Gene expression and TB pathogenesis in rhesus macaques: TR4, CD40, CD40L, FAS (CD95), and TNF are host genetic markers in peripheral blood mononuclear cells that are associated with severity of TB lesions

Morteza Roodgar, Cody T. Ross, Ross Tarara, Linda J Lowenstine, Satya Dandekar, David Glenn Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Tuberculosis (TB) pathologic lesions in rhesus macaques resemble those in humans. The expression levels of several host TB candidate genes in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of six rhesus macaques experimentally infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis were quantified pre-infection and at several dates post-infection. Quantitative measures of TB histopathology in the lungs including: granuloma count, granuloma size, volume of granulomatous and non-granulomatous lesions, and direct bacterial load, were used as the outcomes of a multi-level Bayesian regression model in which expression levels of host genes at various dates were used as predictors. The results indicate that the expression levels of TR4, CD40, CD40L, FAS (CD95) and TNF in PBMC were associated with quantitative measures of the severity of TB histopathologic lesions in the lungs of the study animals. Moreover, no reliable association between the expression levels of IFNE in PBMCs and the severity of TB lesions in the lungs of the study animals was found. In conclusion, PBMC expression profiles derived from the above-listed host genes might be appropriate biomarkers for probabilistic diagnosis and/or prognosis of TB severity in rhesus macaques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-409
Number of pages14
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015



  • Gene expression
  • Histopathologic lesions
  • Host genes
  • IFNE
  • Rhesus macaques
  • TR4
  • Tuberculosis (TB)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology (medical)

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