Regulation of antigen presentation by Mycobacterium tuberculosis: a role for Toll-like receptors
Clifford V. Harding & W. Henry Boom
Mycobacterium tuberculosis survives in antigen-presenting cells (APCs) such as macrophages and dendritic cells. APCs present antigens in association with major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules to stimulate CD4+ T cells, and this process is essential to contain M. tuberculosis infection. Immune evasion allows M. tuberculosis to establish persistent or latent infection in macrophages and results in Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2)-dependent inhibition of MHC class II transactivator expression, MHC class II molecule expression and antigen presentation. This reduction of antigen presentation might reflect a general mechanism of negative-feedback regulation that prevents excessive T cell-mediated inflammation and that M. tuberculosis has subverted to create a niche for survival in infected macrophages and evasion of recognition by CD4+ T cells.