• Mycobacterium tuberculosis;
  • Mycobacterium bovis BCG;
  • cAMP;
  • macrophage;
  • albumin


Adenosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP)-mediated signal transduction is common in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes, and several bacterial pathogens modulate cAMP signaling pathways of their mammalian hosts during infection. In this study, cAMP levels associated with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium bovis BCG were measured during macrophage infection. cAMP levels within both bacteria increased c. 50-fold during infection of J774.16 macrophages, relative to the cAMP levels within bacteria incubated in tissue culture media alone. cAMP levels also increased within the macrophage cytoplasm upon uptake of live, but not dead, mycobacteria. The presence of albumin in the absence of oleic acid significantly decreased cAMP secretion and production by both M. tuberculosis and M. bovis BCG. These results suggest that cAMP signaling plays a role in the interaction of tuberculosis-complex mycobacteria with macrophages during infection, and that albumin may be a physiological indicator differentiating host environments during infection.