Autophagy exhibits dual effects during viral infections, promoting the clearance of viral components and activating the immune system to produce antiviral cytokines. However, some viruses impair immune defenses by collaborating with autophagy. Mounting evidence suggests that the interaction between autophagy and innate immunity is critical to understanding the contradictory roles of autophagy. Type I interferon (IFN-I) is a crucial antiviral factor, and studies have indicated that autophagy affects IFN-I responses by regulating IFN-I and its receptors expression. Similarly, IFN-I and interferon-stimulated gene (ISG) products can harness autophagy to regulate antiviral immunity. Crosstalk between autophagy and IFN-I responses could be a vital aspect of the molecular mechanisms involving autophagy in innate antiviral immunity. This review briefly summarizes the approaches by which autophagy regulates antiviral IFN-I responses and highlights the recent advances on the mechanisms by which IFN-I and ISG products employ autophagy against viruses.
Keywords: antiviral immunity; autophagy; type I interferon.