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J Infect Dis. 2006 Sep 1;194(5):697-701. Epub 2006 Jul 28.

beta-Defensin gene expression during the course of experimental tuberculosis infection.

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Department of Microbiology Research, National Institute for Respiratory Diseases, National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition Salvador Zubiran, Vasco de Quiroga 15, cp-14000, Tlalpan, Mexico City, Mexico.


The kinetics of gene expression and the cellular source of murine beta -defensin-3 (mBD3) and murine beta -defensin-4 (mBD4) were determined in mouse models of progressive pulmonary tuberculosis and latent infection induced by high or low infecting doses, respectively. During progressive disease, there was an initial rapid expression of both defensins by respiratory epithelial cells that correlated with temporary control of bacillary proliferation, but expression decreased during the later progressive phase of the disease. In latent infection, both defensins were expressed continuously, but they were suppressed after reactivation of the disease. Thus, mycobacterial infection induces the expression of mBD3 and mBD4, and both might participate in the control of mycobacterial growth.

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