Altered circulating levels of B cell growth factors and their modulation upon anti-tuberculosis treatment in pulmonary tuberculosis and tuberculous lymphadenitis.

Gokul Raj, K.; Moideen, K.; Banurekha, V.V.; Nair, D.; Sridhar, R.; Baskaran, D.; Babu ,S.

PLoS One; 2018; 13(11): e0207404.           

Abstract: B cell activating factor/a proliferation-inducing ligand (BAFF/APRIL) are members of the tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF)a family of ligands, which are essential for B cell survival, development, and modulation of the immune system. To examine the association of circulating levels of BAFF and APRIL with pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) and tuberculous lymphadenitis (TBL), we measured the systemic levels of APRIL and BAFF in individuals with PTB, TBL, latent tuberculosis (LTB) and healthy controls (HC). Further, we also examined the pre and post-treatment plasma levels of above-mentioned parameters in PTB and TBL individuals upon completion of anti-TB chemotherapy. Next, the association of these cytokines either with extent of disease, disease severity, bacterial burden in PTB and lymph node culture grade or the lymph node size in TBL was also assessed. Finally, ROC analysis was performed to examine the discrimination capacity of APRIL and BAFF between PTB or TBL with LTB. Our study revealed significantly diminished plasma levels of APRIL in PTB and higher plasma levels of BAFF in both PTB and TBL individuals compared to LTB and HC. Furthermore, we observed a significant increase in APRIL levels in TBL and significantly decreased plasma levels of BAFF in both PTB and TBL after the completion of successful anti-TB treatment. There was no statistically positive relationship between BAFF and APRIL levels and the extent of disease, disease severity and bacterial burden in PTB. In TBL, there was a significant correlation between APRIL (but not BAFF) levels with lymph node culture grades. In contrast, APRIL in PTB and BAFF in TBL were able to clearly discriminate from LTB in ROC analysis. In summary, our results showed altered levels of BAFF/APRIL and their modulation upon chemotherapy, suggesting that these cytokines might be involved in the immune-modulation of TB infection.


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