IL-27 inhibits anti- Mycobacterium tuberculosis innate immune activity of primary human macrophages

More about Open Access at the Crick


Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) is an intracellular pathogen that primarily infects macrophages. Despite a robust anti-mycobacterial response, many times macrophages are unable to control M. tuberculosis. The purpose of this study was to investigate the mechanism by which the immunoregulatory cytokine IL-27 inhibits the anti-mycobacterial activity of primary human macrophages. We found concerted production of IL-27 and anti-mycobacterial cytokines by M. tuberculosis-infected macrophages in a toll-like receptor (TLR) dependent manner. Notably, IL-27 suppressed the production of anti-mycobacterial cytokines TNFα, IL-6, IL-1β, and IL-15 by M. tuberculosis-infected macrophages. IL-27 limits the anti-mycobacterial activity of macrophages by reducing Cyp27B, cathelicidin (LL-37), LC3B lipidation, and increasing IL-10 production. Furthermore, neutralizing both IL-27 and IL-10 increased the expression of proteins involved in LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP) pathway for bacterial clearance, namely vacuolar-ATPase, NOX2, and RUN-domain containing protein RUBCN. These results implicate IL-27 is a prominent cytokine that impedes M. tuberculosis clearance.

Journal details

Journal Tuberculosis
Volume 139
Pages 102326
Available online
Publication date

Crick authors

Crick First author
Crick Corresponding author