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Mycobacterium tuberculosis Pathogenesis, Infection Prevention and Treatment
Open AccessArticle

Interleukin-18, Functional IL-18 Receptor and IL-18 Binding Protein Expression in Active and Latent Tuberculosis

Department of Immunology and Infectious Biology, Institute of Microbiology, Biotechnology and Immunology, Faculty of Biology and Environmental Protection, University of Lodz, Banacha 12/16, 90-237 Lodz, Poland
Regional Specialized Hospital of Tuberculosis, Lung Diseases, and Rehabilitation, Szpitalna 5, 95-080 Tuszyn, Poland
Center for Medical Genomics OMICRON, Jagiellonian University, Medical College, Swietej Anny 12, 31-008 Cracow, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pathogens 2020, 9(6), 451;
Received: 30 April 2020 / Revised: 30 May 2020 / Accepted: 4 June 2020 / Published: 8 June 2020
A thorough understanding of the processes modulating the innate and acquired immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) infection in the context of gene expression is still a scientific and diagnostic problem. The study was aimed to assess IL-18, IL-18 binding protein (IL-18BP), IL-18R, IFN-γ, and IL-37 mRNA expression in patients with active tuberculosis (ATB) and healthy volunteers with latent M.tb-infection (LTB) or M.tb-uninfected healthy controls (Control). The relative mRNA expression was assessed in the buffy coat blood fraction using the qPCR method. In total, 97 BCG-vaccinated Polish adults were enrolled in the study. The relative expression of IL-18 and IL-18BP mRNA was significantly elevated in the ATB and LTB groups. In ATB, but not LTB individuals, the overexpression of IL-18 and IL-18BP, as well as a significant increase in IFN-γ mRNA expression, might be considered as a manifestation of active tuberculosis disease. No statistically significant differences were observed in the IL-37 mRNA expression among the studied groups. Particularly noteworthy is the outstanding reduction in the relative expression of IL-18R mRNA in the LTB group as compared to the ATB and Control group. Reduced expression of IL-18R in LTB group may, at least partially, prevent the development of a pathological inflammatory reaction and promote the maintenance of homeostatic conditions between host immunity and M.tb. View Full-Text
Keywords: tuberculosis; IL-18; IL-18BP; IL-18R; gene expression tuberculosis; IL-18; IL-18BP; IL-18R; gene expression
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Wawrocki, S.; Kielnierowski, G.; Rudnicka, W.; Seweryn, M.; Druszczynska, M. Interleukin-18, Functional IL-18 Receptor and IL-18 Binding Protein Expression in Active and Latent Tuberculosis. Pathogens 2020, 9, 451.

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