A thorough understanding of the processes modulating the innate and acquired immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis
) 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.
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