Tuberculosis (TB) caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is a global health challenge, especially in vulnerable populations like neonates, whose immune systems are still developing. Understanding the immune responses to Mtb in neonates is critical for the development of better vaccine and treatment strategies. Building upon previous research from our laboratory, which demonstrated that γMtb stimulated neonatal mice (0, 3, and 7 days old) lung cells displayed distinct cytokine profiles and increased expansion of myeloid-derived suppressor cell subpopulations than adult mice lung cells. In the current study, we investigated age-dependent immune responses in 14-day-old (neonates) and 6-week-old (adults) mice. We found that IL-6, TNF-a, and IL-10 cytokine levels were significantly higher in γMtb stimulated neonatal lung cell culture supernatants than in unstimulated controls and adult mice lung cells stimulated with γMtb.CD45+CD4+CD8+ cell population was significantly higher and CD11c+MHCII+ and NK1.1+ cell populations were lower in freshly isolated lung cells of neonatal mice than in adult mice lung cells. γMtb stimulated neonatal lung cells had a higher percentage of CD11b+Ly6G+, CD4+, and CD4+CD69+ cell population and lower levels of NK1.1+ and B cell populations than in γMtb stimulated adult lung cells. Overall, our study demonstrated that neonatal and adult mice immune cells respond differently to γMtb stimulation. These findings enhance our understanding of age-related variations in host immune responses and may help guide the development of targeted interventions to combat TB, particularly in newborns.

Date of publication

Spring 5-29-2024

Document Type




Persistent identifier



Masters in Biotechnology