House dust mite impairs antiviral response in asthma exacerbation models through its effects on TLR3

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BACKGROUND: Impaired antiviral interferon expression may be involved in asthma exacerbations commonly caused by rhinovirus infections. Allergy is a known risk factor for viral-induced asthma exacerbation, but little is known whether allergens may affect interferon responses.

OBJECTIVE: Our hypothesis is that house dust mite (HDM) impairs viral stimulus-induced antiviral signalling.

METHODS: Experimental asthma exacerbations were produced in vitro in human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs) and in mice by using sequential challenges with HDM and a viral infection mimic, Poly(I:C). We examined rhinovirus pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) signalling pathways and potential mechanisms of impaired interferon response.

RESULTS: HBECs and mice exposed to HDM prior to Poly(I:C) exhibited a reduced antiviral response compared to Poly(I:C) alone, including reduced IFN-β, IFN-lambda, TLR3, RIG-I, MDA5, IRF-3 and IRF-7. Heat-inactivation of HDM partially restored the TLR3-induced interferon response in vitro and in vivo. Our HBEC-data further showed that HDM directly affects TLR3 signalling by targeting the receptor glycosylation level.

CONCLUSIONS: Direct effects of allergens such as HDM on PRRs can present as potential mechanism for defective antiviral airway responses. Accordingly, therapeutic measures targeting inhibitory effects of allergens on antiviral PRRs may find use as a strategy to boost antiviral response and ameliorate exacerbations in asthmatic patients. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Respiratory Medicine and Allergy


  • Journal Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1053-1063
Issue number5
Early online date2018 Jan 10
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch

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