Differential immune response of adipocytes to virulent and attenuated Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Jong Seok Kim, Min Jeong Ryu, Eui Hong Byun, Woo Sik Kim, Jake Whang, Ki Nam Min, Minho Shong, Hwa Jung Kim, Sung Jae Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb) takes advantage of various cell types, allowing it to remain in the host for long periods. Because adipocytes have been proposed as niches for dormant M. tb in the latent state, understanding the interaction of virulent M. tb with adipocytes is important. We compared changes in cytokine secretion from 3T3-L1 murine adipocytes infected with virulent M. tb H37Rv (V-M. tb) and attenuated M. tb H37Ra (A-M. tb) strains. Both strains maintained non-replicating states within adipocytes until 10 days post-infection. Adipocytes infected with V-M. tb secreted lower levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin (IL)-12p40, IL-6, and IL-17, and lower levels of nitric oxide than those infected with A-M. tb. In contrast, the anti-inflammatory cytokines, IL-10 and IL-4, were markedly induced in V-M. tb-infected adipocytes versus those infected with A-M. tb at an early time point. Heat-killed or formalin-fixed bacteria induced lower levels of cytokines and no difference was observed between strains. Moreover, V-M. tb induced a high level of necrosis versus A-M. tb in conjunction with increased levels of LHD. These results suggest that V-M. tb regulates cytokine expression in its favor, increasing cytokines necessary for immune evasion and decreasing those required for protective immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1242-1251
Number of pages10
JournalMicrobes and Infection
Issue number14-15
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant of the Korea Healthcare Technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (A100588-1011-0000300).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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