Send to

Choose Destination
FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 1994 Mar;8(3):225-32.

Differential release of tumor necrosis factor-alpha from murine peritoneal macrophages stimulated with virulent and avirulent species of mycobacteria.

Author information

Institute of Medicine and Public Health, University of Pavia, Varese, Italy.


The ability of Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv and H37Ra, M. bovis BCG and M. smegmatis to induce the secretion of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) by cultured murine peritoneal macrophages is inversely related to their virulence. The avirulent species of mycobacteria which were unable to persist in macrophages were capable of inducing significant levels of TNF-alpha compared to that formed in cultures infected with the virulent M. tuberculosis H37Rv. This difference was also associated with an inherent toxicity by live H37Rv for macrophage cultures. Heat-killed H37Rv was non-toxic and induced significant levels of TNF-alpha; in contrast, live and heat-killed suspensions of avirulent mycobacteria had an equivalent ability to trigger TNF-alpha secretion. The TNF-alpha response was dose-dependent, related directly to the percentage of infected cells, and peaked 6-12 h post-infection. An early and vigorous TNF-alpha response appears to be a marker of macrophage resistance, while the downregulation of this response seems associated with macrophage toxicity and unrestricted mycobacterial growth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center