Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Exp Immunol. 2004 Jun;136(3):490-500.

Differential gene expression in mononuclear phagocytes infected with pathogenic and non-pathogenic mycobacteria.

Author information

Kuzell Institute for Arthritis and Infectious Diseases, California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute, San Francisco, CA, USA.


The pathogenic mycobacteria are an insidious group of bacterial pathogens that cause the deaths of millions of people every year. One of the reasons these pathogens are so successful is that they are able to invade and replicate within host macrophages, one of the first lines of defence against intruding pathogens. In contrast, non-pathogenic mycobacteria, such as Mycobacterium smegmatis are killed rapidly by macrophages. In order to understand better the series of events that allow pathogenic mycobacteria to survive and replicate within macrophages, while the non-pathogenic mycobacteria are killed rapidly, we inoculated the human monocytic cell line U937 with pathogenic (M. tuberculosis and M. avium) and non-pathogenic (M. smegmatis) mycobacteria and monitored the expression of over 3500 genes at 4, 12 and 24 h post-inoculation using a commercially available gene array system. We observed multiple differences in the gene expression patterns of monocytes infected with pathogenic and non-pathogenic mycobacteria including genes involved in cytokine, lymphokine and chemokine production, adhesion, apoptosis, signal transduction, transcription, protein cleavage, actin polymerization and growth. We also observed differences in gene expression profiles in monocytes infected with M. tuberculosis or M. avium, indicating that there are differences in the host pathogen interactions of mononuclear phagocytes infected with different pathogenic mycobacterial species. These results increase the understanding of the mechanisms used by pathogenic mycobacteria to cause disease, the host response to these organisms, and provide new insights for antimycobacterial intervention strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center