Programmed death ligand 1 is over-expressed by neutrophils in the blood of patients with active tuberculosis

Eur J Immunol. 2011 Jul;41(7):1941-7. doi: 10.1002/eji.201141421. Epub 2011 May 27.


Tuberculosis (TB), caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), remains one of the world's largest infectious disease problems. Despite decades of intensive study, the immune response to Mtb is incompletely characterised, reflecting the extremely complex interaction between pathogen and host. Pathways that may alter the balance between host protection and pathogenesis are therefore of great interest. One pathway shown to play a role in the pathogenesis of chronic infections, including TB, is the programmed death-1 (PD-1) pathway. We show here that the expression of the programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1), which interacts with PD-1, is increased in whole blood from active TB patients compared with whole blood from healthy controls or Mtb-exposed individuals, and that expression by neutrophils is largely responsible for this increase.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antigens, CD / blood*
  • Antigens, CD / genetics
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins / metabolism
  • B7-H1 Antigen
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Microarray Analysis
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology*
  • Neutrophils / immunology*
  • Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor
  • Tuberculosis / blood
  • Tuberculosis / immunology*


  • Antigens, CD
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • B7-H1 Antigen
  • CD274 protein, human
  • PDCD1 protein, human
  • Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor