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Differential effects of total and partial neutralization of tumor necrosis factor on cell-mediated immunity to Mycobacterium bovis BCG infection

Olleros, Maria
Vesin, Dominique
Parapanov, Roumen
Published in Infection and Immunity. 2005, vol. 73, no. 6, p. 3668-3676
Abstract The effects of total and partial inhibition of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) on sensitivity to Mycobacterium bovis BCG infection were investigated by using transgenic mice in which hepatocytes produced different amounts of human soluble TNF receptor 1 (sTNFR1) fused to the Fc fragment of human immunoglobulin G3 that could be detected in the serum. Transgenic mice expressing high serum levels of sTNFR1, neutralizing all circulating TNF, failed to develop differentiated granulomas and bactericidal mechanisms, and they succumbed to BCG infection. sTNFR1 transgenic mice did not activate BCG-induced Th1-type cytokines early in infection, but uncontrolled cytokine release was found late in infection. In this work we also evaluated the effect of partial inhibition of TNF on resistance to BCG infection. Transgenic mice expressing low levels of sTNFR1 were protected against BCG infection, and they developed increased bactericidal mechanisms, such as enhanced inducible nitric oxide synthase activity, increased macrophage activation, and showed higher numbers of liver granulomas early in infection compared to their negative littermates. Our data suggest that while total inhibition of TNF prevented BCG-induced cell-mediated immune responses, partial inhibition of TNF could contribute to macrophage activation, induction of bactericidal mechanisms, and granuloma formation in the early phase of BCG infection.
Keywords AnimalsInterferon-gamma/bloodMacrophage ActivationMiceMice, Inbred BALB CMice, Inbred C57BLMice, TransgenicMycobacterium bovis/ immunologyNitric Oxide Synthase/metabolismNitric Oxide Synthase Type IIReceptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type I/bloodTuberculosis/ immunologyTumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/antagonists & inhibitors/ physiology
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PMID: 15908396
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