1887

Abstract

The Pro-Pro-Glu (PPE) protein family of includes 69 glycine-rich proteins with a conserved N-terminal domain. Their role in tuberculosis is unknown, but it has been speculated that they may have an important immunological significance. In this investigation, the immunogenicity of the Rv2770c) gene product in BALB/c mice infected subcutaneously or intravenously with bacille Calmette–Guérin (BCG) was evaluated. Mice infected subcutaneously developed high titres of anti-PPE44 IgG1 antibodies, while PPE44-specific IgG2a antibodies were absent at all times tested. PPE44-primed cells from draining lymph nodes and spleen produced low levels of IFN-γ, and a moderate degree of delayed-type hypersensitivity was observed following PPE44 intracutaneous challenge. In mice infected intravenously, the anti-PPE44 IgG1 antibody response was markedly higher compared with the subcutaneous infection; anti-PPE44 IgG2a antibodies at titres approximately 0.5–2.0 log lower than IgG1 were detected. Interferon (IFN)-γ production in PPE44-stimulated spleen-cell cultures was transient. These results indicate that PPE44 represents a novel mycobacterial antigen expressed during subcutaneous and intravenous infection by BCG in BALB/c mice. Both infection models seem to polarize the immune response to PPE44 towards a Th2 phenotype, as testified by the IgG1 isotype being predominant over IgG2a and by the low IFN-γ and delayed-type hypersensitivity responses.

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2005-05-01
2019-11-18
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