Garnering Information on Granulomas

Science Signaling  26 Jan 2010:
Vol. 3, Issue 106, pp. ec32
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.3106ec32

In tuberculosis, the tuberculous granuloma has been viewed traditionally as a host-protective structure that serves to “wall off” mycobacteria. However, recent work in the zebrafish embryo showed that mycobacteria convert the nascent granuloma into a vehicle for bacterial expansion and dissemination. Thus, intercepting granuloma formation could provide a strategy for treating tuberculosis, an urgent public health goal in light of the epidemic of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis. Now Volkman et al. (see the Perspective by Agarwal and Bishai) present the molecular pathway by which mycobacteria induce granulomas in zebrafish. Inhibition of this pathway attenuates infection by reducing granuloma formation, suggesting a therapeutic target for tuberculosis treatment.

H. E. Volkman, T. C. Pozos, J. Zheng, J. M. Davis, J. F. Rawls, L. Ramakrishnan, Tuberculous granuloma induction via interaction of a bacterial secreted protein with host epithelium. Science 327, 466–469 (2010). [Abstract] [Full Text]

N. Agarwal, W. R. Bishai, Subversion from the sidelines. Science 327, 417–418 (2010). [Summary] [Full Text]