Polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) have been reported to be involved in the initial host response to influenza A virus (IAV). Early after IAV infection, neutrophils infiltrate the airway probably due to release of chemokines that attract PMN. Clearly, severe IAV infection is characterized by increased neutrophil influx into the lung or upper respiratory tract.
Carnosine (β-alanyl-L-histidine) and anserine (N-β-alanyl-1-methyl-L-histidine) are found in skeletal muscle of most vertebrates, including those used for food; for example, 100 g of chicken breast contains 400 mg (17.6 mmol/L) of carnosine and 1020 mg (33.6 mmol/l) of anserine. Carnosine-stimulated respiratory burst in neutrophils is a universal biological mechanism of influenza virus destruction. Our own studies revealed previously unappreciated functional effects of carnosine and related histidine containing compounds as a natural biological prevention and barrier against Influenza virus infection, expand public understanding of the antiviral properties of imidazole-containing dipeptide based compounds, and suggest important interactions between neutrophills and carnosine related compounds in the host response to viruses and bacteria. Carnosine and anserine were also found to reduce apoptosis of human neutrophils. In this way these histidine-containing compounds can modulate the Influenza virus release from neutrophills and reduce virus dissemination through the body of the organism.
This review points the ability of therapeutic control of Influenza viral infections associated with modulation by oral nonhydrolized forms of carnosine and related histidine-containg compounds of PMN apoptosis which may be involved at least in part in the pathophysiology of the disease in animals and humans.
The data presented in this article, overall, may have implications for global influenza surveillance and planning for pandemic influenza therapeutic prevention with oral forms of non-hydrolized natural L-carnosine as a suitable alternative to the conventional vaccination for various flu ailments.