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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Guinea Pig Neutrophils Infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis Produce Cytokines Which Activate Alveolar Macrophages in Noncontact Cultures.

The early influx of neutrophils to the site of infection may be an important step in host resistance against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In this study, we investigated the effect of M. tuberculosis infection on the ability of guinea pig neutrophils to produce interleukin-8 (IL-8; CXCL8) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and to activate alveolar macrophages. Neutrophils and alveolar macrophages were isolated from naïve guinea pigs, cultured together or alone, and infected with virulent M. tuberculosis for 3, 12, and 24 h. IL-8 protein production in cocultures, as measured by using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, was found to be additive at 24 h and significantly greater in M. tuberculosis-infected cocultures than in uninfected cocultures and in cultures of the infected neutrophils or macrophages alone. The IL-8 mRNA levels, determined by real-time reverse transcription-PCR, were elevated at 24 h in infected cocultures and infected cells cultured alone. In order to elucidate the contributions of neutrophils and their soluble mediators to the activation of alveolar macrophages, neutrophils and alveolar macrophages were cultured in a contact-independent manner by using a Transwell insert system. Neutrophils were infected with virulent M. tuberculosis in the upper wells, and alveolar macrophages were cultured in the lower wells. The release of hydrogen peroxide from alveolar macrophages exposed to soluble products from infected neutrophils was significantly increased compared to that from unexposed alveolar macrophages. Significant up-regulation of IL-1beta and TNF-alpha mRNA levels in alveolar macrophages was observed at 24 and 30 h, respectively, compared to those in cells not exposed to soluble neutrophil products. Treatment with anti-guinea pig TNF-alpha polyclonal antibody completely abolished the response of alveolar macrophages to neutrophil products. This finding suggests that TNF-alpha produced by infected neutrophils may be involved in the activation of alveolar macrophages and hence may contribute to the containment of M. tuberculosis infection during the early period of infection.[1]


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