INFLUENZA

Flu survivors are an inflammatory club

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Science  12 Sep 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6202, pp. 1307-1308
DOI: 10.1126/science.345.6202.1307-c

Kill it: That is the immune system's response to most viral infections, including influenza. Eliminating infected cells rids the body of the infection. Heaton et al. now report that a special type of epithelial cell in the lungs of mice—called club cells—survive influenza infection. How do they do it? Gene expression analysis suggests that club cells express high amounts of antiviral genes in response to infection. Although this process probably helps the animal contain the virus during early infection, club cells also produced pro-inflammatory molecules that cause lung pathology. Whether club cells play a role in inflammation-induced mortality, as seen in the H5N1 and H1N1 influenza pandemics, remains to be seen.

J. Exp. Med. 10.1084/jem.20140488 (2014).

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