Background: Mycobacterium tuberculosis lipid antigens take part in pathogenicity of the bacterium but the response of monocytes/macrophages to these antigens in tubercu-losis is not well known.
Objective: The aim of current investigation was to study the M. tuberculosis lipid antigens in tuberculosis pathogenesis.
Methods: In the present study M. tuberculosis lipid antigens were extracted. Monocytes and macrophages from mul-tidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), TB patients, asymptomatic healthy individuals with positive tuberculin skin test positive and healthy individuals with negative tubercu-lin skin test were collected using magnetic cell sorting. The cells were stimulated by M. tuberculosis total lipid antigens and IL-12 and IL-10 in their supernatants were meas-ured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Results: The IL-12 production by mono-cytes in response to M. tuberculosis total sonicate antigens in the MDR-TB patients did not show a considerable difference with the PPD positive healthy subjects, whereas in the active TB patients, IL-12 levels significantly decreased (p<0.05). IL-10 production by monocytes in TB patients in response to total lipid antigens showed a significant in-crease in comparison to MDR-TB patients and healthy individuals.
Conclusion: In the MDR-TB patients, IL-10 and IL-12 production by monocytes in response to M. tubercu-losis lipid antigens are similar to the healthy subjects.