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Immunology - Microbiology - Physiology - Respiratory Medicine

T Lymphocytes Promote the Antiviral and Inflammatory Responses of Airway Epithelial Cells
Published: Friday, October 14, 2011
Author: Lan Jornot et al.

by Lan Jornot, Samuel Cordey, Assunta Caruso, Christine Gerber, Marija Vukicevic, Caroline Tapparel, Laurent Kaiser, Danielle Burger, Eddy Roosnek, Jean Silvain Lacroix, Thierry Rochat


T cells modulate the antiviral and inflammatory responses of airway epithelial cells to human rhinoviruses (HRV).


Differentiated primary human nasal epithelial cells (HNEC) grown on collagen-coated filters were exposed apically to HRV14 for 6 h, washed thoroughly and co-cultured with anti-CD3/CD28 activated T cells added in the basolateral compartment for 40 h.


HRV14 did not induce IFN?, NOS2, CXCL8 and IL-6 in HNEC, but enhanced expression of the T cell attractant CXCL10. On the other hand, HNEC co-cultured with activated T cells produced CXCL10 at a level several orders of magnitude higher than that induced by HRV14. Albeit to a much lower degree, activated T cells also induced CXCL8, IL-6 and NOS2. Anti-IFN? antibodies and TNF soluble receptor completely blocked CXCL10 upregulation. Furthermore, a significant correlation was observed between epithelial CXCL10 mRNA expression and the amounts of IFN? and TNF secreted by T cells. Likewise, increasing numbers of T cells to a constant number of HNEC in co-cultures resulted in increasing epithelial CXCL10 production, attaining a plateau at high IFN? and TNF levels. Hence, HNEC activation by T cells is induced mainly by IFN? and/or TNF. Activated T cells also markedly inhibited viral replication in HNEC, partially through activation of the nitric oxide pathway.


Cross-talk between T cells and HNEC results in activation of the latter and increases their contribution to airway inflammation and virus clearance.