COPD Is Associated with Elevated IFN-β Production by Bronchial Epithelial Cells Infected with RSV or hMPV
IFN treatment may be a viable option for treating COPD exacerbations based on evidence of IFN deficiency in COPD. However, in vitro studies have used primarily influenza and rhinoviruses to investigate IFN responses. This study aims to investigate the susceptibility to infection and IFN response of primary bronchial epithelial cells (BECs) from COPD donors to infection with RSV and hMPV. BECs from five COPD and five healthy donors were used to establish both submerged monolayer and
... er and well-differentiated (WD) cultures. Two isolates of both RSV and hMPV were used to infect cells. COPD was not associated with elevated susceptibility to infection and there was no evidence of an intrinsic defect in IFN production in either cell model to either virus. Conversely, COPD was associated with significantly elevated IFN-β production in response to both viruses in both cell models. Only in WD-BECs infected with RSV was elevated IFN-β associated with reduced viral shedding. The role of elevated epithelial cell IFN-β production in the pathogenesis of COPD is not clear and warrants further investigation. Viruses vary in the responses that they induce in BECs, and so conclusions regarding antiviral responses associated with disease cannot be made based on single viral infections.