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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2011, Article ID 347594, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/347594
Review Article

Innate Immune Effectors in Mycobacterial Infection

1Laboratory of Immune Regulation, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, 2-2, Yamada-oka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
2WPI Immunology Frontier Research Center, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan

Received 4 October 2010; Revised 13 December 2010; Accepted 22 December 2010

Academic Editor: Carl Feng

Copyright © 2011 Hiroyuki Saiga 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.

Abstract

Tuberculosis, which is caused by infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), remains one of the major bacterial infections worldwide. Host defense against Mtb is mediated by a combination of innate and adaptive immune responses. In the last 15 years, the mechanisms for activation of innate immunity have been elucidated. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) have been revealed to be critical for the recognition of pathogenic microorganisms including mycobacteria. Subsequent studies further revealed that NOD-like receptors and C-type lectin receptors are responsible for the TLR-independent recognition of mycobacteria. Several molecules, such as active vitamin D3, secretary leukocyte protease inhibitor, and lipocalin 2, all of which are induced by TLR stimulation, have been shown to direct innate immune responses to mycobacteria. In addition, Irgm1-dependent autophagy has recently been demonstrated to eliminate intracellular mycobacteria. Thus, our understanding of the mechanisms for the innate immune response to mycobacteria is developing.