Research Project: Neuroimmune Regulation of Influenza A Infection and Viral Pneumonia
COVID-19 Respiratory Virus Research Award
basic biologic mechanisms
Influenza A virus is the major causes of acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS),and is among the leading causes of death globally. The respiratory tract has nerves that recognize and respond to the environmental dangers including respiratory pathogens. Nerve terminals that are part of the sympathetic nervous system (a network of nerves that helps the body activate its “fight-or-flight” response) in the lung release the chemical norepinephrine (NE). We do not yet understand the role of sympathetic neurons and NE in lung inflammation and the body’s responses to influenza A infections. We will investigate how sympathetic neurons and their signaling to immune cells regulate inflammation, airway barrier permeability, and infection outcomes during viral pneumonia. The findings could pave the way for new therapy strategies for fatal pneumonia, and ALI/ARDS for influenza A and COVID-19.