Enhancement of CD4+ T Cell Function as a Strategy for Improving Antibiotic Therapy Efficacy in Tuberculosis: Does It Work?
Diego L. Costa | Diego L. Costa | Diego L. Costa | Eduardo P. Amaral | Sivaranjani Namasivayam | Lara R. Mittereder | Lara R. Mittereder | Bruno B. Andrade | Bruno B. Andrade | Bruno B. Andrade | Bruno B. Andrade | Bruno B. Andrade | Bruno B. Andrade | Bruno B. Andrade | Alan Sher
Tuberculosis (TB), caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) remains a major public health problem worldwide due in part to the lack of an effective vaccine and to the lengthy course of antibiotic treatment required for successful cure. Combined immuno/chemotherapeutic intervention represents a major strategy for developing more effective therapies against this important pathogen. Because of the major role of CD4+ T cells in containing Mtb infection, augmentation of bacterial specific CD4+ T cell responses has been considered as an approach in achieving this aim. Here we present new data from our own research aimed at determining whether boosting CD4+ T cell responses can promote antibiotic clearance. In these studies, we first characterized the impact of antibiotic treatment of infected mice on Th1 responses to major Mtb antigens and then performed experiments aimed at sustaining CD4+ T cell responsiveness during antibiotic treatment. These included IL-12 infusion, immunization with ESAT-6 and Ag85B immunodominant peptides and adoptive transfer of Th1-polarized CD4+ T cells specific for ESAT-6 or Ag85B during the initial month of chemotherapy. These approaches failed to enhance antibiotic clearance of Mtb, indicating that boosting Th1 responses to immunogenic Mtb antigens highly expressed by actively dividing bacteria is not an effective strategy to be used in the initial phase of antibiotic treatment, perhaps because replicating organisms are the first to be eliminated by the drugs. These results are discussed in the context of previously published findings addressing this concept along with possible alternate approaches for harnessing Th1 immunity as an adjunct to chemotherapy.Show more [+] Less [-]