Dendritic cells derived from BCG-infected precursors induce Th2-like immune response

Angelo Martino, Alessandra Sacchi, Nunzia Sanarico, Francesca Spadaro, Carlo Ramoni, Antonio Ciaramella, Leopoldo Paolo Pucillo, Vittorio Colizzi, Silvia Vendetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Human monocytes can differentiate into dendritic cells (DCs) according to the nature of environmental signals. We tested here whether the infection with the live tuberculosis vaccine bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), which is known to be limited in preventing pulmonary tuberculosis, modulates monocyte and DC differentiation. We found that monocytes infected with BCG differentiate into CD1a- DCs (BCG-DCs) in the presence of granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor and interleukin (IL)-4 and acquired a mature phenotype in the absence of maturation stimuli. In addition, BCG-DCs produced proinflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor α, IL-1β, IL-6) and IL-10 but not IL-12. BCG-DCs were able to stimulate allogeneic T lymphocytes to a similar degree as DCs generated in the absence of infection. However, BCG-DCs induced IL-4 production when cocultured with human cord-blood mononuclear cells. The induction of IL-4 production by DCs generated by BCG-infected monocytes could explain the failure of the BCG vaccine to prevent pulmonary tuberculosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)827-834
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2004


  • CD1a
  • Cytokines
  • Differentiation
  • Mycobacteria
  • Polarization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Dendritic cells derived from BCG-infected precursors induce Th2-like immune response'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Martino, A., Sacchi, A., Sanarico, N., Spadaro, F., Ramoni, C., Ciaramella, A., Pucillo, L. P., Colizzi, V., & Vendetti, S. (2004). Dendritic cells derived from BCG-infected precursors induce Th2-like immune response. Journal of Leukocyte Biology, 76(4), 827-834.