UMMS Affiliation

Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Bacterial Infections and Mycoses | Immunity | Immunology of Infectious Disease | Immunopathology | Pathogenic Microbiology


During tuberculosis, lung myeloid cells have two opposing roles: they are an intracellular niche occupied by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and they restrict bacterial replication. Lung myeloid cells from mice infected with yellow-fluorescent protein expressing M. tuberculosis were analyzed by flow cytometry and transcriptional profiling to identify the cell types infected and their response to infection. CD14, CD38, and Abca1 were expressed more highly by infected alveolar macrophages and CD11cHi monocyte-derived cells compared to uninfected cells. CD14, CD38, and Abca1 "triple positive" (TP) cells had not only the highest infection rates and bacterial loads, but also a strong interferon-gamma signature and nitric oxide synthetase-2 production indicating recognition by T cells. Despite evidence of T cell recognition and appropriate activation, these TP macrophages are a cellular compartment occupied by M. tuberculosis long-term. Defining the niche where M. tuberculosis resists elimination promises to provide insight into why inducing sterilizing immunity is a formidable challenge.


Bone marrow cells, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Cloning, Macrophages, T cells, Monocytes, Gene expression, Respiratory infections

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Copyright: © 2020 Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

DOI of Published Version



Lee J, Boyce S, Powers J, Baer C, Sassetti CM, Behar SM. CD11cHi monocyte-derived macrophages are a major cellular compartment infected by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. PLoS Pathog. 2020 Jun 16;16(6):e1008621. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1008621. PMID: 32544188; PMCID: PMC7319360. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

PLoS pathogens

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.