Airway epithelial versus immune cell Stat1 function for innate defense against respiratory viral infection.
ABSTRACT The epithelial surface is often proposed to actively participate in host defense, but evidence that this is the case remains circumstantial. Similarly, respiratory paramyxoviral infections are a leading cause of serious respiratory disease, but the basis for host defense against severe illness is uncertain. Here we use a common mouse paramyxovirus (Sendai virus) to show that a prominent early event in respiratory paramyxoviral infection is activation of the IFN-signaling protein Stat1 in airway epithelial cells. Furthermore, Stat1-/- mice developed illness that resembled severe paramyxoviral respiratory infection in humans and was characterized by increased viral replication and neutrophilic inflammation in concert with overproduction of TNF-alpha and neutrophil chemokine CXCL2. Poor control of viral replication as well as TNF-alpha and CXCL2 overproduction were both mimicked by infection of Stat1-/- airway epithelial cells in culture. TNF-alpha drives the CXCL2 response, because it can be reversed by TNF-alpha blockade in vitro and in vivo. These findings pointed to an epithelial defect in Stat1-/- mice. Indeed, we next demonstrated that Stat1-/- mice that were reconstituted with wild-type bone marrow were still susceptible to infection with Sendai virus, whereas wild-type mice that received Stat1-/- bone marrow retained resistance to infection. The susceptible epithelial Stat1-/- chimeric mice also exhibited increased viral replication as well as excessive neutrophils, CXCL2, and TNF-alpha in the airspace. These findings provide some of the most definitive evidence to date for the critical role of barrier epithelial cells in innate immunity to common pathogens, particularly in controlling viral replication.
Article: Mice deficient in STAT1 but not STAT2 or IRF9 develop a lethal CD4+ T-cell-mediated disease following infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Interferon (IFN) signaling is crucial for antiviral immunity. While type I IFN signaling is mediated by STAT1, STAT2, and IRF9, type II IFN signaling requires only STAT1. Here, we studied the roles of these signaling factors in the host response to systemic infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). In wild-type (WT) mice and mice lacking either STAT2 or IRF9, LCMV infection was nonlethal, and the virus either was cleared (WT) or established persistence (STAT2 knockout [KO] and IRF9 KO). However, in the case of STAT1 KO mice, LCMV infection was lethal and accompanied by severe multiorgan immune pathology, elevated expression of various cytokine genes in tissues, and cytokines in the serum. This lethal phenotype was unaltered by the coabsence of the gamma interferon (IFN-γ) receptor and hence was not dependent on IFN-γ. Equally, the disease was not due to a combined defect in type I and type II IFN signaling, as IRF9 KO mice lacking the IFN-γ receptor survived infection with LCMV. Clearance of LCMV is mediated normally by CD8(+) T cells. However, the depletion of these cells in LCMV-infected STAT1 KO mice was delayed, but did not prevent, lethality. In contrast, depletion of CD4(+) T cells prevented lethality in LCMV-infected STAT1 KO mice and was associated with a reduction in tissue immune pathology. These studies highlight a fundamental difference in the role of STAT1 versus STAT2 and IRF9. While all three factors are required to limit viral replication and spread, only STAT1 has the unique function of preventing the emergence of a lethal antiviral CD4(+) T-cell response.Journal of Virology 04/2012; 86(12):6932-46. · 5.40 Impact Factor
Article: Asthma as a chronic disease of the innate and adaptive immune systems responding to viruses and allergens.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Research on the pathogenesis of asthma has traditionally concentrated on environmental stimuli, genetic susceptibilities, adaptive immune responses, and end-organ alterations (particularly in airway mucous cells and smooth muscle) as critical steps leading to disease. The focus of this cascade has been the response to allergic stimuli. An alternative scheme suggests that respiratory viruses and the consequent response of the innate immune system also drives the development of asthma as well as related inflammatory diseases. This conceptual shift raises the possibility that sentinel cells such as airway epithelial cells, DCs, NKT cells, innate lymphoid cells, and macrophages also represent critical components of asthma pathogenesis as well as new targets for therapeutic discovery. A particular challenge will be to understand and balance the innate as well as the adaptive immune responses to defend the host against acute infection as well as chronic inflammatory disease.The Journal of clinical investigation 08/2012; 122(8):2741-8. · 15.39 Impact Factor
Article: Plasticity and virus specificity of the airway epithelial cell immune response during respiratory virus infection.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Airway epithelial cells (AECs) provide the first line of defense in the respiratory tract and are the main target of respiratory viruses. Here, using oligonucleotide and protein arrays, we analyze the infection of primary polarized human AEC cultures with influenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and we show that the immune response of AECs is quantitatively and qualitatively virus specific. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) specifically induced by influenza virus and not by RSV included those encoding interferon B1 (IFN-B1), type III interferons (interleukin 28A [IL-28A], IL-28B, and IL-29), interleukins (IL-6, IL-1A, IL-1B, IL-23A, IL-17C, and IL-32), and chemokines (CCL2, CCL8, and CXCL5). Lack of type I interferon or STAT1 signaling decreased the expression and secretion of cytokines and chemokines by the airway epithelium. We also observed strong basolateral polarization of the secretion of cytokines and chemokines by human and murine AECs during infection. Importantly, the antiviral response of human AECs to influenza virus or to RSV correlated with the infection signature obtained from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) isolated from patients with acute influenza or RSV bronchiolitis, respectively. IFI27 (also known as ISG12) was identified as a biomarker of respiratory virus infection in both AECs and PBMCs. In addition, the extent of the transcriptional perturbation in PBMCs correlated with the clinical disease severity. Our results demonstrate that the human airway epithelium mounts virus-specific immune responses that are likely to determine the subsequent systemic immune responses and suggest that the absence of epithelial immune mediators after RSV infection may contribute to explaining the inadequacy of systemic immunity to the virus.Journal of Virology 03/2012; 86(10):5422-36. · 5.40 Impact Factor