Lung granulomas from Mycobacterium tuberculosis/HIV-1 co-infected patients display decreased in situ TNF production

Pathol Res Pract. 2008;204(3):155-61. doi: 10.1016/j.prp.2007.10.008. Epub 2007 Dec 21.


Tuberculosis/HIV-1 co-infection is responsible for thousands of deaths each year, and previous studies have reported that co-infected individuals display major morphological alterations in tissue granulomas. The purpose of this study was to evaluate immunohistopathological characteristics in lung tissues from pulmonary TB/HIV-1-co-infected individuals. Following autopsy, tuberculosis-positive HIV-1-negative cases displayed granulomas with normal architecture, mainly composed of a mononuclear infiltrate with typical epithelioid, as well as giant cells, and exhibiting caseous necrosis. In contrast, lesions from the TB/HIV-1-co-infected group showed extensive necrosis, poorly formed granulomas, and a marked presence of polymorphonuclear cells. More importantly, TNF staining was greatly reduced in the TB/HIV-1-co-infected individuals. Our data suggest that HIV-1 infection alters the organization of pulmonary granulomas by modulating TNF and, possibly, cell trafficking, leading to an impaired anti-tuberculosis response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / immunology
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / pathology
  • Granuloma, Respiratory Tract / immunology*
  • Granuloma, Respiratory Tract / microbiology
  • Granuloma, Respiratory Tract / pathology
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV Infections / pathology
  • HIV-1
  • Humans
  • Lung / immunology*
  • Lung / microbiology
  • Lung / pathology
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / complications*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / immunology
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / pathology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / biosynthesis*


  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha