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Free Content The role of Vδ2+T-cells in patients with active Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and tuberculin anergy

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SETTING: Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the most common major infectious diseases. In humans, acquired protective immunity to Mycobacterium tuberculosis depends on T-cells and involves multiple T-cell subsets; however, the pathways used by T-cells to restrict the growth of M. tuberculosis are poorly understood.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the possible role of Vδ2+T-cells and regulatory T-cells in the immune response to M. tuberculosis. As Vδ2+T-cell function has been shown to be impaired in patients with M. tuberculosis infection, we investigated the percentage of perforin and Fas ligand (FasL) positive Vδ2+T-cells and the possible role of activating and inhibitory natural killer (NK) cell receptors as well as that of regulatory T-cells in the control of tuberculin responsiveness.

RESULTS: Tuberculin-negative patients demonstrated decreased perforin expression and increased FasL expression, which could not be explained by dysregulation of NK cell receptor expression or altered regulatory T-cell function.

CONCLUSION: Altered cytotoxic capacity and apoptotic potential of Vδ2+T-cells provide a plausible explanation for defective cellular immune functions in M. tuberculosis-infected anergic patients.
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Keywords: Mycobacterium tuberculosis; NK cell receptors; Vδ2+T-cells; anergy; human

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Pecs University Medical School, Pecs, Hungary 2: Department of Pulmonology, County Hospital, Pecs, Hungary

Publication date: 2008-03-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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