Date of Graduation


Document Type

Dissertation (PhD)

Program Affiliation

Biomedical Sciences

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Advisor/Committee Chair

Chinnaswamy Jagannath

Committee Member

Robert L. Hunter

Committee Member

David McMurray

Committee Member

Bradley McIntyre

Committee Member

Audrey Wanger


Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) replicates within the human macrophages and we investigated the activating effects of retinoic acid (RA) and vitamin D3 (VD) on macrophages in relation to the viability of Mtb. A combination of these vitamins (RAVD) enhanced the receptors on THP-1 macrophage (Mannose receptor and DC-SIGN) that increased mycobacterial uptake but inhibited the
subsequent intracellular growth of Mtb by inducing reactive oxygen species (ROS) and autophagy. RAVD also enhanced antigen presenting and homing receptors in THPs that suggested an activated phenotype for THPs following RAVD treatment. RAVD mediated activation was also associated with a marked phenotypic change in Mtb infected THPs that fused with adjacent cells to form
multinucleate giant cells (MNGCs). Typically MNGCs occurred over 30 days of in vitro culture and contained non-replicating persisting Mtb for as long as 60 days in culture. We propose that the RAVD mediated inhibition of replicating Mtb leading to persistence of non-replicating Mtb within THPs may provide a novel human macrophage model simulating formation of MNGCs in human


Vitamin D, Retinoic Acid, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, multi-nucleated giant cell, THP-1 macrophages, Phorbol myristate acetate