IgG1 antimycobacterial antibodies can reverse the inhibitory effect of pentoxifylline on tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) secreted by mycobacterial antigen-stimulated adherent cells

Document Type



Pathology and Laboratory Medicine


Chronic inflammation associated with cachexia, weight loss, fever and arthralgia is the hallmark of advanced mycobacterial diseases. These symptoms are attributed to the chronic stimulation of tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha. Mycobacterial components directly stimulate adherent cells to secrete TNF-alpha. We have shown recently that IgG1 antimycobacterial antibodies play a role in augmenting TNF-alpha in purified protein derivative (PPD)-stimulated adherent cells from non-BCG-vaccinated donors. We now show that IgG1 antibodies can also augment TNF-alpha expression in stimulated adherent cells obtained from BCG-vaccinated donors and this augmentation is not linked to interleukin (IL)-10 secretion. In addition IgG1 antimycobacterial antibodies can reverse the effect of TNF-alpha blockers such as pentoxifylline and thalidomide. These studies therefore have clinical implications for anti-inflammatory drug treatments which are used increasingly to alleviate symptoms associated with chronic inflammation.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Clinical and Experimental Immunology