Objective: To examine the global effects of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) infection on macrophages.
Methods: The gene expression profiling of macrophage U937, in response to infection with M. tuberculosis H(37)R(a), was monitored using a high-density cDNA microarray.
Results: M. tuberculosis infection caused 463 differentially expressed genes, of which 366 genes are known genes registered in the Gene Bank. These genes function in various cellular processes including intracellular signalling, cytoskeletal rearrangement, apoptosis, transcriptional regulation, cell surface receptors, cell-mediated immunity as well as a variety of cellular metabolic pathways, and may play key roles in M. tuberculosis infection and intracellular survival.
Conclusions: M. tuberculosis infection alters the expression of host-cell genes, and these genes will provide a foundation for understanding the infection process of M. tuberculosis. The cDNA microarray is a powerful tool for studying pathogen-host cell interaction.