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Immunobiology. 1994 Feb;190(1-2):175-82.

Programmed cell death (apoptosis) in human monocytes infected by influenza A virus.

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Institute of Immunology, Philipps University, Marburg, Germany.


Although infection of monocytes by influenza A virus primes for a high cytokine release, it also leads to cell death within 20-30 hours. In this brief report, we demonstrate that influenza A virus-induced monocyte killing was due to programmed cell death (apoptosis) and not to necrosis. Morphologically, chromatin condensation and margination occurred and biochemically, an apoptosis-specific internucleosomal DNA fragmentation into multimers of 180 bp ("DNA ladder") was found. Induction of apoptosis and not necrosis in influenza A virus-infected monocytes may serve three purposes: 1. Virus replication is limited, 2. a priming for a high cytokine response is initiated and 3. damaging and inflammation-inducing lysosomal enzymes are held back from monocytes undergoing controlled cell death.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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