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Infect Immun. 2008 Jan;76(1):250-62. Epub 2007 Nov 5.

Brucella abortus inhibits major histocompatibility complex class II expression and antigen processing through interleukin-6 secretion via Toll-like receptor 2.

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1
Instituto de Estudios de la Inmunidad Humoral (IDEHU), Facultad de Farmacia y Bioquímica, Universidad de Buenos Aires, 1113 Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Abstract

The strategies that allow Brucella abortus to survive inside macrophages for prolonged periods and to avoid the immunological surveillance of major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II)-restricted gamma interferon (IFN-gamma)-producing CD4+ T lymphocytes are poorly understood. We report here that infection of THP-1 cells with B. abortus inhibited expression of MHC-II molecules and antigen (Ag) processing. Heat-killed B. abortus (HKBA) also induced both these phenomena, indicating the independence of bacterial viability and involvement of a structural component of the bacterium. Accordingly, outer membrane protein 19 (Omp19), a prototypical B. abortus lipoprotein, inhibited both MHC-II expression and Ag processing to the same extent as HKBA. Moreover, a synthetic lipohexapeptide that mimics the structure of the protein lipid moiety also inhibited MHC-II expression, indicating that any Brucella lipoprotein could down-modulate MHC-II expression and Ag processing. Inhibition of MHC-II expression and Ag processing by either HKBA or lipidated Omp19 (L-Omp19) depended on Toll-like receptor 2 and was mediated by interleukin-6. HKBA or L-Omp19 also inhibited MHC-II expression and Ag processing of human monocytes. In addition, exposure to the synthetic lipohexapeptide inhibited Ag-specific T-cell proliferation and IFN-gamma production of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from Brucella-infected patients. Together, these results indicate that there is a mechanism by which B. abortus may prevent recognition by T cells to evade host immunity and establish a chronic infection.

PMID:
17984211
PMCID:
PMC2223644
DOI:
10.1128/IAI.00949-07
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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