Macrophage infection models for Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Methods Mol Biol. 2015;1285:329-41. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-2450-9_20.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis colonizes, survives, and grows inside macrophages. In vitro macrophage infection models, using both primary macrophages and cell lines, enable the characterization of the pathogen response to macrophage immune pressure and intracellular environmental cues. We describe methods to propagate and infect primary murine bone marrow-derived macrophages and J774 and THP-1 macrophage-like cell lines. We also present methods on the characterization of M. tuberculosis intracellular survival and the preparation of infected macrophages for imaging.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Separation / methods
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Interferon-gamma / pharmacology
  • Lipopolysaccharides / immunology
  • Macrophage Activation / drug effects
  • Macrophage Activation / immunology
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Macrophages / microbiology*
  • Mice
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / physiology*
  • Primary Cell Culture / methods


  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Interferon-gamma