Circulating TNF-alpha, TGF-beta, and IL-10 in tuberculosis patients and healthy contacts

Scand J Immunol. 2001 Jan;53(1):85-91. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-3083.2001.00844.x.


Levels of tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta, and interleukin (IL)-10 in plasma of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) patients and healthy contacts and plasma and pleural fluid of patients with tuberculous pleuritis were examined by enzyme immunoassay. Plasma TNF-alpha and IL-10 were elevated to significant levels in healthy contacts. High levels of TGF-beta and IL-10 were also detected in plasma from TB patients and healthy contacts. Pleural fluid contained all three cytokines with the level of IL-10 being highest followed by TGF-beta and TNF-alpha. Plasma of tuberculous pleuritis patients also had detectable levels of the three cytokines. Increased levels of TNF-alpha in plasma of contacts and to some extent pleural fluid of pleuritis patients, is perhaps to limit the infection, while elevated IL-10 in plasma of TB patients and contacts and pleural fluid would perhaps modulate excess proinflammation. Elevated TGF-beta in TB patients suggests its role in the immunopathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • HIV Seronegativity
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-10 / analysis
  • Interleukin-10 / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Specificity
  • Pleural Effusion / chemistry
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / analysis
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / blood*
  • Tuberculosis, Pleural / blood*
  • Tuberculosis, Pleural / immunology
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / blood*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / analysis*


  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interleukin-10