High temperature reduces influenza viral replication; however, the treatment of fevers is thought to be necessary to improve patients’ conditions. We examined the effects of high temperature on viral replication and infection-induced damage to human tracheal epithelial cells. Cell viability and dome formation were reduced, the number of detached cells was increased and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels tended to be increased from 72 h to 120 h in uninfected cells cultured at 40 °C. Long-term (72 h and/or 120 h) exposure to high temperatures (39 °C and/or 40 °C) decreased RNA levels and/or viral titers of eight influenza virus strains. Cell viability and dome formation were reduced, and the number of detached cells and LDH levels were increased to a similar extent after infection with the A/H1N1 pdm 2009 virus at 37 °C and 40 °C. High temperature increased the endosomal pH, where the viral RNA enters the cytoplasm, in uninfected cells. High temperature reduced the production of IL-6, which mediate viral replication processes, and IL-1β and IL-8 in uninfected and infected cells. Based on these findings, high temperature may cause similar levels of airway cell damage after infection to cells exposed normal temperatures, although high temperature reduces viral replication by affecting the function of acidic endosomes and inhibiting IL-6-mediated processes.
- Cell biology
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