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Exp Gerontol. 2001 Mar;36(3):537-45.

The progression of chronic tuberculosis in the mouse does not require the participation of B lymphocytes or interleukin-4.

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Department of Microbiology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA.


The aging process is associated with alterations in the immune system. Some of the changes reported are an increase in the proportion of B lymphocytes, and a shift to a TH2-like cytokine environment. It has been hypothesized that the development of immunopathology within the lung during tuberculosis is linked to increased interleukin-4 (IL-4) production. In addition, a role for B cells in maintaining granuloma integrity has been recently proposed. This study investigated the role of B cells and IL-4 during the long-term course of chronic tuberculosis in mice and showed that the course of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in the lungs was not influenced by the absence of B lymphocytes or the TH2 cytokine IL-4.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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