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Eur J Immunol. 1993 Aug;23(8):2049-52.

The Mycobacterium tuberculosis 71-kDa heat-shock protein induces proliferation and cytokine secretion by murine gut intraepithelial lymphocytes.

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Department of Medicine, University of Alabama, Birmingham 35294.


Murine intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) respond poorly to T cell mitogens and to monoclonal antibody stimulation of T cell receptor (TCR)- and CD3- associated molecules. In contrast, we found that a soluble extract of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), but not purified protein derivative of tuberculin, induced significant proliferative responses in IEL cultures. The active component was apparently a heat shock protein (HSP), since recombinant 71-kDa HSP from Mtb induced IEL to proliferate, while 65-kDa HSP from M. bovis and M. leprae did not. Both alpha/beta and gamma/delta TCR-enriched IEL gave proliferative responses to 71-kDa HSP. Further, culture supernatants from IEL stimulated with 71-kDa HSP contained elevated levels of interleukin-(IL)-3/granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, interferon-gamma and IL-6, but not IL-2, IL-4, IL-5 or transforming growth factor-beta. Finally, several IEL T cell clones have been maintained for up to 6 weeks, when stimulated with 71-kDa HSP, IL-2 and feeder cells. Our results show that the 71-kDa HSP of Mtb induces IEL T cells to divide and to secrete cytokines and this may offer a model for cloning and study of IEL T cells in vitro.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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