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PloS one

A multifaceted analysis of immune-endocrine-metabolic alterations in patients with pulmonary tuberculosis.


PMID 22022605

Abstract

Our study investigated the circulating levels of factors involved in immune-inflammatory-endocrine-metabolic responses in patients with tuberculosis with the aim of uncovering a relation between certain immune and hormonal patterns, their clinical status and in vitro immune response. The concentration of leptin, adiponectin, IL-6, IL-1β, ghrelin, C-reactive protein (CRP), cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and the in vitro immune response (lymphoproliferation and IFN-γ production) was evaluated in 53 patients with active untreated tuberculosis, 27 household contacts and 25 healthy controls, without significant age- or sex-related differences. Patients had a lower body mass index (BMI), reduced levels of leptin and DHEA, and increased concentrations of CRP, IL-6, cortisol, IL-1β and nearly significant adiponectin values than household contacts and controls. Within tuberculosis patients the BMI and leptin levels were positively correlated and decreased with increasing disease severity, whereas higher concentrations of IL-6, CRP, IL-1β, cortisol, and ghrelin were seen in cases with moderate to severe tuberculosis. Household contacts had lower DHEA and higher IL-6 levels than controls. Group classification by means of discriminant analysis and the k-nearest neighbor method showed that tuberculosis patients were clearly different from the other groups, having higher levels of CRP and lower DHEA concentration and BMI. Furthermore, plasma leptin levels were positively associated with the basal in vitro IFN-γ production and the ConA-driven proliferation of cells from tuberculosis patients. Present alterations in the communication between the neuro-endocrine and immune systems in tuberculosis may contribute to disease worsening.