Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Exp Immunol. 2006 Feb;143(2):329-37.

Circulating dendritic cells and interferon-alpha production in patients with tuberculosis: correlation with clinical outcome and treatment response.

Author information

Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases and Polo Pontini, La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.


Dendritic cells (DC) have been characterized recently as having an important role in the initiation and control of immunological response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. Blood DC have been subdivided into myeloid (mDC) and plasmacytoid (pDC) subsets, on the basis of differences in phenotype markers and function. Little is known about the enumeration and functional evaluation of circulating DC in patients with tuberculosis and their correlation with clinical outcome during the course of anti-tuberculous treatment. We assessed circulating mDC and pDC counts measured by a newly developed single-platform flow cytometric assay based on TruCOUNT, as well as the production of interferon (IFN)-alpha after in vitro stimulation by herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) in 24 patients with active tuberculosis (TB) and 37 healthy donors. Absolute numbers of both DC subsets were decreased significantly in patients with active TB compared to controls. Similarly, the production of IFN-alpha was highly impaired. In 13 patients these parameters were assessed longitudinally, before and after the specific anti-microbial treatment. Most interestingly, in all nine patients with successful anti-tuberculous therapy there was a significant and marked increase of pDC counts and IFN-alpha production. In contrast, no significant longitudinal variations in DC counts and IFN-alpha production were observed in four patients with lack of response to specific treatment. In conclusion, active TB is associated with a defect in blood DC numbers and IFN-alpha production that is restored after bacterial clearance and clinical improvement, as a result of effective anti-tuberculous treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

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