Towards a 'human-like' model of tuberculosis: intranasal inoculation of LPS induces intragranulomatous lung necrosis in mice infected aerogenically with Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Scand J Immunol. 2001 Jan;53(1):65-71. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-3083.2001.00842.x.


It is well known that one of the differences between murine and human tuberculosis is the lack of intragranulomatous necrosis in the former. The aim of this study was to create a feasible and reproducible model of an experimental model of murine tuberculosis in which this necrosis should be present. Considering the Shwartzman reaction as a possible explanation for intragranulomatous necrosis in human tuberculosis, C57Bl/6 mice, infected aerogenically with a virulent strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, were intranasally inoculated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on day 19 postinfection (p.i.). Twenty-four hours later, neutrophils infiltrated the lung parenchyma in a significant level, and 10 days after necrosis could be detected in the centres of primary granulomas, that showed scanty macrophages and large amounts of collagen on an eosinophilic background. On the other hand, a significant decrease in the concentration of colony forming units (CFU) could be appreciated 24 h after the LPS inoculation. Afterwards, nonbronchogenic spreading of granulomas increased and higher levels of interferon (IFN)-gamma mRNA were detected. These results lend support to the Shwartzman reaction as the origin of the intragranulomatous necrosis in the M. tuberculosis infection, and provides a useful tool to improve experimental murine models in tuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Aerosols
  • Animals
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Interferon-gamma / genetics
  • Lipopolysaccharides / administration & dosage
  • Lipopolysaccharides / toxicity*
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lung / pathology*
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Models, Animal
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis*
  • Necrosis
  • Neutrophil Infiltration
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Shwartzman Phenomenon*
  • Species Specificity
  • Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms
  • Tuberculoma / etiology
  • Tuberculoma / pathology*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / etiology
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / genetics
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / pathology*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / transmission


  • Aerosols
  • Cytokines
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Interferon-gamma