Characterization of MHC induction by mycoplasma fermentans (incognitus strain)

P. Michael Stuart, Rita M. Egan, Jerold G. Woodward

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13 Scopus citations


Mycoplasma fermentans (incognitus strain) is a recently identified new human pathogen and suspected cofactor in acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Because this organism appears to exert strong immunosuppressive properties of its own, we decided to investigate whether it was capable of inducing MHC class II expression, as we have observed for other species of mycoplasma. In this report we demonstrate that M. fermentans (incognitus strain) is capable of producing factors that increase MHC class II expression as well as MHC class I expression on the myelomonocytic cell line, WEHI-3 cells, We also present data showing that these mycoplasmal factors induce small, although significant, increases in MHC class I and II antigens on a mouse glioma cell line, G26-20, and MHC class II expression on the human monocyte cell lines, U-937 and HL-60. Using nuclear run-on analysis, we show that the mycoplasma-induced increase in MHC expression is at least partially due to an increase in transcription of the MHC genes. Furthermore, we show that the factor that mediates this activity is sensitive to protease treatment, indicating that it is, at least in part, protein. These results demonstrate that M. fermentans (incognitus strain) is capable of modulating the expression of immunologically important MHC genes in both murine and human cell lines, which may prove to be an important factor in the pathogenesis of this organism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-270
Number of pages10
JournalCellular Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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