Impact of neutrophils on antiviral activity of human bronchoalveolar lavage fluid

Mitchell R. White, Tesfaldet Tecle, Erika C. Crouch, Kevan L. Hartshorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Surfactant protein D (SP-D) and neutrophils participate in the early innate immune response to influenza A virus (IAV) infection. SP-D increases neutrophil uptake of IAV and modulates neutrophil respiratory burst responses to IAV; however, neutrophil proteases have been shown to degrade SP-D, and human neutrophil peptide defensins bind to SP-D and can cause precipitation of SP-D from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). BALF has significant antiviral activity against IAV. We first added neutrophils to BALF during incubation with IAV. Addition of neutrophils to BALF caused significantly greater clearance of IAV from culture supernatants than from BALF alone, and this effect was significantly more pronounced when neutrophils were activated during incubation with the virus. In contrast, if activated neutrophils were incubated with BALF before addition of virus, they reduced antiviral activity of BALF. This effect correlated with depletion of SP-D from BALF. Activation of neutrophils with agonists that induce primary granule release (including release of human neutrophil peptide defensins) caused SP-D depletion, but activation with PMA, which causes only secondary granule release, did not. The ability of activated neutrophils to deplete SP-D from BALF was partially, but not fully, corrected with protease inhibitors but was unaffected by inhibition of neutrophil respiratory burst responses. These results suggest that chronic neutrophilic inflammation (e.g., as in chronic smoking or cystic fibrosis) may reduce SP-D levels and predispose to IAV infection. In contrast, acute inflammation, as occurs in the early phase of IAV infection, may promote neutrophil-mediated viral clearance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L1293-L1299
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Human neutrophil peptide defensins
  • Inflammation
  • Influenza A virus
  • Surfactant protein D


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of neutrophils on antiviral activity of human bronchoalveolar lavage fluid'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this