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Microbes Infect. 2006 Jan;8(1):136-44. Epub 2005 Aug 22.

Transcriptional responses in mouse lungs induced by vaccination with Mycobacterium bovis BCG and infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

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Max-Planck-Institute for Infection Biology, Microarray Core Facility, Schumannstr. 21/22, 10117 Berlin, Germany.


Transcriptome analyses enable the assessment of signature alterations in whole tissues and organs undergoing pathological processes. We analyzed gene expression profiles of lungs from mice infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis or vaccinated with Mycobacterium bovis bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG). We compared high-dose systemic and low-dose aerosol M. tuberculosis infections as well as systemic BCG vaccination. Expression profiles in lungs were analyzed at day (d) 1 and d 30 post infection / vaccination using a custom tailored 'in situ' synthesized 60-mer oligonucleotide microarray with focus on immunologically relevant genes. At d 1, a small number of genes were differentially regulated, whereas at d 30, a discrete expression pattern was identified in the lung. Differential gene expression profiles between M. tuberculosis infection and BCG vaccination indicate differences in naturally and vaccine induced pulmonary immune responses. The shared signature of systemic and aerosol M. tuberculosis infection revealed dominance of genes related to or controlled by interferon gamma (IFN-gamma). We assume that differential gene expression profiles after M. tuberculosis infection are strongly influenced by differences in cellular composition of the lung due to migration of immune cells, primarily neutrophils, basophils, eosinophils and monocytes to the site of infection.

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