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Virulence. 2012 Nov 15;3(7):654-9. doi: 10.4161/viru.22586. Epub 2012 Nov 15.

The role of dendritic cells in Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection.

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Armauer Hansen Research Institute; Addis Ababa, Ethopia.


The immune response against Mycobacterium tuberculosis is multifactorial, involving a network of innate and adaptive immune responses. Characterization of the immune response, a clear understanding of the dynamics and interplay of different arms of the immune response are critical to allow the development of better tools for combating tuberculosis. Dendritic cells (DCs) are one of the key cells in bridging innate and adaptive immune response through their significant role in capturing, processing and presenting antigens. The outcome of interaction of M. tuberculosis with DCs is not fully understood and the available reports are contradictory were some findings reported that DCs strengthen the cellular immune response against mycobacterium infection whereas others reported M. tuberculosis impairs the function of DCs were infected DCs are poor stimulators of M. tuberculosis Ag-specific CD4 T cells. Other studies showed that the outcome depends on M. tuberculosis strain type and type of receptor on DCs during recognition. In this review I shall highlight the recent findings in the outcome of interaction of Mycobacterium tuberculosis with DCs.


M. tuberculosis; T cells; activation; dendritic cells; maturation

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