Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) is a major cause of upper and lower respiratory infections in children and adults. Recent work from our group demonstrated that hMPVGglycoprotein is an important virulence factor, responsible for inhibiting innate immune responses in airway epithelial cells. Myeloid dendritic cells (DCs) are potent APCs and play a major role in initiating and modulating the innate and adaptive immune responses. In this study, we found that TLR4 plays a major role in hMPV-induced activation of monocyte-derived DCs (moDCs), as downregulation of its expression by small interfering RNA significantly blocked hMPV-induced chemokine and type I IFN expression. Similar results were found in bone marrow-derived DCs from TLR4-deficient mice. moDCs infected with a virus lacking G protein expression produced higher levels of cytokines and chemokines compared with cells infected with wild-type virus, suggesting that G protein plays an inhibitory role in viral-induced cellular responses. Specifically, G protein affects TLR4-dependent signaling, as infection of moDCs with recombinant hMPV lacking G protein inhibited LPS-induced production of cytokine and chemokines significantly less than did wild-type virus, and treatment of moDCs with purified G protein resulted in a similar inhibition of LPS-dependent signaling. Our results demonstrate that hMPV G protein plays an important role in inhibiting host innate immune responses, likely affecting adaptive responses too.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy