Respiratory epithelial cells in innate immunity to influenza virus infection
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Sanders, C.J., Doherty, P.C. & Thomas, P.G. Cell Tissue Res (2011) 343: 13. doi:10.1007/s00441-010-1043-z
- 1.3k Downloads
Infection by influenza virus leads to respiratory failure characterized by acute lung injury associated with alveolar edema, necrotizing bronchiolitis, and excessive bleeding. Severe reactions to infection that lead to hospitalizations and/or death are frequently attributed to an exuberant host response, with excessive inflammation and damage to the epithelial cells that mediate respiratory gas exchange. The respiratory mucosa serves as a physical and chemical barrier to infection, producing mucus and surfactants, anti-viral mediators, and inflammatory cytokines. The airway epithelial cell layer also serves as the first and overwhelmingly primary target for virus infection and growth. This review details immune events during influenza infection from the viewpoint of the epithelial cells, secretory host defense mechanisms, cell death, and recovery.