Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Experimental immune-boosting drug worsens TB in mice

13.04.2010
An experimental drug that boosts production of the immune system protein interferon worsens tuberculosis (TB) in mice, according to scientists from the National Institutes of Health.

The drug acts indirectly by drawing certain immune cells, in which Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) bacteria thrive, to the lungs. The findings may have potential implications for the care of people infected with TB, the authors note. The research is reported in the May 3 issue of Journal of Clinical Investigation, now available online.

"Although our research was conducted in mice, our combined findings suggest that reactivation of TB should be considered as a potential side effect if compounds that boost type I interferon production, like the one used in this study, are tested in people who may be infected with M.tb," says Alan Sher, Ph.D., of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), NIH, who led the team of scientists.

Most people infected with M.tb do not develop active TB. Instead, the infection remains dormant, often for decades. Eventually, about 10 percent of people with latent infection do go on to develop active disease. Common triggers for reactivation include aging or other conditions that lower immunity.

Dr. Sher and his colleagues studied the effects of an experimental drug called poly-ICLC on immune responses to TB infection. Poly-ICLC stimulates the body to produce a potent immune system protein called type I interferon (type I IFN). Interferon was named for its ability to interfere with viral infections. Synthetic IFN is used to treat hepatitis B and C virus infections, as well as certain kinds of cancers.

In mouse studies, poly-ICLC protected the animals from viruses that can cause lethal infections, including pandemic influenza and SARS. It has also been shown to enhance the effects of several experimental vaccines when tested in animals. Poly-ICLC also is being tested in multiple human clinical trials as a possible cancer treatment when combined with cancer vaccines.

Earlier research into the effects of type I IFN on bacterial infections produced mixed results, notes Dr. Sher. Some studies showed that giving IFN to mice with non-tuberculous mycobacterial infections (Mycobacterium avium) lowered the amount of bacteria in their bodies. But in other studies, naturally occurring IFN appeared to promote rather than limit the growth of bacteria in mice infected with M.tb.

To sort out the mixed findings, NIAID investigator Lis R.V. Antonelli, Ph.D., dropped poly-ICLC into the noses of mice that had been infected with M.tb. The mice were infected either one day earlier to mimic an acute TB infection, or four months earlier to simulate a chronic TB infection. They were then compared with TB-infected, untreated mice. All the mice treated with poly-ICLC developed severe lung tissue damage. Moreover, levels of M.tb in their lungs were 100 times greater than in M.tb-infected mice that did not receive poly-ICLC.

Next, Dr. Antonelli performed a series of experiments to determine what kind of immune system cell was involved in hastening the disease in poly-ICLC-treated mice. Again, they compared poly-ICLC treated and untreated, M.tb-infected mice. In the treated group, the scientists found a fourfold increase in a specific subpopulation of immune cells called macrophages. In most infectious diseases, macrophages are drawn to the site of infection and help defend the host against disease. But when type I IFN production was elevated by poly-ICLC treatment, the surge in macrophages to the M.tb-infected lung actually harmed the host, notes Dr. Sher. TB bacteria live inside macrophages, and the specific subset detected in these experiments appears especially hospitable to M.tb.

Dr. Sher and his colleagues are currently testing the relevance of these findings to humans by determining whether under certain conditions type I IFN promotes the growth of M.tb in human macrophages. Such research could also provide important clues to exactly how and under what conditions latent TB is reactivated.

Dr. Antonelli, who was based at NIAID when the research was conducted, now works at Fiocruz, a government-sponsored research institute in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

NIAID conducts and supports research—at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide—to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at http://www.niaid.nih.gov.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH)—The Nation's Medical Research Agency—includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.

Reference: LRV Antonelli et al. Intranasal poly-IC treatment exacerbates tuberculosis in mice through the pulmonary recruitment of a pathogen-permissive monocyte/macrophage population. Journal of Clinical Investigation DOI: 10.1172/JCI40817 (2010).

Anne A. Oplinger | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.niaid.nih.gov

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute

nachricht Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>