Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is a global health threat, compounded by the emergence of drug-resistant strains. A hallmark of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) is the formation of hypoxic necrotic granulomas, which upon disintegration, release infectious Mtb. Furthermore, hypoxic necrotic granulomas are associated with increased disease severity and provide a niche for drug-resistant Mtb. However, the host immune responses that promote the development of hypoxic TB granulomas are not well described. Using a necrotic Mtb mouse model, we show that loss of Mtb virulence factors, such as phenolic glycolipids, decreases the production of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-17 (also referred to as IL-17A). IL-17 production negatively regulates the development of hypoxic TB granulomas by limiting the expression of the transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF1α). In human TB patients, HIF1α mRNA expression is increased. Through genotyping and association analyses in human samples, we identified a link between the single nucleotide polymorphism rs2275913 in the IL-17 promoter (–197G/G), which is associated with decreased IL-17 production upon stimulation with Mtb cell wall. Together, our data highlight a potentially novel role for IL-17 in limiting the development of hypoxic necrotic granulomas and reducing disease severity in TB.


Racquel Domingo-Gonzalez, Shibali Das, Kristin L. Griffiths, Mushtaq Ahmed, Monika Bambouskova, Radha Gopal, Suhas Gondi, Marcela Muñoz-Torrico, Miguel A. Salazar-Lezama, Alfredo Cruz-Lagunas, Luis Jiménez-Álvarez, Gustavo Ramirez-Martinez, Ramón Espinosa-Soto, Tamanna Sultana, James Lyons-Weiler, Todd A. Reinhart, Jesus Arcos, Maria de la Luz Garcia-Hernandez, Michael A. Mastrangelo, Noor Al-Hammadi, Reid Townsend, Joan-Miquel Balada-Llasat, Jordi B. Torrelles, Gilla Kaplan, William Horne, Jay K. Kolls, Maxim N. Artyomov, Javier Rangel-Moreno, Joaquín Zúñiga, Shabaana A. Khader


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