Role of mannose binding lectin gene variants on its protein levels and macrophage phagocytosis with live Mycobacterium tuberculosis in pulmonary tuberculosis.

Research paper by Paramasivam P Selvaraj, Mohideen S MS Jawahar, Dhanushkodi N DN Rajeswari, Kalichamy K Alagarasu, Mohankumar M Vidyarani, Paranji R PR Narayanan

Indexed on: 24 Mar '06Published on: 24 Mar '06Published in: FEMS immunology and medical microbiology


Mannose-binding lectin (MBL) plays an important role in innate immunity. Functional mutant homozygotes of the MBL gene affect the serum MBL levels and have been correlated with disease susceptibility. We have studied the regulatory role of variant MBL genotypes on serum MBL level and macrophage phagocytosis with live Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and the lymphoproliferative response to M. tuberculosis culture filtrate antigen in pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) patients (n = 48) and normal healthy subjects (NHS) (n = 58). The total serum MBL level was higher in PTB patients than in NHS (P = 0.0085). Patients and NHS with AA genotype (homozygotes of MBL - common alleles) showed a very high serum MBL level, and those with OO genotype (functional mutant homozygotes of MBL - less frequent alleles) showed a very low MBL level (AA vs. OO: NHS, P = 3.3 x 10(-9); PTB, P = 3.1 x 10(-9)). A significantly lower phagocytosis was observed in NHS with AA genotype than in NHS with AO (heterozygotes) genotype (P = 0.046). In PTB patients, no such difference was observed. A negative correlation of macrophage phagocytosis with MBL level was seen in patients and NHS (P = 0.019). Antigen-induced lymphoproliferative response was significantly decreased in PTB patients with AA genotype as compared with NHS with AA genotype (P = 0.036). The present study suggests that AA genotype with its associated higher serum MBL levels plays a regulatory role in immunity to tuberculosis than functional mutant homozygotes (OO genotype) with its associated lower level of MBL.