Date of Graduation

Summer 2018


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

Christopher Lupfer


immune response, macrophages, influenza a virus, sodium pyruvate, and metabolism

Subject Categories

Biochemistry | Biology | Immunity | Immunology and Infectious Disease | Immunopathology | Microbiology | Virology



Pyruvate is the end product of glycolysis. It can either be transported into the mitochondria for use in the TCA cycle or be used to regenerate NAD+ during fermentation or aerobic glycolysis (also called the Warburg Effect). I recently discovered that addition of sodium pyruvate to the culture medium during infection of macrophages with influenza A virus affects the production of cytokines involved in immune signaling. While infection of macrophages with influenza A virus resulted in high levels of cytokines (IL-6, IL-1β, and TNF-α) in the absence of sodium pyruvate, the addition of sodium pyruvate significantly impaired cytokine production. I hypothesized that sodium pyruvate may directly inhibit virus entry or replication resulting in less immune stimulation. Alternatively, the addition of sodium pyruvate may alter metabolic pathways in the macrophages and affect the immune response to the infection. However, sodium pyruvate did not affect virus growth. Instead, the addition of pyruvate resulted in reduced reactive oxygen species production in the mitochondria resulting in diminished immune signaling. Overall, the effects of sodium pyruvate are on the immune response produced by the macrophages and not the growth of the virus.


© Hazzar Abysalamah

Open Access