Monocyte apoptotic bodies are vehicles for influenza A virus propagation Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractThe disassembly of apoptotic cells into small membrane-bound vesicles termed apoptotic bodies (ApoBDs) is a hallmark of apoptosis; however, the functional significance of this process is not well defined. We recently discovered a new membrane protrusion (termed beaded apoptopodia) generated by apoptotic monocytes which fragments to release anĀ abundance of ApoBDs. To investigate the function of apoptotic monocyte disassembly, we used influenza A virus (IAV) infection as a proof-of-concept model, as IAV commonly infects monocytes in physiological settings. We show that ApoBDs generated from IAV-infected monocytes contained IAV mRNA, protein and virions and consequently, could facilitate viral propagation in vitro and in vivo, and induce a robust antiviral immune response. We also identified an antipsychotic, Haloperidol, as an unexpected inhibitor of monocyte cell disassembly which could impair ApoBD-mediated viral propagation under in vitro conditions. Together, this study reveals a previously unrecognised function of apoptotic monocyte disassembly in the pathogenesis of IAV infections.

publication date

  • 2020