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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2007 Dec 15;120(3-4):177-86. Epub 2007 Jun 30.

Limited phenotypic and functional maturation of bovine monocyte-derived dendritic cells following Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis infection in vitro.

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Immunobiology Graduate Program, Department of Veterinary Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50010-1250, United States.


After encountering antigen, dendritic cells (DC) must differentiate into a fully mature phenotype to induce a protective, lasting T cell immunity. Paratuberculosis is a disease caused by the intracellular pathogen Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (M. paratuberculosis) and is characterized by a transient cell mediated immune response, that when dissipates correlates to the onset of clinical disease. In order to study the mechanism of early cellular immunity associated with M. paratuberculosis infection, we tested the hypothesis that M. paratuberculosis infected bovine DC have impaired activation and maturation thus are defective in the initiation of a sustainable and protective Th1 immune response locally. Our results demonstrate that M. paratuberculosis infected DC showed decreased endocytosis of ovalbumin, indicating some functional maturation. Co-stimulatory molecules CD40 and CD80 mRNA expression from M. paratuberculosis infected DC was increased over untreated immature DC. M. paratuberculosis infection induced chemokine receptor CCR7 increase in DC, yet CCR5 remained high. MHC II surface expression remained low on M. paratuberculosis infected DC. M. paratuberculosis infection inhibited pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-12 production and promoted IL-10 secretion by bovine DC. Together, our findings showed evidence of phenotypic and functional maturation of DC. However, we did not see the expected antigen presentation via MHC II and cytokine responses as a fully mature DC. This may suggest semi-mature DC phenotype induced by M. paratuberculosis infection.

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