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Mycobacterium bovis BCG but not Mycobacterium leprae induces TNF-alpha secretion in human monocytic THP-1 cells

Oliveira, Martha M; Charlab, Rosane; Pessolani, Maria Cristina V.
Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz; 96(7): 973-978, Oct. 2001. ilus, graf
Artigo em Inglês | LILACS | ID: lil-298884
In this study, we compared the level of TNF-alpha secretion induced in monocytic THP-1 cells after phagocytosis of Mycobacterium leprae, the causative agent of leprosy, and M. bovis BCG, an attenuated strain used as a vaccine against leprosy and tuberculosis. The presence of M. leprae and BCG was observed in more than 80 percent of the cells after 24 h of exposure. However, BCG but not M. leprae was able to induce TNF-alpha secretion in these cells. Moreover, THP-1 cells treated simultaneously with BCG and M. leprae secreted lower levels of TNF-alpha compared to cells incubated with BCG alone. M. leprae was able, however, to induce TNF-alpha secretion both in blood-derived monocytes as well as in THP-1 cells pretreated with phorbol myristate acetate. The inclusion of streptomycin in our cultures, together with the fact that the use of both gamma-irradiated M. leprae and heat-killed BCG gave similar results, indicate that the differences observed were not due to differences in viability but in intrinsic properties between M. leprae and BCG. These data suggest that the capacity of M. leprae to induce TNF-alpha is dependent on the stage of cell maturation and emphasize the potential of this model to explore differences in the effects triggered by vaccine strain versus pathogenic species of mycobacteria on the host cell physiology and metabolism
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