Proinflammatory Cytokine Responses in Extra-Respiratory Tissues During Severe Influenza

Kirsty R Short, Rebecca Veeris, Lonneke M Leijten, Judith M van den Brand, Victor L Jong, Koert J Stittelaar, Ab D M E Osterhaus, Arno C Andeweg, Debby van Riel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Severe influenza is often associated with disease manifestations outside the respiratory tract. While proinflammatory cytokines can be detected in the lungs and blood of infected patients, the role of extra-respiratory organs in the production of proinflammatory cytokines is unknown. Here, we show that both 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza A (H1N1) virus and highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H5N1) virus induce expression of tumor necrosis factor α, interleukin-6, and interleukin-8 in the respiratory tract and central nervous system. In addition, H5N1 virus induced cytokines in the heart, pancreas, spleen, liver, and jejunum. Together, these data suggest that extra-respiratory tissues contribute to systemic cytokine responses, which may increase the severity of influenza.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)829-833
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Animals
  • Cytokines
  • Ferrets
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype
  • Influenza A Virus, H5N1 Subtype
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections
  • Journal Article


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