Dendritic cells (DCs) are readily infected by influenza viruses and play a crucial role in regulating host innate and adaptive immune responses to viral infection. The aims of this study are to characterize the dynamic changes in the numbers and maturation status of dendritic cells present in the lung and lung-associated lymph nodes (LALNs) in the model of a non-human primate (NHP) infected by influenza A virus (IAV). Cynomolgus macaques were infected with influenza A virus (H3N2) via bronchoscopy. Flow cytometry was used to analyze the DC numbers, maturation status and subsets during the time of acute infection (days 1, 2, 3, 4, 7) and the resolution phase (day 30). A dramatic increase in the numbers of influenza A virus-infected CD11c+CD14- myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs) and CD11c-CD123+ plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) were observed from day 1 to day 4 and peak up from day 7 post-infection. In lung and lung-associated lymph nodes, the numbers and maturation status of myeloid dendritic cells and plasmacytoid dendritic cells increased more slowly than those in the lung tissues. On day 30 post-infection, influenza A virus challenge increased the number of myeloid dendritic cells, but not plasmacytoid dendritic cells, compared with baseline. These findings indicate that dendritic cells are susceptible to influenza A virus infection, with the likely purpose of increasing mature myeloid dendritic cells numbers in the lung and lung and lung-associated lymph nodes, which provides important new insights into the regulation of dendritic cells in a non-human primate model.
Keywords: Dendritic cells; Influenza A virus; Innate immune response.
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