Respiratory macrophages and dendritic cells mediate respiratory syncytial virus-induced IL-33 production in TLR3- or TLR7-dependent manner

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Abstract

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection can increase the production of IL-33 in lungs of mice. However, little is known about cellular source of IL-33, particularly the types of IL-33-producing cells in innate immune cells during RSV infection. In this study, by using BALB/c mice that were infected intranasally with RSV, it became clear that RSV infection can enhance not only the number of IL-33+-alveolar macrophages (AMs) and dendritic cells (DCs), but also the expression of IL-33 mRNA in these cells, suggesting that innate immune cells participate in the production of IL-33. Indeed, in vitro experiments by using murine cell lines found that RSV infection results in more expression of IL-33 mRNA in AMs and DCs, further confirming that these cell types may be an important source of IL-33 during RSV infection. It should be noted that the expression of mRNA for TLR3 and TLR7 was up-regulated in pulmonary AMs during RSV infection. Blockade of TLRs by TLR3 or TLR7 antagonist significantly reduces the levels of IL-33 mRNA in AMs and DCs, suggesting that RSV-induced IL-33 production might be TLRs-dependent manner. Although the expression of TLRs mRNA in pulmonary interstitial macrophages (IMs) was enhanced after RSV infection, stimulation with agonists or inactivated RSV cannot alter the expression of IL-33 mRNA in IMs, suggesting that pulmonary IMs may not be a source of IL-33 during RSV infection. Thus, these results demonstrate that during RSV infection, respiratory macrophages and dendritic cells mediate the production of IL-33 in a TLR-dependent manner.

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