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Int Immunol. 2005 Nov;17(11):1399-408. Epub 2005 Sep 1.

Pulmonary Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in leptin-deficient ob/ob mice.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Experimental Internal Medicine, and Department of Pathology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. c.wieland@amc.uva.nl

Abstract

The development of active tuberculosis after infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis is almost invariably caused by a persistent or transient state of relative immunodeficiency. Leptin, the product of the obese (ob) gene, is a pleiotropic protein produced mainly by adipocytes and is down-regulated during malnutrition and starvation, conditions closely connected with active tuberculosis. To investigate the role of leptin in tuberculosis, we intranasally infected wild-type (Wt) and leptin-deficient ob/ob mice with live virulent M. tuberculosis. Ob/ob mice displayed higher mycobacterial loads in the lungs after 5 and 10 weeks of infection, although the difference with Wt mice remained 1 log of M. tuberculosis colony forming unit. Nevertheless, ob/ob mice were less able to form well-shaped granuloma and lung lymphocyte numbers were reduced compared with Wt mice early during infection. In addition, ob/ob mice had a reduced capacity to produce the protective cytokine IFNgamma at the site of the infection early during infection and upon antigen-specific recall stimulation, and showed reduced delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction to intra-dermal tuberculin purified protein derivative. Leptin replacement restored the reduced IFNgamma response observed in ob/ob mice. Mortality did not differ between ob/ob and Wt mice. These data suggest that leptin plays a role in the early immune response to pulmonary tuberculosis.

PMID:
16141243
DOI:
10.1093/intimm/dxh317
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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