Type i interferons link viral infection to enhanced epithelial turnover and repair

Lulu Sun, Hiroyuki Miyoshi, Sofia Origanti, Timothy Nice, Alexandra C. Barger, Nicholas A. Manieri, Leslie A. Fogel, Anthony R. French, David Piwnica-Worms, Helen Piwnica-Worms, Herbert W. Virgin, Deborah J. Lenschow, Thaddeus S. Stappenbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations


The host immune system functions constantly to maintain chronic commensal and pathogenic organisms in check. The consequences of these immune responses on host physiology are as yet unexplored, and may have long-term implications in health and disease. We show that chronic viral infection increases epithelial turnover in multiple tissues, and the antiviral cytokines type I interferons (IFNs) mediate this response. Using a murine model with persistently elevated type I IFNs in the absence of exogenous viral infection, the Irgm1-/- mouse, we demonstrate that type I IFNs act through nonepithelial cells, including macrophages, to promote increased epithelial turnover and wound repair. Downstream of type I IFN signaling, the highly related IFN-stimulated genes Apolipoprotein L9a and b activate epithelial proliferation through ERK activation. Our findings demonstrate that the host immune response to chronic viral infection has systemic effects on epithelial turnover through a myeloid-epithelial circuit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-97
Number of pages13
JournalCell Host and Microbe
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 14 2015
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Cancer Research
  • Molecular Biology

Cite this

Sun, L., Miyoshi, H., Origanti, S., Nice, T., Barger, A. C., Manieri, N. A., ... Stappenbeck, T. S. (2015). Type i interferons link viral infection to enhanced epithelial turnover and repair. Cell Host and Microbe, 17(1), 85-97. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2014.11.004