CD40 ligand and interferon-γ induce an antimicrobial response against Mycobacterium tuberculosis in human monocytes

B13 FABRIpublicationsKlug-Micu GM, Stenger S, Sommer A, Liu PT, Krutzik SR, Modlin RL, Fabri M; Immunology. 2013 May;139(1):121-8. doi: 10.1111/imm.12062.


The ability of T cells to activate antimicrobial pathways in infected macrophages is essential to host defence against many intracellular pathogens. Here, we compared the ability of two T-cell-mediated mechanisms to trigger antimicrobial responses against Mycobacterium tuberculosis in humans, CD40 activation and the release of interferon-γ (IFN-γ). Given that IFN-γ activates a vitamin D-dependent antimicrobial response, we focused on induction of the key components of this pathway. We show that activation of human monocytes via CD40 ligand (CD40L) and IFN-γ, alone, and in combination, induces the CYP27b1-hydroxylase, responsible for the conversion of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25D) to the bioactive 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25D), and the vitamin D receptor (VDR). The activation of the vitamin D pathway by CD40L and IFN-γ results in up-regulated expression of the antimicrobial peptides, cathelicidin and DEFB4, as well as induction of autophagy. Finally, activation of monocytes via CD40L and IFN-γ results in an antimicrobial activity against intracellular M. tuberculosis. Our data suggest that at least two parallel T-cell-mediated mechanisms, CD40L and IFN-γ, activate the vitamin D-dependent antimicrobial pathway and trigger antimicrobial activity against intracellular M. tuberculosis, thereby contributing to human host defence against intracellular infection.



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