Interferon-β modulates type 1 immunity during influenza virus infection

Antiviral Res. 2010 Oct;88(1):64-71. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2010.07.006. Epub 2010 Jul 24.


Influenza viruses are important human pathogens, associated throughout history with worldwide outbreaks and pandemics. The antiviral effects of interferon (IFN)-αs/β against influenza virus infections are well recognized, yet the mechanisms whereby IFNs exert their immunomodulatory effects on an anti-influenza response remain ill-defined. Here, we describe the effects of IFN-β treatment on the immune response during a respiratory influenza (A/WSN/33) A virus infection of mice. A single dose of IFN-β (1×10(5)U) enhanced DC migration into the draining lymph node (DLN) on day 3 post-intranasal infection, and subsequently inhibited the migration from the lungs into the DLN of a newly identified late activator antigen-presenting cell population associated with type 2 immunity, LAPC. IFN-β treatment polarized the immune response towards a type 1 immune response, eliciting enhanced T(H)1 effector and cytolytic T cell responses, but diminished T(H)2 effector T cell responses in both the DLN and lung tissues of influenza virus-infected mice. Associated with the polarization towards a type 1 immune response, IFN-β treatment of mice resulted in accelerated viral clearance and diminished pulmonary eosinophilia in infected lung tissues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / immunology
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / virology
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology
  • Antiviral Agents / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / physiology
  • Immunomodulation
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype*
  • Influenza Vaccines / immunology
  • Influenza, Human / immunology*
  • Influenza, Human / pathology
  • Interferon-beta / immunology*
  • Interferon-beta / therapeutic use*
  • Lung / virology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / immunology*
  • Receptors, Interferon / genetics
  • Receptors, Interferon / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Antigens, Viral
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Influenza Vaccines
  • Receptors, Interferon
  • Interferon-beta