How TB bacteria to survive in infected organsDecember 7th, 2010 - 2:04 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Dec 7 (ANI): Indian researchers at the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in New Delhi, have identified how tuberculosis bacteria thrive in infected organs.
Tuberculosis, caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is known to evade the immune system by hiding inside compartments called granulomas in infected lung and spleen tissues.
Despite immune responses by the body, the bacteria thrive inside the granulomas largely unharmed, establishing persistent infections that can prove lethal.
Now, the research team has found the bacteria recruit mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to sites of infection in the spleen and lungs. MSCs are normally found in the bone marrow, and typically diversify to form blood, bone, muscle and other tissues.
The researchers say the stem cells limit the spread of the granulomas, but don’t completely eliminate them. They believe the tuberculosis bacteria is exploiting this mechanism to establish latent infections.
“I believe this is the first time that researchers have shown any infectious disease, TB or any other infectious organism, using the stem cells [of the host] for their survival,” said Dr Gobardhan Das.
The stem cells form a protective coating around the granulomas and produce a range of immunosuppressant molecules, such as nitric oxide. This shields the tuberculosis bacteria from white blood cells and T cells, which would normally destroy the intruders.
“If you can target these MSCs then you can destroy the protective layer and expose the bacteria to the macrophages and T cells, and the immune system can then get in and attack the bacteria”, Das said.
The research is published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (ANI)
- Umbilical cord cells may be useful in arthritis treatment - Nov 16, 2010
- Exercise fights obesity by turning stem cells into bone - Sep 02, 2011
- New method detects lung infection in 500-year-old mummy - Jul 26, 2012
- New advance made in TB research - Jul 30, 2010
- Scientists show how infection fighting cells form - Jul 10, 2012
- Fish oil may hold key to leukaemia cure - Dec 23, 2011
- Study shows experimental immune-boosting drug worsens TB in mice - Apr 13, 2010
- Bladder regeneration using stem cells heralds organ replacement therapies - Nov 21, 2010
- Adult stem cells that do not age created - Oct 02, 2010
- Researchers find new way to repair damaged heart - Dec 10, 2010
- Umbilical cord blood stem cell transplant may help patients with lung, heart disorders - Nov 24, 2009
- Scientists find promising new TB vaccine candidate - Mar 19, 2011
- Scientists stumble on immune cells in human spleen - Dec 26, 2011
- Tuberculosis enzyme responsible for lung destruction identified - Apr 26, 2011
- Lactate's role in development of breast cancer - Apr 19, 2010
Tags: bone marrow, bone muscle, genetic engineering, immune responses, indian researchers, infectious disease, intruders, latent infections, macrophages, mesenchymal stem cells, national academy of sciences, persistent infections, proceedings of the national academy, proceedings of the national academy of sciences, spleen, t cells, tb bacteria, tuberculosis, tuberculosis bacteria, white blood cells