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Neutrophil responses to RSV infection show differences between infant and adult neutrophils

Robinson, Elisabeth; Sawhney, Shyam; Cortina-Borja, Mario; David, Anna L; Smith, Claire M; Smyth, Rosalind L; (2023) Neutrophil responses to RSV infection show differences between infant and adult neutrophils. Thorax 10.1136/thorax-2023-220081. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Introduction Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes a severe respiratory condition, bronchiolitis, in infants but not in adults. Bronchiolitis is characterised by neutrophilic infiltration in the airways, but whether neutrophils enhance recovery from infection or contribute to its pathology remains unknown. Methods We used a novel in-vitro model to compare term umbilical cord blood (infant) (n=17 donors) and adult neutrophils (n=15 donors) during migration across RSV-infected differentiated human nasal airway epithelial cells (AECs) in a basolateral to apical direction. Results Greater numbers of infant neutrophils (mean (95% CI)) (336 684 (242 352 to 431 015)) migrated across RSV-infected AECs to the apical compartment (equivalent to the airway lumen) compared with adult neutrophils (56 586 (24 954 to 88 218)) (p<0.0001). Having reached the apical compartment of infected AECs, much greater numbers of infant neutrophils (140 787 (103 117 to 178 456)) became apoptotic compared with adult (5853 (444 to 11 261)) (p=0.002). Infant neutrophils displayed much greater expression of CD11b, CD64, neutrophil elastase (NE) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) than adult neutrophils at baseline and at all points of migration. However, as adult neutrophils migrated, expression of CD11b, CD64, NE and MPO became greater than at baseline. Discussion The high proportion of infant neutrophils migrating across RSV-infected AECs correlates with the neutrophilic infiltrate seen in infants with severe RSV bronchiolitis, with large numbers undergoing apoptosis, which may represent a protective mechanism during infection. Compared with adult neutrophils, infant neutrophils already have high expression of surface markers before contact with AECs or migration, with less capacity to increase further in response to RSV infection or migration.

Type: Article
Title: Neutrophil responses to RSV infection show differences between infant and adult neutrophils
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/thorax-2023-220081
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1136/thorax-2023-220081
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Infection, Immunity and Inflammation Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10183036
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