Type III Interferons in Antiviral Defenses at Barrier Surfaces.

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Barrier surfaces such as the epithelium lining the respiratory and gastrointestinal (GI) tracts, the endothelium comprising the blood-brain barrier (BBB), and placental trophoblasts provide key physical and immunological protection against viruses. These barriers utilize nonredundant mechanisms to suppress viral infections including the production of interferons (IFNs), which induce a strong antiviral state following receptor binding. However, whereas type I IFNs control infection systemically, type III IFNs (IFN-λs) control infection locally at barrier surfaces and are often preferentially induced by these cells. In this review we focus on the role of IFN-λ at barrier surfaces, focusing on the respiratory and GI tracts, the BBB, and the placenta, and on how these IFNs act to suppress viral infections.





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Wells, Alexandra I, and Carolyn B Coyne (2018). Type III Interferons in Antiviral Defenses at Barrier Surfaces. Trends in immunology, 39(10). pp. 848–858. 10.1016/j.it.2018.08.008 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/22583.

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Carolyn Coyne

George Barth Geller Distinguished Professor of Immunology

We study the pathways by which microorganisms cross cellular barriers and the mechanisms by which these barriers restrict microbial infections. Our studies primarily focus on the epithelium that lines the gastrointestinal tract and on placental trophoblasts, the cells that comprise a key cellular barrier of the human placenta. Our work is highly multidisciplinary and encompasses aspects of cell biology, immunology, and microbiology. Our long-term goals are to identify pathogen- and host-specific therapeutic targets to prevent or treat microbial infections and ultimately to alleviate the morbidity and mortality caused by these infections.

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