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Exposure to cold impairs interferon-induced antiviral defense

Abstract

It is commonly believed that exposure to low temperature increases susceptibility to viral infection in the human respiratory tract, but a molecular mechanism supporting this belief has yet to be discovered. In this study, we investigated the effect of low temperature on viral infection and innate defense in cell lines from the human respiratory tract and found that interferon-induced antiviral responses were impaired at low temperatures. Cells maintained at 25°C and 33°C expressed lower levels of myxovirus resistance protein 1 (MxA) and 2′5′-oligoadenylate synthetase 1 (OAS1) mRNAs when compared to cells maintained at 37°C after infection by seasonal influenza viruses. Exogenous β-interferon treatment reduced the viral replication at 37°C, but not at 25°C. Our results suggest that the impairment of interferon-induced antiviral responses by low temperature is one of several mechanisms that could explain an increase in host susceptibility to respiratory viruses after exposure to cold temperature.

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Acknowledgements

C. B. and O. S. are supported by the research assistant program of the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University. This work was supported by the Thailand Research Fund (RTA5780009). The pHw2000 plasmid was kindly provided by R. G. Webster.

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Correspondence to Prasert Auewarakul.

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This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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Boonarkart, C., Suptawiwat, O., Sakorn, K. et al. Exposure to cold impairs interferon-induced antiviral defense. Arch Virol 162, 2231–2237 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00705-017-3334-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00705-017-3334-0

Keywords

  • Influenza Virus
  • MDCK Cell
  • Avian Influenza Virus
  • Antiviral Defense
  • Rhinovirus Infection