Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Infect Immun. 1998 Aug;66(8):3562-8.

Altered cytokine production and impaired antimycobacterial immunity in protein-malnourished guinea pigs.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine, Texas A&M University Health Science Center, College Station, Texas 77843, USA.


Protein malnutrition leads to multiple detrimental alterations of host immune responses to mycobacterial infection. In this study, we demonstrated that splenocytes from low-protein (LP) guinea pigs vaccinated 6 weeks previously with attenuated Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Ra failed to control the accumulation of virulent M. tuberculosis H37Rv in cocultured autologous peritoneal macrophages, despite the fact that they were able to control the accumulation of virulent tubercle bacilli in cocultured syngeneic peritoneal macrophages from normally nourished guinea pigs as successfully as did those from high-protein (HP) counterparts. Vaccine-induced growth control of virulent M. tuberculosis H37Rv in these cocultures appeared to be mediated by CD4 lymphocytes but not CD8 cells. Tuberculin (purified protein derivative [PPD])-induced lymphoproliferation was markedly impaired in vaccinated LP guinea pigs, and the depletion of CD4 lymphocytes significantly decreased lymphocyte proliferation whereas CD8 cell depletion did not. Protein malnutrition also impaired the abilities of cells from vaccinated LP guinea pigs to produce cytokines, including interferon, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta), in response to PPD, despite the demonstration of higher serum levels of TNF-alpha and TGF-beta after an intravenous injection of PPD into LP guinea pigs. In contrast, peritoneal macrophages from protein-malnourished guinea pigs produced a higher level of TGF-beta 4 days after infection in vitro with M. tuberculosis H37Rv than did those from protein adequate controls. These results suggest that dietary protein malnutrition impairs vaccine-induced resistance to M. tuberculosis, in part, by altering the cytokine profile to favor macrophage deactivation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk