High Dimensional Immune Profiling Reveals Different Response Patterns in Active and Latent Tuberculosis Following Stimulation With Mycobacterial Glycolipids

Front Immunol. 2021 Nov 23:12:727300. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.727300. eCollection 2021.


Upon infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) the host immune response might clear the bacteria, control its growth leading to latent tuberculosis (LTB), or fail to control its growth resulting in active TB (ATB). There is however no clear understanding of the features underlying a more or less effective response. Mtb glycolipids are abundant in the bacterial cell envelope and modulate the immune response to Mtb, but the patterns of response to glycolipids are still underexplored. To identify the CD45+ leukocyte activation landscape induced by Mtb glycolipids in peripheral blood of ATB and LTB, we performed a detailed assessment of the immune response of PBMCs to the Mtb glycolipids lipoarabinomannan (LAM) and its biosynthetic precursor phosphatidyl-inositol mannoside (PIM), and purified-protein derivate (PPD). At 24 h of stimulation, cell profiling and secretome analysis was done using mass cytometry and high-multiplex immunoassay. PIM induced a diverse cytokine response, mainly affecting antigen-presenting cells to produce both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines, but not IFN-γ, contrasting with PPD that was a strong inducer of IFN-γ. The effect of PIM on the antigen-presenting cells was partly TLR2-dependent. Expansion of monocyte subsets in response to PIM or LAM was reduced primarily in LTB as compared to healthy controls, suggesting a hyporesponsive/tolerance pattern derived from Mtb infection.

Keywords: active tuberculosis (ATB); hyporesponsiveness; latent tuberculosis (LTB); lipoarabinomannan (LAM); mycobacterial glycolipids; phosphatidylinositol mannoside (PIM); tuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antigens, Bacterial / administration & dosage
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / classification
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Female
  • Glycolipids / administration & dosage
  • Glycolipids / immunology
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Latent Tuberculosis / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology
  • Myeloid Cells / immunology
  • Phosphatidylinositols / administration & dosage
  • Phosphatidylinositols / immunology
  • Prospective Studies
  • T-Lymphocytes / classification
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2 / immunology
  • Tuberculin / administration & dosage
  • Tuberculin / immunology
  • Tuberculosis / immunology*
  • Young Adult


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Cytokines
  • Glycolipids
  • Phosphatidylinositols
  • TLR2 protein, human
  • Toll-Like Receptor 2
  • Tuberculin
  • phosphatidylinositol mannoside