Hong Kong Med J 2013;19(Suppl 4):S24-8
Replication and pathogenesis of avian influenza A (H5N1) virus infection in polarised human bronchial and alveolar epithelium
MCW Chan, RWY Chan, GSW Tsao, JSM Peiris
Centre of Influenza Research, School of Public Health, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong
1. In vitro models of polarised human respiratory epithelial cells were established to investigate the tropism and innate host responses of influenza A (H5N1 and H1N1) viruses.
2. Both viruses efficiently infected alveolar epithelial cells of both the apical and basolateral surfaces of the epithelium, whereas release of newly formed virus was mainly from the apical surface of the epithelium.
3. H5N1 virus was a more potent inducer of cytokines and chemokines in alveolar epithelial cells than H1N1 virus. Such chemokines were secreted onto both the apical and basolateral surfaces of the polarised alveolar epithelium.
4. In bronchial epithelium, the H5N1 virus replicated more efficiently and induced a stronger type I interferon response in the undifferentiated NHBE cells than did H1N1 virus. In contrast, in well-differentiated cultures, H5N1 virus replication was less efficient and elicited a lower interferon-beta response than did H1N1 virus.
5. Recombinant virus with vRNPs of a mammalian PB2 and an avian PB1 had the strongest polymerase activities, and replicated better in human cell cultures, especially at a high incubation temperature. These viruses were potent inducers of cytokines and chemokines in primary human alveolar epithelial cells.