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Trends Immunol. 2011 Jul;32(7):328-34. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2011 May 24.

Airway immune homeostasis and implications for influenza-induced inflammation.

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Imperial College London, Leukocyte Biology Section, National Heart and Lung Institute, London, SW7 2AZ, UK.


The lung is exposed to a myriad of innocuous antigens on a daily basis and must maintain a state of immune ignorance or tolerance to these harmless stimuli to retain pulmonary homeostasis and to prevent potentially fatal immunopathology. Here, we examine how, in the lower airways, resident cell populations contribute to the immune regulatory strategies that restrain inflammation. During influenza infection, these suppressive signals must be overcome to elicit a protective immune response that eliminates the virus. We also discuss how, after resolution of infection, the lung does not return to the original homeostatic state, and how the induced altered state can persist for long periods, which leaves the lung more susceptible to other infectious insults.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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