Platelets regulate pulmonary inflammation and tissue destruction in tuberculosis

Katharine A. Fox, Daniela E. Kirwan, Ashley M. Whittington, Nitya Krishnan, Brian D. Robertson, Robert H. Gilman, José W. López, Shivani Singh, Joanna C. Porter, Jon S. Friedland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Rationale: Platelets may interact with the immune system in tuberculosis (TB) to regulate human inflammatory responses that lead to morbidity and spread of infection. Objectives: To identify a functional role of platelets in the innate inflammatory and matrix-degrading response in TB. Methods: Markers of platelet activation were examined in plasma from 50 patients with TB before treatment and 50 control subjects. Twenty-five patients were followed longitudinally. Platelet–monocyte interactions were studied in a coculture model infected with live, virulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) and dissected using qRT-PCR, Luminex multiplex arrays, matrix degradation assays, and colony counts. Immunohistochemistry detected CD41 (cluster of differentiation 41) expression in a pulmonary TB murine model, and secreted platelet factors were measured in BAL fluid from 15 patients with TB and matched control subjects. Measurements and Main Results: Five of six platelet-associated mediators were upregulated in plasma of patients with TB compared with control subjects, with concentrations returning to baseline by Day 60 of treatment. Gene expression of the monocyte collagenase MMP-1 (matrix metalloproteinase-1) was upregulated by platelets in M.tb infection. Platelets also enhanced M.tb-induced MMP-1 and -10 secretion, which drove type I collagen degradation. Platelets increased monocyte IL-1 and IL-10 and decreased IL-12 and MDC (monocyte-derived chemokine; also known as CCL-22) secretion, as consistent with an M2 monocyte phenotype. Monocyte killing of intracellular M.tb was decreased. In the lung, platelets were detected in a TB mouse model, and secreted platelet mediators were upregulated in human BAL fluid and correlated with MMP and IL-1b concentrations. Conclusions: Platelets drive a proinflammatory, tissue-degrading phenotype in TB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-255
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Jul 2018


  • Human
  • Innate immunity
  • Matrix metalloproteinases
  • Platelets
  • Tuberculosis


Dive into the research topics of 'Platelets regulate pulmonary inflammation and tissue destruction in tuberculosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this