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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2004 Aug;100(3-4):187-95.

Interaction of antigen presenting cells with mycobacteria.

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Institute for Animal Health, Compton, Newbury, Berkshire RG20 7NN, UK.


The interaction of mycobacteria with antigen presenting cells is a key feature in the pathogenesis of tuberculosis and the outcome of this interaction is pivotal in determining whether immunity or disease ensues. Human and mouse macrophages and dendritic cells (DC) have been shown to become infected with mycobacteria and to produce a response to infection that reflects their suggested role in immunity. Thus, macrophages elicit anti-microbial mechanisms for elimination of mycobacteria and DC up-regulate expression of molecules that aid their stimulation of T lymphocytes. We have examined the effects of infection with the avirulent strain Mycobacterium bovis BCG and with virulent M. bovis on bovine antigen presenting cells. Differences in the intracellular survival of bacteria within DC and macrophages were observed with higher numbers of bacteria maintained within DC following infection compared to macrophages. BCG was killed more effectively than M. bovis. Alterations in the expression of cell surface molecules involved in antigen presentation and the stimulation of T cells, including MHC II and CD40, were observed following infection of bovine antigen presenting cells. In addition infected DC secreted IL-12, TNFalpha and IL-10 whereas macrophages produced TNFalpha, IL-10 and little IL-12. Generally responses were more marked when virulent M. bovis was used compared to BCG. These studies indicate that infection of bovine antigen presenting cells by mycobacterial species results in the induction of both innate and adaptive immune responses that are critical for the outcome of infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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