Mycobacterium tuberculosis evades host immunity by recruiting mesenchymal stem cells.

Raghuvanshi S, Sharma P, Singh S, Van Kaer L, Das G
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 107 (50): 21653-8

PMID: 21135221 · PMCID: PMC3003090 · DOI:10.1073/pnas.1007967107

Tuberculosis (TB) is the cause of 2 million deaths each year, which is the second highest cause of mortality from a single infectious disease worldwide. Resistance of these organisms to drugs has emerged as an important health concern. Alternative approaches to the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis are therefore urgently needed. Despite the generation of robust host immune responses, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb) successfully evades host immunity and establishes a persistent infection. The mechanism(s) by which M. tuberculosis manages to persist in the face of potent host immune responses remain(s) incompletely understood. Here, we demonstrate that M. tb suppresses T-lymphocyte responses by recruiting mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to the site of infection. We found that MSCs infiltrated tissues in mice containing M. tb organisms and T lymphocytes. We further demonstrate that MSCs suppressed T-cell responses by producing nitric oxide. Our findings reveal a key role of MSCs in the capacity of M. tb to evade host immune responses and identify these cells as unique targets for therapeutic intervention in tuberculosis.

MeSH Terms (15)

Adult Animals Cytokines Female Granuloma Humans Immune System Immunosuppression Mesenchymal Stem Cells Mice Mice, Inbred C57BL Middle Aged Mycobacterium tuberculosis Nitric Oxide T-Lymphocytes

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