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J Infect Dis. 2005 Nov 1;192(9):1642-6. Epub 2005 Sep 30.

Whipple disease: intestinal infiltrating cells exhibit a transcriptional pattern of M2/alternatively activated macrophages.

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Unité des Rickettsies, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institut Fédératif de Recherche 48, Université de la Méditerranée, Faculté de Médecine, Marseille, France.


Whipple disease (WD) is a rare systemic disease caused by Tropheryma whipplei and is characterized by the presence of foamy macrophages with periodic acid-Schiff-positive inclusions in tissues such as lamina propria. For the first time, we report the gene-expression profile of macrophages in intestinal lesions from a patient with WD. Microarray and real-time polymerase chain reaction revealed that genes encoding CCL18, cathepsins, scavenger receptor, interleukin-10, and lipid metabolites were up-regulated in intestinal lesions. This transcriptional pattern corresponds to that of M2/alternatively activated macrophages. Our results suggest that the T helper 2 response in the intestinal environment may account for the pathophysiological properties of WD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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