Immune Netw.  2011 Dec;11(6):424-427. 10.4110/in.2011.11.6.424.

The Role of Intracellular Receptor NODs for Cytokine Production by Macrophages Infected with Mycobacterium leprae

  • 1Institute of Chronic Disease, College of Pharmacy, Sahmyook University, Seoul 139-742, Korea.
  • 2Institute of Hansen's Disease, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul 137-701, Korea.


The nucleotide-oligomerization domain (NOD) proteins are members of the NOD-like receptor (NLR) family, which are intracellular and cytoplasmic receptors. We analyzed the role of NODs for cytokine production by macrophages infected with intracellular pathogen M. leprae, the causative agent of leprosy. Production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1beta and TNF-alpha was inhibited in the presence of cytochalasin D, an agent blocking phagocytosis, suggesting that intracellular signaling was, partially, required for macrophage activation to M. leprae infection. Next, we investigated the role of NOD1 and NOD2 proteins on NF-kappaB activation and cytokine expression. Treatment with M. leprae significantly increased NF-kappaB activation and expression of TNF-alpha and IL-1beta in NOD1- and NOD2-transfected cells. Interestingly, their activation and expression were inhibited by cytochalasin D, suggesting that stimulation of NOD proteins may be associated with the enhancement of cytokine production in host to M. leprae.


Mycobacterium leprae; Cytokine; Cytochalasin D; NOD
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