 1994 Jun;62(6):2515-20.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis alters expression of adhesion molecules on monocytic cells.

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  • 1Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Bellevue Hospital, New York.


The host response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis is characterized by interactions between mononuclear cells, with recruitment and fusion of these cells culminating in granuloma formation. In addition, the host response to M. tuberculosis requires CD4+ T-cell reactivity, mediated by antigen-independent as well as antigen-dependent mechanisms. Thus, we hypothesized that cell adhesion molecules such as intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1; CD54) would participate in the response to infection with M. tuberculosis. Exposure of THP-1 cells derived from a monocyte/macrophage cell line to M. tuberculosis (1:1 bacterium/cell ratio) elicited a sustained increase (660% +/- 49% above resting level) in the expression of ICAM-1 that continued for at least 72 h. Neither the expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1; CD106) nor that of the integrins lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA-1; CD11a/CD18) or CR3 (CD11b/CD18) was increased to a similar extent at corresponding time points. The increase in ICAM-1 protein expression was accompanied by an increase in steady-state mRNA (Northern [RNA] analysis). Neutralizing monoclonal antibodies directed against tumor necrosis factor alpha but not interleukin 1 alpha or interleukin 1 beta substantially abrogated the response to M. tuberculosis consistent with a paracrine or autocrine response. Continuous upregulation of the expression of ICAM-1 on mononuclear phagocytes induced by M. tuberculosis may mediate the recruitment of monocytes and enhance the antigen presentation of M. tuberculosis, thus permitting the generation and maintenance of the host response.

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