JOURNAL ARTICLE

Attenuation of MHC class II expression in macrophages infected with Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin involves class II transactivator and depends on the Nramp1 gene

W Wojciechowski, J DeSanctis, E Skamene, D Radzioch
Journal of Immunology 1999 September 1, 163 (5): 2688-96
10453010
The natural resistance associated macrophage protein 1 (Nramp1) gene determines the ability of murine macrophages to control infection with a group of intracellular pathogens, including Salmonella typhimurium, Leishmania donovani, and Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG). The expression of the resistant allele of the Nramp1 gene in murine macrophages is associated with a more efficient expression of several macrophage activation-associated genes, including class II MHC loci. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanisms involved in IFN-gamma-induced MHC class II expression in three types of macrophages: those expressing a wild-type allele of the Nramp1 gene (B10R and 129/Mphi), those carrying a susceptible form of the Nramp1 gene (B10S), and those derived from 129-Nramp1-knockout mice (129/Nramp1-KO). Previously, we published results showing that Ia protein expression is significantly higher in the IFN-gamma-induced B10R macrophages, compared with its susceptible counterpart. In this paper, we also show that the higher expression of Ia protein in B10R cells is associated with higher I-Abeta mRNA expression, which correlates with a higher level of IFN-gamma-induced phosphorylation of the STAT1-alpha protein and subsequently with elevated expression of class II transactivator (CIITA) mRNA, compared with B10S. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the infection of macrophages with M. bovis BCG results in a down-regulation of CIITA mRNA expression and, consequently, in the inhibition of Ia induction. Therefore, our data explain, at least in part, the molecular mechanism involved in the inhibition of I-Abeta gene expression in M. bovis BCG-infected macrophages activated with IFN-gamma.

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