Macrophages and Control of Granulomatous Inflammation in Tuberculosis

Mucosal Immunol. 2011 May;4(3):271-8. doi: 10.1038/mi.2011.14. Epub 2011 Mar 23.


The granuloma that forms in response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis must be carefully balanced in terms of immune responses to provide sufficient immune cell activation to inhibit the growth of the bacilli, yet modulate the inflammation to prevent pathology. There are likely many scenarios by which this balance can be reached, given the complexity of the immune responses induced by M. tuberculosis. In this review, we focus on the key role of the macrophage in balancing inflammation in the granuloma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Granuloma, Respiratory Tract / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Mucosal
  • Immunomodulation
  • Inflammation
  • Macrophage Activation
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / immunology*
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / microbiology
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology*
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / pathogenicity
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / immunology*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Virulence