Background: Ficolins are lectins that have been demonstrated to play an important role in innate immune response in a variety of diseases. Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) infection can trigger a series of changes in the host. However, the role of ficolin in tuberculosis is still unclear.
Objective: We investigated the expression of ficolin in peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) in TB patients and healthy control.
Methods: Using semi-quantitative RT-PCR, western blotting, and flow cytometry, we compared the expression of M-ficolin, L-ficolin, and H-ficolin in the peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC), purified monocytes, and cultured dendritic cells of TB patients with healthy volunteers as controls.
Results: M-ficolin expression in PBMC was significantly lower at both mRNA and protein levels in TB patients as compared to healthy controls. The lower M-ficolin level in TB patient PBMCs may be attributed to its lower level in monocytes. The expression levels of H-ficolin and L-ficolin in both healthy controls and TB patients were very low and they had no significant differences between the two groups.
Conclusions: Compared to healthy controls, M-ficolin expression is significantly lower in TB patients. Measurement of M-ficolin may be a potential auxiliary tool to diagnose TB infection.