TB bacterium may suppress immune system to spread disease
Now, a new study uncovers evidence that the disease bacterium disrupts regulatory pathways in white blood cells that limit tissue destruction.
Macrophages are white blood cells that target, engulf, and destroy unwanted agents such as pathogens and unhealthy human cells.
The body needs MMP-1 to help remodel lung tissue (for instance, in wound healing), but if there is too much of the enzyme, it can result in tissue destruction.
The team notes that while the signaling pathways that control MMP-1 in macrophages have already been identified, little is known about what happens to such pathways in tissue infected with TB.