Inhibition of the TLR4 signalling pathway with TAK-242 reduces RSV infection and cytokine release in primary airway epithelial cells

Lindsay Broadbent, Grace C Roberts, Jonathon D. Coey, Judit Barabas, Michael D. Shields, Ultan F. Power*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Other contribution

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Abstract

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection is the leading cause of hospitalisation in children worldwide, but there is still no vaccine or anti-viral treatment available. RSV has been implicated in the development of respiratory diseases such as asthma. Toll like receptor 4 (TLR4) has been well characterised in the immune responses to RSV. However, the role of TLR4 in RSV infection remains unclear. To study RSV in the lung epithelium, where RSV preferentially infects ciliated cells, we used a well-differentiated primary airway epithelial cell (WD-PAEC) model: a pseudostratified epithelium that produces mucus and beating cilia. We demonstrate in this physiologically relevant model that TLR4 is a pro-viral factor. Inhibition of TLR4 using TAK-242 significantly reduces RSV titres in WD-PAECs in a dose-dependent manner but has no effect on RSV growth kinetics in a range of immortalised respiratory-derived cell lines. Specific inhibition of a range of downstream effectors of TLR4 signalling in the WD-PAEC model identified p38 MAPK as a pro-viral factor, whereas inhibition of MEK1/2 significantly increased RSV titres. Our data demonstrate a role for TLR4 in RSV infection and highlight the importance of biologically relevant models to study virus-host interactions.
Original languageEnglish
TypePreprint article
Media of outputbioRxiv Preprint Server
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2021

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