Initial Influenza Virus Replication Can Be Limited in Allergic Asthma Through Rapid Induction of Type III Interferons in Respiratory Epithelium.
ABSTRACT: Although asthmatics has been considered to be highly susceptible to respiratory viral infection and most studies have focused on exacerbation of asthma by influenza A virus (IAV) infection, few experimental evidences exist to directly demonstrate that asthmatic mice are actually resistant to IAV infection. Here, we show that asthmatic mice are not highly susceptible to IAV in the early stage of infection and type III interferon (IFN) maintains antiviral immune response in the lung of IAV-infected asthmatic mouse resulting in inhibition of initial viral spread. C57BL/6 mice with allergic asthma were infected with IAV (WS/33: H1N1) and survival rate, body weight, viral titer, histopathological findings of lung and cytokine profiles including IFNs and Th2 cytokines were measured. Notably, asthmatic mice were significantly resistant to IAV and showed lower viral load until 7?days after infection. Furthermore, IAV-infected asthmatic mice exhibited decreased Th2-related inflammation in lung tissue until 7?days. These increased antiviral resistant mechanism and reduced Th2 inflammation were attributable to rapid induction of type III IFNs and blockade of type III IFNs in asthmatic lung led to aggravated IAV infection and to enhance the production of Th2 cytokines. Asthmatic mice showed bi-phasic responses against IAV-caused lung infection such as rapid production of type III IFNs and subsequent induction of type II IFNs. Actually, IAV-infected asthmatic mice become vulnerable to IAV infection after 7?days with noticeable morbidity and severe weight loss. However, intranasal administration of type III IFNs protects completely asthmatic mice from IAV-mediated immunopathology and lung infection until 14?days after infection. Taken together, our study indicates that the rapid induction of type III IFN might be distinctive immunological findings in the respiratory tract of IAV-infected asthmatic mice at the early stage of infection and crucial for suppression of initial viral spread in vivo asthma accompanying with restriction of Th2 cytokine productions.
Project description:The transcription factor NR4A1 has emerged as a pivotal regulator of the inflammatory response and immune homeostasis. Although contribution of NR4A1 in the innate immune response has been demonstrated, its role in host defense against viral infection remains to be investigated. In the present study, we show that administration of cytosporone B (Csn-B), a specific agonist of NR4A1, to mice infected with influenza virus (IAV) reduces lung viral loads and improves pulmonary function. Our results demonstrate that administration of Csn-B to naive mice leads to a modest production of type 1 IFN. However, in IAV-infected mice, such production of IFNs is markedly increased following treatment with Csn-B. Our study also reveals that alveolar macrophages (AMs) appear to have a significant role in Csn-B effects, since selective depletion of AMs with clodronate liposome correlates with a marked reduction of IFN production, viral clearance and morbidity in IAV-infected mice. Furthermore, when reemergence of AMs is observed following clodronate liposome administration, an increased production of IFNs was detected in bronchoalveolar fluids of IAV-infected mice treated with Csn-B, supporting the contribution of AMs in Csn-B effects. While treatment of mice with Csn-B induces phosphorylation of transcriptional factors IRF3 and IRF7, the latter appears to be less indispensable since effects of Csn-B treatment on the synthesis of IFNs were slightly affected in IAV-infected mice lacking functional IRF7. Together, our results highlight the capacity of Csn-B and consequently of NR4A1 transcription factor in controlling IAV infection.
Project description:Healthy children are more likely to die of influenza A virus (IAV) infection than healthy adults. However, little is known about the mechanisms underlying the impact of young age on the development of life-threatening IAV infection. We report increased mortality in juvenile mice compared with adult mice at each infectious dose of IAV. Juvenile mice had sustained elevation of type I IFNs and persistent NLRP3 inflammasome activation in the lungs, both of which were independent of viral titer. Juvenile mice, but not adult mice, had increased MCP-1 levels that remained high even after viral clearance. Importantly, continued production of MCP-1 was associated with persistent recruitment of monocytes to the lungs and prolonged elevation of inflammatory cytokines. Transcriptional signatures of recruited monocytes to the juvenile and adult IAV-infected lungs were assessed by RNA-seq. Genes associated with a proinflammatory signature were upregulated in the juvenile monocytes compared with adult monocytes. Depletion of monocytes with anti-CCR2 Ab decreased type I IFN secretion, NLRP3 inflammasome activation, and lung injury in juvenile mice. This suggests an exaggerated inflammatory response mediated by increased recruitment of monocytes to the lung, and not an inability to control viral replication, is responsible for severe IAV infection in juvenile mice. This study provides insight into severe IAV infection in juveniles and identifies key inflammatory monocytes that may be central to pediatric acute lung injury secondary to IAV.
Project description:The sensing of viral nucleic acids by the innate immune system activates a potent antiviral response in the infected cell, a key component of which is the expression of genes encoding type I interferons (IFNs). Many viruses counteract this response by blocking the activation of host nucleic acid sensors. The evolutionarily conserved influenza A virus (IAV) protein PA-X has been implicated in suppressing the host response to infection, including the expression of type I IFNs. Here, we characterise this further using a PA-X-deficient virus of the mouse-adapted PR8 strain to study activation of the innate immune response in a mouse model of the early response to viral infection. We show that levels of Ifna4 and Ifnb1 mRNAs in the lungs of infected mice were elevated in the absence of PA-X and that this was completely dependent on MAVS. This therefore suggests a role for PA-X in preventing the accumulation of early type I IFN mRNAs in the lung during IAV infection.
Project description:Although alteration in host cellular translation machinery occurs in virus-infected cells, the role of such alteration and the precise pathogenic processes are not well understood. Influenza A virus (IAV) infection shuts off host cell gene expression at transcriptional and translational levels. Here, we found that the protein level of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4B (eIF4B), an integral component of the translation initiation apparatus, was dramatically reduced in A549 cells as well as in the lung, spleen, and thymus of mice infected with IAV. The decrease in eIF4B level was attributed to lysosomal degradation of eIF4B, which was induced by viral NS1 protein. Silencing eIF4B expression in A549 cells significantly promoted IAV replication, and conversely, overexpression of eIF4B markedly inhibited the viral replication. Importantly, we observed that eIF4B knockdown transgenic mice were more susceptible to IAV infection, exhibiting faster weight loss, shorter survival time, and more-severe organ damage. Furthermore, we demonstrated that eIF4B regulated the expression of interferon-induced transmembrane protein 3 (IFITM3), a critical protein involved in immune defense against a variety of RNA viruses, including influenza virus. Taken together, our findings reveal that eIF4B plays an important role in host defense against IAV infection at least by regulating the expression of IFITM3, which restricts viral entry and thereby blocks early stages of viral production. These data also indicate that influenza virus has evolved a strategy to overcome host innate immunity by downregulating eIF4B protein.Influenza A virus (IAV) infection stimulates the host innate immune system, in part, by inducing interferons (IFNs). Secreted IFNs activate the Janus kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcription (JAK/STAT) pathway, leading to elevated transcription of a large group of IFN-stimulated genes that have antiviral function. To circumvent the host innate immune response, influenza virus has evolved multiple strategies for suppressing the production of IFNs. Here, we show that IAV infection induces lysosomal degradation of eIF4B protein; and eIF4B inhibits IAV replication by upregulating expression of interferon-induced transmembrane protein 3 (IFITM3), a key protein that protects the host from virus infection. Our finding illustrates a critical role of eIF4B in the host innate immune response and provides novel insights into the complex mechanisms by which influenza virus interacts with its host.
Project description:Allergic airway inflammation (AAI) involves T helper cell type 2 (Th2) and pro-inflammatory responses to aeroallergens and many predisposing factors remain elusive. Influenza A virus (IAV) is a major human pathogen that causes acute respiratory infections and induces specific immune responses essential for viral clearance and resolution of the infection. Beyond acute infection, IAV has been shown to persistently affect lung homeostasis and respiratory immunity. Here we asked how resolved IAV infection affects subsequently induced AAI. Mice infected with a sublethal dose of IAV were sensitized and challenged in an ovalbumin mediated mouse model for AAI after resolution of the acute viral infection. Histological changes, respiratory leukocytes, cytokines and airway hyperreactivity were analyzed in resolved IAV infection alone and in AAI with and without previous IAV infection. More than five weeks after infection, we detected persistent pneumonia with increased activated CD4<sup>+</sup> and CD8<sup>+</sup> lymphocytes as well as dendritic cells and MHCII expressing macrophages in the lung. Resolved IAV infection significantly affected subsequently induced AAI on different levels including morphological changes, respiratory leukocytes and lymphocytes as well as the pro-inflammatory cytokine responses, which was clearly diminished. We conclude that IAV has exceptional persisting effects on respiratory immunity with substantial consequences for subsequently induced AAI.
Project description:Inhibitors of mTOR, such as sirolimus, have been shown to induce thymus involution and inflammatory lung disease in mice. The latter effect supports the role of this serine/threonine kinase in ameliorating lung inflammation. Other studies have shown sirolimus reduces/delays lung disease associated with various strains of influenza A virus (IAV). Thus, the effects of mTOR inhibitors on influenza infection deserve further studies.Here, we examined the changes in lung viral copies, pathology and pulmonary function associated with IAV (A/PR/8/34) infection in mice treated with sirolimus.Body weight loss peaked between days 6-11 post-infection and was more severe in IAV-infected mice that were administered sirolimus as compared to mice that received IAV alone (p = 0.030). Natural log viral gene copies, mean ± SD per mg lung tissue, in IAV-infected mice that were administered sirolimus were 17.31 ± 1.27 on day 4, 19.31 ± 7.46 on day 10, and 0 on day 25. The corresponding number of copies in mice that received IAV alone were 18.56 ± 0.95 on day 4 (p = 0.132), 1.52 ± 1.39 on day 10 (p = 0.008), and 0 on day 25. Lung pathology was evident on days 4, 10, and 25 post infection, with mean ± SD inflammatory score of 9.0 ± 4.5 in IAV-infected mice that were administered sirolimus, as compared to 11.5 ± 4.5 (p = 0.335) in mice received IAV alone (maximum score, 26.0). Impaired lung function was evident in IAV-infected mice on days 4 and 10, as demonstrated by increased airway resistance and decreased compliance.In this model, the effects of sirolimus on influenza infection included severe weight loss and modified viral replication, respiratory function and lung inflammation. The adverse events associated with sirolimus treatment are consistent with its potent immunosuppressive activity and, thus, preclude its use in IAV infection.
Project description:Host control of influenza A virus (IAV) is associated with exuberant pulmonary inflammation characterized by the influx of myeloid cells and production of proinflammatory cytokines including interferons (IFNs). It is unclear, however, how the immune system clears the virus without causing lethal immunopathology. Here, we demonstrate that in addition to its known anti-viral activity, STAT1 signaling coordinates host inflammation during IAV infection in mice. This regulatory mechanism is dependent on both type I IFN and IFN-? receptor signaling and, importantly, requires the functional interplay between the two pathways. The protective function of type I IFNs is associated with not only the recruitment of classical inflammatory Ly6Chi monocytes into IAV-infected lungs, but also the prevention of excessive monocyte activation by IFN-?. Unexpectedly, type I IFNs preferentially regulate IFN-? signaling in Ly6Clo rather than inflammatory Ly6Chi mononuclear cell populations. In the absence of type I IFN signaling, Ly6Clo monocytes/macrophages, become phenotypically and functionally more proinflammatory than Ly6Chi cells, revealing an unanticipated function of the Ly6Clo mononuclear cell subset in tissue inflammation. In addition, we show that type I IFNs employ distinct mechanisms to regulate monocyte and neutrophil trafficking. Type I IFN signaling is necessary, but not sufficient, for preventing neutrophil recruitment into the lungs of IAV-infected mice. Instead, the cooperation of type I IFNs and lymphocyte-produced IFN-? is required to regulate the tissue neutrophilic response to IAV. Our study demonstrates that IFN interplay links innate and adaptive anti-viral immunity to orchestrate tissue inflammation and reveals an additional level of complexity for IFN-dependent regulatory mechanisms that function to prevent excessive immunopathology while preserving anti-microbial functions.
Project description:Influenza A virus (IAV) infection causes severe pulmonary disease characterized by intense leukocyte infiltration. Phosphoinositide-3 kinases (PI3Ks) are central signaling enzymes, involved in cell growth, survival, and migration. Class IB PI3K or phosphatidyl inositol 3 kinase-gamma (PI3K?), mainly expressed by leukocytes, is involved in cell migration during inflammation. Here, we investigated the contribution of PI3K? for the inflammatory and antiviral responses to IAV. PI3K? knockout (KO) mice were highly susceptible to lethality following infection with influenza A/WSN/33 H1N1. In the early time points of infection, infiltration of neutrophils was higher than WT mice whereas type-I and type-III IFN expression and p38 activation were reduced in PI3K? KO mice resulting in higher viral loads when compared with WT mice. Blockade of p38 in WT macrophages infected with IAV reduced levels of interferon-stimulated gene 15 protein to those induced in PI3K? KO macrophages, suggesting that p38 is downstream of antiviral responses mediated by PI3K?. PI3K? KO-derived fibroblasts or macrophages showed reduced type-I IFN transcription and altered pro-inflammatory cytokines suggesting a cell autonomous imbalance between inflammatory and antiviral responses. Seven days after IAV infection, there were reduced infiltration of natural killer cells and CD8+ T lymphocytes, increased concentration of inflammatory cytokines in bronchoalveolar fluid, reduced numbers of resolving macrophages, and IL-10 levels in PI3K? KO. This imbalanced environment in PI3K? KO-infected mice culminated in enhanced lung neutrophil infiltration, reactive oxygen species release, and lung damage that together with the increased viral loads, contributed to higher mortality in PI3K? KO mice compared with WT mice. In humans, we tested the genetic association of disease severity in influenza A/H1N1pdm09-infected patients with three potentially functional PIK3CG single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), rs1129293, rs17847825, and rs2230460. We observed that SNPs rs17847825 and rs2230460 (A and T alleles, respectively) were significantly associated with protection from severe disease using the recessive model in patients infected with influenza A(H1N1)pdm09. Altogether, our results suggest that PI3K? is crucial in balancing antiviral and inflammatory responses to IAV infection.
Project description:Influenza virus infections particularly when followed by bacterial superinfections (BSI) result in significant morbidities and mortalities especially during influenza pandemics. Type I interferons (IFNs) regulate both anti-influenza immunity and host susceptibility to subsequent BSIs. These type I IFNs consisting of, among others, 14 IFN-?'s and a single IFN-?, are recognized by and signal through the heterodimeric type I IFN receptor (IFNAR) comprised of IFNAR1 and IFNAR2. However, the individual receptor subunits can bind IFN-? or IFN-?'s independently of each other and induce distinct signaling. The role of type I IFN signaling in regulating host susceptibility to both viral infections and BSI has been only examined with respect to IFNAR1 deficiency. Here, we demonstrate that despite some redundancies, IFNAR1 and IFNAR2 have distinct roles in regulating both anti-influenza A virus (IAV) immunity and in shaping host susceptibility to subsequent BSI caused by S. aureus. We found IFNAR2 to be critical for anti-viral immunity. In contrast to Ifnar1 -/- mice, IAV-infected Ifnar2 -/- mice displayed both increased and accelerated morbidity and mortality compared to WT mice. Furthermore, unlike IFNAR1, IFNAR2 was sufficient to generate protection from lethal IAV infection when stimulated with IFN-?. With regards to BSI, unlike what we found previously in Ifnar1 -/- mice, Ifnar2 -/- mice were not susceptible to BSI induced on day 3 post-IAV, even though absence of IFNAR2 resulted in increased viral burden and an increased inflammatory environment. The Ifnar2 -/- mice similar to what we previously found in Ifnar1 -/- mice were less susceptible than WT mice to BSI induced on day 7 post-IAV, indicating that signaling through a complete receptor increases BSI susceptibility late during clinical IAV infection. Thus, our results support a role for IFNAR2 in induction of anti-IAV immune responses that are involved in altering host susceptibility to BSI and are essential for decreasing the morbidity and mortality associated with IAV infection. These results begin to elucidate some of the mechanisms involved in how the individual IFNAR subunits shape the anti-viral immune response. Moreover, our results highlight the importance of examining the contributions of entire receptors, as individual subunits can induce distinct outcomes as shown here.
Project description:Type I and III IFNs play diverse roles in bacterial infections, being protective for some but deleterious for others. Using RNA-sequencing transcriptomics we investigated lung gene expression responses to Bordetella pertussis infection in adult mice, revealing that type I and III IFN pathways may play an important role in promoting inflammatory responses. In B. pertussis-infected mice, lung type I/III IFN responses correlated with increased proinflammatory cytokine expression and with lung inflammatory pathology. In mutant mice with increased type I IFN receptor (IFNAR) signaling, B. pertussis infection exacerbated lung inflammatory pathology, whereas knockout mice with defects in type I IFN signaling had lower levels of lung inflammation than wild-type mice. Curiously, B. pertussis-infected IFNAR1 knockout mice had wild-type levels of lung inflammatory pathology. However, in response to infection these mice had increased levels of type III IFN expression, neutralization of which reduced lung inflammation. In support of this finding, B. pertussis-infected mice with a knockout mutation in the type III IFN receptor (IFNLR1) and double IFNAR1/IFNLR1 knockout mutant mice had reduced lung inflammatory pathology compared with that in wild-type mice, indicating that type III IFN exacerbates lung inflammation. In marked contrast, infant mice did not upregulate type I or III IFNs in response to B. pertussis infection and were protected from lethal infection by increased type I IFN signaling. These results indicate age-dependent effects of type I/III IFN signaling during B. pertussis infection and suggest that these pathways represent targets for therapeutic intervention in pertussis.