Gasdermin D promotes hyperinflammation and immunopathology during severe influenza A virus infection

Sarah Rosli, Christopher M. Harpur, Maggie Lam, Alison C. West, Christopher Hodges, Ashley Mansell, Kate E. Lawlor, Michelle D. Tate

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Excessive inflammation and tissue damage during severe influenza A virus (IAV) infection can lead to the development of fatal pulmonary disease. Pyroptosis is a lytic and pro-inflammatory form of cell death executed by the pore-forming protein gasdermin D (GSDMD). In this study, we investigated a potential role for GSDMD in promoting the development of severe IAV disease. IAV infection resulted in cleavage of GSDMD in vivo and in vitro in lung epithelial cells. Mice genetically deficient in GSDMD (Gsdmd −/−) developed less severe IAV disease than wildtype mice and displayed improved survival outcomes. GSDMD deficiency significantly reduced neutrophil infiltration into the airways as well as the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF, IL-6, MCP-1, and IL-1α and neutrophil-attracting chemokines CXCL1 and CXCL2. In contrast, IL-1β and IL-18 responses were not largely impacted by GSDMD deficiency. In addition, Gsdmd −/− mice displayed significantly improved influenza disease resistance with reduced viral burden and less severe pulmonary pathology, including decreased epithelial damage and cell death. These findings indicate a major role for GSDMD in promoting damaging inflammation and the development of severe IAV disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number727
Number of pages11
JournalCell Death & Disease
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2023

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