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Cytokine Gene Expression Profile of Circulating CD4+ T Cells in Active Pulmonary Tuberculosis

Christopher K. W. Lai; Sheng Ho; Christopher H. S. Chan; Joseph Chan; Dominic Choy; Roland Leung; Kar-neng Lai
Author and Funding Information

From the Department of Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong


1997 by the American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 1997;111(3):606-611. doi:10.1378/chest.111.3.606
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Abstract

T lymphocytes, particularly CD4+ cells, are thought to play an important role in the immune defense against Mycobacterium tuberculosis through the release of their wide array of cytokines. In vitro studies suggest that Mycobacterium-specific T-cell clones are of the TH1 subtype. Using the technique of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, we have investigated the capacity for cytokine gene expression profile in ex vivo circulating CD4+ T cells from 20 patients with active pulmonary tuberculosis compared with that of 30 normal healthy tuberculin-positive volunteers. Venous blood samples were collected from the former prior to the initiation of chemotherapy. A significant increase in interleukin (IL-2) expression (p< 0.001) and a significant decrease in IL-5 expression (p<0.0001) were observed in patients with tuberculosis but no differences were seen in the expression of IL-4 and interferon gamma between the two study groups. Our data support a TH1-like immune response in active tuberculosis.


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