Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection is accompanied by acute and chronic inflammatory infiltrates associated with necrotizing granulomas in lung tissue. The cellular infiltrate is characterized by inflammatory cells which include neutrophils, lymphocytes, and macrophages. In animal and in vitro models of mycobacterial infection, cytokines including tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interferon gamma (IFN-gamma), and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) participate in granulomatous inflammation. We hypothesized that interleukin-3, a potent chemoattractant for neutrophils and lymphocytes, could be released by activated alveolar macrophages after exposure to M. tuberculosis or its components and contribute to granulomatous lung inflammation. A quantitative immunoassay revealed that IL-8 protein release was significantly elevated in supernatants of macrophages and in lavage fluid obtained from patients with pulmonary tuberculosis compared to normal controls. In addition, Northern blots demonstrated striking up-regulation of IL-8 mRNA in macrophages from these patients. M. tuberculosis and its cell wall components lipoarabinomannan (LAM), lipomannan (LM), and phosphoinositolmannoside (PIM) stimulated IL-8 protein release and mRNA expression in vitro from alveolar macrophages, but deacylated LAM did not. Neutralizing antibodies to TNF-alpha and/or IL-1-alpha and beta blocked 83% of the stimulation. IL-8 synthesis and release is an early response of macrophages after phagocytosis of M. tuberculosis. Its production serves to attract both acute and chronic inflammatory cells of active infection and thus participates in the process of containment of the pathogen.


Y Zhang, M Broser, H Cohen, M Bodkin, K Law, J Reibman, W N Rom


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