Pyruvate affects inflammatory responses of macrophages during influenza A virus infection

Virus Res. 2020 Sep;286:198088. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2020.198088. Epub 2020 Jul 4.


Pyruvate is the end product of glycolysis and transported into the mitochondria for use in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. It is also a common additive in cell culture media. We discovered that inclusion of sodium pyruvate in culture media during infection of mouse bone marrow derived macrophages with influenza A virus impaired cytokine production (IL-6, IL-1β, and TNF-α). Sodium pyruvate did not inhibit viral RNA replication. Instead, the addition of sodium pyruvate alters cellular metabolism and diminished mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and lowered immune signaling. Overall, sodium pyruvate affects the immune response produced by macrophages but does not inhibit virus replication.

Keywords: Antioxidant; Inflammasome; Inflammation; Influenza A virus; Pyruvate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Culture Media / chemistry
  • Gene Expression
  • Immunity, Innate / drug effects*
  • Inflammasomes / drug effects
  • Inflammasomes / metabolism
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / virology*
  • Influenza A virus / drug effects
  • Macrophages / drug effects*
  • Macrophages / immunology*
  • Macrophages / virology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Pyruvic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Virus Replication / drug effects


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Culture Media
  • Inflammasomes
  • Pyruvic Acid