Characterization of cellular transcriptomic signatures induced by different respiratory viruses in human reconstituted airway epithelia

Sci Rep. 2019 Aug 7;9(1):11493. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-48013-7.


Acute respiratory infections, a large part being of viral origin, constitute a major public health issue. To propose alternative and/or new therapeutic approaches, it is necessary to increase our knowledge about the interactions between respiratory viruses and their primary cellular targets using the most biologically relevant experimental models. In this study, we used RNAseq to characterize and compare the transcriptomic signature of infection induced by different major respiratory viruses (Influenza viruses, hRSV and hMPV) in a model of reconstituted human airway epithelia. Our results confirm the importance of several cellular pathways commonly or specifically induced by these respiratory viruses, such as the innate immune response or antiviral defense. A very interesting common feature revealed by the global virogenomic signature shared between hRSV, hMPV and influenza viruses is the global downregulation of cilium-related gene expression, in good agreement with experimental evaluation of mucociliary clearance. Beyond providing new information about respiratory virus/host interactions, our study also underlines the interest of using biologically relevant experimental models to study human respiratory viruses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods
  • Cell Line
  • Cilia / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / immunology
  • Epithelial Cells / virology
  • Gene Expression Regulation / immunology*
  • Host Microbial Interactions / genetics*
  • Host Microbial Interactions / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / genetics
  • Influenza, Human / immunology
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Metapneumovirus / immunology
  • RNA-Seq
  • Respiratory Mucosa / cytology
  • Respiratory Mucosa / immunology*
  • Respiratory Mucosa / virology
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human / immunology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / immunology*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / virology
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / immunology
  • Transcriptome / immunology*