Regulation of antigen presentation by Mycobacterium tuberculosis: a role for Toll-like receptors

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2010 Apr;8(4):296-307. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2321.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis survives in antigen-presenting cells (APCs) such as macrophages and dendritic cells. APCs present antigens in association with major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules to stimulate CD4(+) T cells, and this process is essential to contain M. tuberculosis infection. Immune evasion allows M. tuberculosis to establish persistent or latent infection in macrophages and results in Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2)-dependent inhibition of MHC class II transactivator expression, MHC class II molecule expression and antigen presentation. This reduction of antigen presentation might reflect a general mechanism of negative-feedback regulation that prevents excessive T cell-mediated inflammation and that M. tuberculosis has subverted to create a niche for survival in infected macrophages and evasion of recognition by CD4(+) T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antigen Presentation*
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / immunology
  • Antigens, Bacterial / isolation & purification
  • Genes, MHC Class II
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / genetics
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology*
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Toll-Like Receptors / metabolism*


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Toll-Like Receptors
  • Interferon-gamma