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Fate of Mycobacterium tuberculosis within Murine Dendritic Cells

By Kendra A. Bodnar, Natalya V. Serbina and JoAnne L. Flynn


The interaction of microbes with dendritic cells (DCs) is likely to have an enormous impact on the initiation of the immune response against a pathogen. In this study, we compared the interaction of Mycobacterium tuberculosis with murine bone marrow-derived DCs and macrophages (Mφ) in vitro. M. tuberculosis grew equally well within nonactivated DCs and Mφ. Activation of DCs and Mφ with gamma interferon and lipopolysaccharide inhibited the growth of the intracellular bacteria in a nitric oxide synthase-dependent fashion. However, while this activation enabled Mφ to kill the intracellular bacteria, the M. tuberculosis bacilli within activated DCs were not killed. Thus, DCs could restrict the growth of the intracellular mycobacteria but were less efficient than Mφ at eliminating the infection. These results may have implications for priming immune responses to M. tuberculosis. In addition, they suggest that DCs may serve as a reservoir for M. tuberculosis in tissues, including the lymph nodes and lungs

Topics: Cellular Microbiology: Pathogen-Host Cell Molecular Interactions
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Year: 2001
DOI identifier: 10.1128/IAI.69.2.800-809.2001
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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