The role of interferon-gamma in the increased tuberculosis risk in type 2 diabetes mellitus

J. E. Stalenhoef, B. Alisjahbana, E. J. Nelwan, J. Van Der Ven-Jongekrijg, T. H.M. Ottenhoff, J. W.M. Van Der Meer, R. H. Nelwan, M. G. Netea, R. Van Crevel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)


As patients with diabetes mellitus are at increased risk of developing tuberculosis, we hypothesized that this susceptibility to mycobacterial infection is due to a defective Th1-cytokine response. To explore this hypothesis, we examined four groups of subjects in Indonesia: 23 patients with tuberculosis, 34 patients with tuberculosis and diabetes, 32 patients with diabetes only and 36 healthy controls. Ex-vivo production of interferon (IFN)γ, tumour necrosis factor-α and interleukin (IL)-1β, 6, 10, -12 and -4 was measured following stimulation with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide and phytohaemagglutinin. Patients with active tuberculosis were found to have lower IFNγ levels and a higher production of other pro-inflammatory cytokines and IL-4, both in the presence and absence of diabetes. Diabetes patients without tuberculosis, however, showed strongly reduced non-specific IFNγ production, which is essential for inhibition of the initial growth of M. tuberculosis. Our data suggest that a defective non-specific immune response in diabetes may contribute to an increased susceptibility to develop tuberculosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-103
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of interferon-gamma in the increased tuberculosis risk in type 2 diabetes mellitus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this