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Am J Pathol. 2010 Jan;176(1):198-204. doi: 10.2353/ajpath.2010.090446. Epub 2009 Dec 11.

Initiation of acquired immunity in the lungs of mice lacking lymph nodes after infection with aerosolized Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

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1
The Forsyth Institute, Boston, MA 02115-3799, USA.

Abstract

Recent evidence points to lung draining lymph nodes as the site that initiates the immune response in mice infected with aerosolized Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Here we expanded these studies and showed that infection of mice that lack lymph nodes with aerosolized M. tuberculosis results in a massive mononuclear cell infiltrate in the lungs within 14 days postinfection. This infiltration clearly resembles an expansion of the bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue. As expected, no bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue was observed in M. tuberculosis-infected wild-type control mice. Importantly, acquired specific immune response to M. tuberculosis antigens could be detected in lung lymphocytes harvested from mice lacking lymph nodes as early as 14 days postinfection. In addition, the bacterial burden in these mice was indistinguishable from that observed in wild-type C57BL/6 control mice. These results indicate that in the absence of lymph nodes, priming of the immune response occurs in the lung tissues after infection of mice with aerosolized M. tuberculosis and clearly illustrate the enormous plasticity of the immune system to develop resistance to foreign pathogens.

PMID:
20008132
PMCID:
PMC2797882
DOI:
10.2353/ajpath.2010.090446
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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