Heterogeneity of Antiviral Responses in the Upper Respiratory Tract Mediates Differential Non-lytic Clearance of Influenza Viruses.
Influenza viruses initiate infection in the upper respiratory tract (URT), but early viral tropism and the importance of cell-type-specific antiviral responses in this tissue remain incompletely understood. By infecting transgenic lox-stop-lox reporter mice with a Cre-recombinase-expressing influenza B virus, we identify olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) as a major viral cell target in the URT. These cells become infected, then eliminate the virus and survive in the host post-resolution of infection. OSN responses to infection are characterized by a strong induction of interferon-stimulated genes and more rapid clearance of viral protein relative to other cells in the epithelium. We speculate that this cell-type-specific response likely serves to protect the central nervous system from infection. More broadly, these results highlight the importance of evaluating antiviral responses across different cell types, even those within the same tissue, to more fully understand the mechanisms of viral disease.
Dumm, RE; Wellford, SA; Moseman, EA; Heaton, NS
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