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ISRN Immunology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 963879, 11 pages
Review Article

New Aspects in Immunopathology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

1Chronic Respiratory Disease Research Center, National Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (NRITLD), Masih Daneshvari Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2Division of Pharmacology and Pathophysiology, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
3Mycobacteriology Research Centre, National Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

Received 4 January 2012; Accepted 24 January 2012

Academic Editor: L. Szereday

Copyright © 2012 E. Mortaz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Our understanding of tuberculosis (TB) pathology and immunology has become extensively deeper and more refined since the identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) as the etiologic agent of disease by Dr. Robert Koch in 1882. A great challenge in chronic disease is to understand the complexities, mechanisms, and consequences of host interactions with pathogens. TB, caused by MTB, is a major health problem in world, with 10 million new cases diagnosed each year. Innate immunity is shown playing an important role in the host defense against the MTB, and the first step in this process is recognition of MTB by cells of the innate immune system. Several classes of pattern recognition receptors (PPRs) are involved in the recognition of MTB, including toll-like receptors (TLRs), C-type lectin receptors (CLRs), and nod-like receptors (NLRs). Among the TLR family, TLR1, TLR2, TLR4, and TLR9 and their down streams, proteins play the most prominent roles in the initiation of the immune response against MTB. Beside of TLRs signaling, recently the activation of inflammasome pathway in the pathogenesis of TB much appreciated. Knowledge about these signaling pathways is crucial for understanding the pathophysiology of TB, on one hand, and for the development of novel strategies of vaccination and treatment such as immunotherapy on the other. Given the critical role of TLRs/inflammasome signaling in innate immunity and initiation of the appropriate adaptive response, the regulation of these pathways is likely to be an important determinant of the clinical outcome of MTB infection. In this review paper we focused on the immune response, which is the recognition of MTB by inflammatory innate immune cells following infection.