[Mechanisms of pathogenicity and host defense in infections by intracellular parasitic microbes]

Kekkaku. 2000 Sep;75(9):557-60.
[Article in Japanese]


Mycobacterium tuberculosis is one of the intracellular parasitic bacteria escaping the intracellular killing inside macrophages. The aim of this symposium was to get some insight into the mechanism of pathogenicity and host defense in M. tuberculosis infection, which has not yet been elucidated well, by the presentation of up-to-date knowledge on these aspect in infection with different intracellular parasitic microbes. Dr. Yoshikai (Nagoya Univ.) indicated that TLR is involved in the initial response of host against S. choleraesuis. Among the cytokines contributing to the induction of specific immunity, the importance of IL-15 was emphasized, based on their own experimental data using IL-15 transgenic mice and the application of anti-IL-15 antibody in vivo. Dr. Yoshida (Kyushu Univ.) reviewed the mechanisms of intracellular growth of Legionellae. Several genes so far identified as essential genes in intra-macrophage growth appeared to be similar to those encoding type 3 secretion system observed in Shigellae. There is a significant strain difference in the growth of L. pneumophila inside macrophages and such difference seemed to be under the control of a gene at chromosome 13, Lgn 1. The investigation of difference in the mode of escape among various Legionella. spp. may provide a novel mechansim in bacterial invasion and escape. Dr. Kawamura (Kyoto Univ.) summarized some new reports on the molecular mechanism of the inhibition of P-L fusion by M. tuberculosis. He emphasized the importance of the alteration in phagosomal maturation as indicated by the accumulation of TACO protein. The possible involvement of TLR in the recognition of Mycobacterial cells and its LAM was discussed. Dr. Kawakami (Ryukyu Univ.) first discussed the possibility that Cryptococcus neoformans, a fungal pathogen, could be regarded as one of the intracellular parasitic microbes. His presentation mainly focused on the TH1-Th2 balance in the expression of host defense against C. neoformans in mice. From their experimental infection using attenuated strain TC-13 in various cytokine-knock out mice, the pivotal role of both IL-12 and IL-18 was clearly indicated.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cryptococcus / pathogenicity
  • Humans
  • Interleukins / physiology
  • Legionella / pathogenicity
  • Macrophages / immunology*
  • Macrophages / microbiology
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / pathogenicity*
  • Phagocytosis / immunology*
  • Salmonella / pathogenicity
  • Th1 Cells / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / immunology


  • Interleukins