Phosphatidylglycerol Suppresses Influenza A Virus Infection
Influenza A virus (IAV) is a worldwide public health problem causing 500,000 deaths each year. Palmitoyl-oleoyl-phosphatidylglycerol (POPG) is a minor component of pulmonary surfactant, which has recently been reported to exert potent regulatory functions upon the innate immune system. In this article, we demonstrate that POPG acts as a strong antiviral agent against IAV. POPG markedly attenuated IL-8 production and cell death induced by IAV in cultured human bronchial epithelial cells. The lipid also suppressed viral attachment to the plasma membrane and subsequent replication in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells. Two virus strains, H1N1-PR8-IAV and H3N2-IAV, bind to POPG with high affinity, but exhibit only low-affinity interactions with the structurally related lipid, palmitoyl-oleoyl-phosphatidylcholine. Intranasal inoculation of H1N1-PR8-IAV in mice, in the presence of POPG, markedly suppressed the development of inflammatory cell infiltrates, the induction of IFN-γ recovered in bronchoalveolar lavage, and viral titers recovered from the lungs after 5 days of infection. These findings identify supplementary POPG as a potentially important new approach for treatment of IAV infections.
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