Type I interferon signaling mediates Mycobacterium tuberculosis-induced macrophage death.

The Journal of experimental medicine, Volume: 218, Issue: 2
February 1, 2021
Li Zhang L, Xiuju Jiang X, Daniel Pfau D, Yan Ling Y, Carl F Nathan CF

Macrophages help defend the host against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the major cause of tuberculosis (TB). Once phagocytized, Mtb resists killing by macrophages, replicates inside them, and leads to their death, releasing Mtb that can infect other cells. We found that the death of Mtb-infected mouse macrophages in vitro does not appear to proceed by a currently known pathway. Through genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 screening, we identified a critical role for autocrine or paracrine signaling by macrophage-derived type I IFNs in the death of Mtb-infected macrophages in vitro, and blockade of type I IFN signaling augmented the effect of rifampin, a first-line TB drug, in Mtb-infected mice. Further definition of the pathway of type I IFN-mediated macrophage death may allow for host-directed therapy of TB that is more selective than systemic blockade of type I IFN signaling.

Courtesy of the U.S. National Library of Medicine