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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2007 Apr 15;116(3-4):131-44. Epub 2007 Jan 21.

Relationship between Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis, IL-1alpha, and TRAF1 in primary bovine monocyte-derived macrophages.

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Department of Animal Science, Center for Animal Functional Genomics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.


Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) is a facultative intracellular pathogen that resides in host macrophage cells. Presently, little is known about how MAP is able to subvert the normal bacteriocidal functions of infected macrophages. Previously, we reported that ileal tissues from MAP infected cattle contained high levels of interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1alpha) and tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 1 (TRAF1), relative to ileal tissues from uninfected cattle. High-level expression of these two proteins could have profound effects on macrophage function, intracellular signaling, and apoptosis. We now demonstrate that high levels of TRAF1 protein are located primarily within macrophages infiltrating areas of MAP infection. We have also utilized cultured bovine monocyte-derived macrophage cells (MDM) either infected with live MAP or stimulated with recombinant IL-1alpha (rIL-1alpha) to determine if there is a relationship between IL-1alpha and TRAF1 expression. These studies have identified a dose dependent increase in TRAF1 protein levels in bovine MDM in response to infection with live MAP or following treatment with rIL-1alpha. Sustained TRAF1 protein expression was dependent upon interaction of rIL-1alpha with it's receptor and rIL-1beta was also able to enhance TRAF1 gene expression. Our results suggest that MAP may use the IL-1-TRAF1 system to enhance TRAF1 protein expression in infected bovine MDM. These novel results provide evidence for a new avenue of research on the effect of MAP and other intracellular pathogens on macrophage signaling and apoptosis.

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