Acute infection is implicated as a trigger for chronic inflammatory disease, but the full basis for this switch is uncertain. In this study, we examine this issue using a mouse model of chronic lung disease that develops after respiratory infection with a natural pathogen (Sendai virus). We investigate this model using a combination of TLR3-deficient mice and adoptive transfer of immune cells into these mice versus the comparable responses in wild-type mice.We found that acute and transient expression of TLR3 on monocytederived dendritic cells (moDCs) was selectively required to induce long-term expression of IL-33 and consequent type 2 immunedriven lung disease. Unexpectedly, moDC participation was not based on canonical TLR3 signaling and relied instead on a trophic effect to expand the alveolar epithelial type 2 cell population beyond repair of tissue injury and thereby provide an enriched and persistent cell source of IL-33 required for progression to a disease phenotype that includes lung inflammation, hyperreactivity, excess mucus production, and remodeling. The findings thereby provide a framework wherein viral infection activates TLR3 in moDCs as a front-line immune cell niche upstream of lung epithelial cells to drive the type 2 immune response, leading to chronic inflammatory diseases of the lung (such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in humans) and perhaps progressive and long-term postviral disease in general.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1297-1314
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2021


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