Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2010 Jul 6;5(7):e11453. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011453.

Dendritic cells in chronic mycobacterial granulomas restrict local anti-bacterial T cell response in a murine model.

Author information

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Wisconsin, School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America.



Mycobacterium-induced granulomas are the interface between bacteria and host immune response. During acute infection dendritic cells (DCs) are critical for mycobacterial dissemination and activation of protective T cells. However, their role during chronic infection in the granuloma is poorly understood.


We report that an inflammatory subset of murine DCs are present in granulomas induced by Mycobacteria bovis strain Bacillus Calmette-guerin (BCG), and both their location in granulomas and costimulatory molecule expression changes throughout infection. By flow cytometric analysis, we found that CD11c(+) cells in chronic granulomas had lower expression of MHCII and co-stimulatory molecules CD40, CD80 and CD86, and higher expression of inhibitory molecules PD-L1 and PD-L2 compared to CD11c(+) cells from acute granulomas. As a consequence of their phenotype, CD11c(+) cells from chronic lesions were unable to support the reactivation of newly-recruited, antigen 85B-specific CD4(+)IFNgamma(+) T cells or induce an IFNgamma response from naïve T cells in vivo and ex vivo. The mechanism of this inhibition involves the PD-1:PD-L signaling pathway, as ex vivo blockade of PD-L1 and PD-L2 restored the ability of isolated CD11c(+) cells from chronic lesions to stimulate a protective IFNgamma T cell response.


Our data suggest that DCs in chronic lesions may facilitate latent infection by down-regulating protective T cell responses, ultimately acting as a shield that promotes mycobacterium survival. This DC shield may explain why mycobacteria are adapted for long-term survival in granulomatous lesions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center