Respiratory Syncytial Virus Up-regulates TLR4 and Sensitizes Airway Epithelial Cells to Endotoxin

Academic Article


  • Airway epithelial cells are unresponsive to endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide (LPS)) exposure under normal conditions. This study demonstrates that respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection results in increased sensitivity to this environmental exposure. Infection with RSV results in increased expression of Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 mRNA, protein, and increased TLR4 membrane localization. This permits significantly enhanced LPS binding to the epithelial monolayer that is blocked by disruption of the Golgi. The increased TLR4 results in an LPS-induced inflammatory response as demonstrated by increased mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase activity, IL-8 production, and tumor necrosis factor α production. RSV infection also allowed for tumor necrosis factor α production subsequent to TLR4 cross-linking with an immobilized antibody. These data suggest that RSV infection sensitizes airway epithelium to a subsequent environmental exposure (LPS) by altered expression and membrane localization of TLR4. The increased interaction between airway epithelial cells and LPS has the potential to profoundly alter airway inflammation.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 20430937
  • Author List

  • Monick MM; Yarovinsky TO; Powers LS; Butler NS; Carter AB; Gudmundsson G; Hunninghake GW
  • Start Page

  • 53035
  • End Page

  • 53044
  • Volume

  • 278
  • Issue

  • 52