Influenza virus induces expression of antioxidant genes in human epithelial cells

David B. Jacoby, Augustine M.K. Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Influenza infections cause airway epithelial inflammation and oxidant-mediated damage. In this setting, cellular antioxidant enzymes may protect airway epithelial cells against damage resulting from toxic oxygen radicals produced by activated leukocytes. Therefore, we tested the effect of influenza virus infection, as well as exposure to human recombinant interferon-γ (IFN-γ), on gene expression for the antioxidant enzymes manganese supeoxide dismutase (MnSOD), copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (Cu/ZnSOD), indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), and catalase in primary cultures of human airway epithelial cells. In these cells, both viral infection and IFN-γ increased MnSOD and IDO mRNAs. In contrast, neither viral infection nor IFN-γ affected Cu/ZnSOD gene expression, and both viral infection and IFN-γ decreased catalase gene expression. The differential effects of viral infection on antioxidant gene expression and their further amplification by IFN-γ are likely to be important protective mechanisms in viral airway infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)821-824
Number of pages4
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1994


  • Antioxidants
  • Epithelium
  • Free radicals
  • Gene expression
  • Indoleamine dioxygenase
  • Influenza
  • Interferon
  • Superoxide dismutase
  • Virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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