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The Korean Journal of Pathology 1998;32(4): 261-265.
Expression of TGF-beta1 Protein in Macrophages of Tuberculous Granulomas.
Jong Im Lee, Jung Ran Kim, Tae Jung Jang, Dong Hoon Kim
Department of Pathology, College of Medicine DongGuk University, Kyungju, Korea.
ABSTRACT
TGF-beta1 expression was studied in 25 patients with tuberculosis (lung, 9 cases and lymph node, 16 cases) using a polyclonal antibody in formalin-fixed paraffin embedded tissue. Nineteen cases (76.0%) out of 25 cases showed TGF-beta1 expression. TGF-beta1 was present in cytoplasm of epithelioid cells and Langhans' giant cells. Pulmonary tuberculosis and tuberculous lymphadenitis showed different patterns of staining. Five of 9 cases of pulmonary tuberculosis were positive for TGF-beta1: four of acid-fast bacilli positive cases (4/5, 80.0%) and one of acid-fast bacilli negative cases (1/4, 25.0%). However, high expression of TGF-beta1 was detected in tuberculous lymphadenitis of both acid-fast bacilli positive group (3/4, 75.0%) and acid-fast bacilli negative group (11/12, 91.7%). TGF-beta1 was also expressed in all of 6 cases of BCG-induced tuberculous lymphadenitis: 2 acid-fast bacilli positive and 4 acid-fast bacilli negative cases. TGF-beta1 expression was shown in 19 cases (86.4%) of 22 in active tuberculosis, while no TGF-beta1 expression was detected in any cases of inactive, healed tuberculosis (p<0.008). This study supports that the TGF-beta1 expression of epithelioid cells may alter their function resulting in the impaired antimycobacterial activity. Thus the increased production of TGF-beta1 may be one of the important mechanisms by which Mycobacterium tuberculosis avoids destruction by host macrophages.
Key Words: Transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1); Tuberculosis