Author(s): Kim J, Uyemura K, Van Dyke MK, Legaspi AJ, Rea TH,
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Abstract The generation of cell-mediated immunity against intracellular infection involves the production of IL-12, a critical cytokine required for the development of Th1 responses. The biologic activities of IL-12 are mediated through a specific, high affinity IL-12R composed of an IL-12Rbeta1/IL-12Rbeta2 heterodimer, with the IL-12Rbeta2 chain involved in signaling via Stat4. We investigated IL-12R expression and function in human infectious disease, using the clinical/immunologic spectrum of leprosy as a model. T cells from tuberculoid patients, the resistant form of leprosy, are responsive to IL-12; however, T cells from lepromatous patients, the susceptible form of leprosy, do not respond to IL-12. We found that the IL-12Rbeta2 was more highly expressed in tuberculoid lesions compared with lepromatous lesions. In contrast, IL-12Rbeta1 expression was similar in both tuberculoid and lepromatous lesions. The expression of IL-12Rbeta2 on T cells was up-regulated by Mycobacterium leprae in tuberculoid but not in lepromatous patients. Furthermore, IL-12 induced Stat4 phosphorylation and DNA binding in M. leprae-activated T cells from tuberculoid but not from lepromatous patients. Interestingly, IL-12Rbeta2 in lepromatous patients could be up-regulated by stimulation with M. tuberculosis. These data suggest that Th response to M. leprae determines IL-12Rbeta2 expression and function in host defense in leprosy.
This article was published in J Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology