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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(2), 4148-4162; doi:10.3390/ijms14024148

The Environmental Pollutant Cadmium Promotes Influenza Virus Replication in MDCK Cells by Altering Their Redox State

1
Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, Institute Pasteur, Cenci-Bolognetti Foundation, "Sapienza" University of Rome, Rome 00185, Italy
2
San Raffaele Pisana Scientific Institute for Research, Hospitalization and Health Care, Rome 00163, Italy
3
Department of Experimental Medicine and Surgery, University of Rome "Tor Vergata", Rome 00133, Italy
4
Department of Environment and Primary Prevention, Italian National Institute for Health, Rome 00161, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 December 2012 / Revised: 4 February 2013 / Accepted: 6 February 2013 / Published: 19 February 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Redox Signaling in Biology and Patho-Biology)
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Abstract

Cadmium (Cd) is a toxic heavy metal that is considered an environmental contaminant. Several sources of human exposure to Cd, including employment in primary metal industries, production of certain batteries, foods, soil and cigarette smoke, are known. Its inhalation has been related to different respiratory diseases and toxic effects, among which alterations of the physiological redox state in individuals exposed to the metal have been described. Host-cell redox changes characteristic of oxidative stress facilitate the progression of viral infection through different mechanisms. In this paper, we have demonstrated that pre-treatment with CdCl2 of MDCK cells increased influenza virus replication in a dose-dependent manner. This phenomenon was related to increased viral protein expression (about 40% compared with untreated cells). The concentration of CdCl2, able to raise the virus titer, also induced oxidative stress. The addition of two antioxidants, a glutathione (GSH) derivative or the GSH precursor, N-acetyl-L-cysteine, to Cd pre-treated and infected cells restored the intracellular redox state and significantly inhibited viral replication. In conclusion, our data demonstrate that Cd-induced oxidative stress directly increases the ability of influenza virus to replicate in the host-cell, thus suggesting that exposure to heavy metals, such as this, could be a risk factor for individuals exposed to a greater extent to the contaminant, resulting in increased severity of virus-induced respiratory diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: cadmium; pollutants; influenza virus infection; oxidative stress; glutathione; respiratory diseases cadmium; pollutants; influenza virus infection; oxidative stress; glutathione; respiratory diseases
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Checconi, P.; Sgarbanti, R.; Celestino, I.; Limongi, D.; Amatore, D.; Iuvara, A.; Alimonti, A.; Garaci, E.; Palamara, A.T.; Nencioni, L. The Environmental Pollutant Cadmium Promotes Influenza Virus Replication in MDCK Cells by Altering Their Redox State. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 4148-4162.

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