CCL2 responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis are associated with disease severity in tuberculosis

Zahra Hasan, Jacqueline M. Cliff, Hazel M. Dockrell, Bushra Jamil, Muhammad Irfan, Mussarat Ashraf, Rabia Hussain

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65 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Leucocyte activating chemokines such as CCL2, CCL3, and CXCL8 together with proinflammatory IFNc, TNFa and downmodulatory IL10 play a central role in the restriction of M. tuberculosis infections, but is unclear whether these markers are indicative of tuberculosis disease severity. Methodology: We investigated live M. tuberculosis- and M. bovis BCG- induced peripheral blood mononuclear cell responses in patients with tuberculosis (TB) and healthy endemic controls (ECs, n= 36). TB patients comprised pulmonary (PTB, n =34) and extrapulmonary groups, subdivided into those with less severe localized extrapulmonary TB (L-ETB, n= 16) or severe disseminated ETB (D-ETB, n = 16). Secretion of CCL2, IFNc, IL10 and CCL3, and mRNA expression of CCL2, TNFα, CCL3 and CXCL8 were determined, Results: M. tuberculosis- and BCG- induced CCL2 secretion was significantly increased in both PTB and D-ETB (p<0.05, p<0.01) as compared with L-ETB patients. CCL2 secretion in response to M. tuberculosis was significantly greater than to BCG in the PTB and D-ETB groups. M. tuberculosis-induced CCL2 mRNA transcription was greater in PTB than L-ETB (p = 0.023), while CCL2 was reduced in L-ETB as compared with D-ETB (p =0.005) patients. M. tuberculosis -induced IFNγ was greater in L-ETB than PTB (p = 0.04), while BCG-induced IFNγ was greater in L-ETB as compared with D-ETB patients (p = 0.036). TNFα mRNA expression was raised in PTB as compared with L-ETB group in response to M. tuberculosis (p = 0.02) and BCG (p =0.03). Mycobacterium-induced CCL3 and CXCL8 was comparable between TB groups, Conclusions: The increased CCL2 and TNFα in PTB patients may support effective leucocyte recruitment and M. tuberculosis localization. CCL2 alone is associated with severity of TB, possibly due to increased systemic inflammation found in severe disseminated TB or due to increased monocyte infiltration to lung parenchyma in pulmonary disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere8459
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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