Jun 13, 2002

Reduced immunopathology and mortality despite tissue persistence in a Mycobacterium tuberculosis mutant lacking alternative sigma factor, SigH

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Deepak KaushalWilliam R Bishai


The pathogenesis of tuberculosis involves multiple phases and is believed to involve both a carefully deployed series of adaptive bacterial virulence factors and inappropriate host immune responses that lead to tissue damage. A defined Mycobacterium tuberculosis mutant strain lacking the sigH-encoded transcription factor showed a distinctive infection phenotype. In resistant C57BL/6 mice, the mutant achieved high bacterial counts in lung and spleen that persisted in tissues in a pattern identical to those of wild-type bacteria. Despite a high bacterial burden, the mutant produced a blunted, delayed pulmonary inflammatory response, and recruited fewer CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells to the lung in the early stages of infection. In susceptible C3H mice, the mutant again showed diminished immunopathology and was nonlethal at over 170 days after intravenous infection, in contrast to isogenic wild-type bacilli, which killed with a median time to death of 52 days. Complete genomic microarray analysis revealed that M. tuberculosis sigH may mediate the transcription of at least 31 genes directly and that it modulates the expression of about 150 others; the SigH regulon governs thioredoxin recycling and may be involved in the maintenance of i...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Flow Cytometry
Bacterial Proteins
Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome
Gene Deletion
Near-Death Experience
Lung Diseases

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