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1.  Montelukast during Primary Infection Prevents Airway Hyperresponsiveness and Inflammation after Reinfection with Respiratory Syncytial Virus 
Rationale: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) bronchiolitis in infants may be followed by the development of asthma-like symptoms. Age at first infection dictates consequences upon reinfection. Reinfection of mice initially exposed as neonates to RSV enhanced development of airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), eosinophilic inflammation, and mucus hyperproduction. RSV lower respiratory tract disease is associated with activation of the leukotriene pathway.
Objectives: To determine the effects of montelukast (MK), a cysteinyl leukotriene (cysLT) receptor antagonist, in primary and secondary RSV-infected newborn and adult mice.
Methods: BALB/c mice were infected with RSV at 1 week (neonate) or 6 to 8 weeks (adult) of age and reinfected 5 weeks later. MK was administered 1 day before the initial infection and through Day 6 after infection. Seven days after primary or secondary infection, airway function was assessed by lung resistance to increasing doses of inhaled methacholine; lung inflammation, goblet cell metaplasia, and cytokine levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid were monitored.
Measurements and Main Results: RSV infection induced cysLT release in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. MK decreased RSV-induced AHR, airway inflammation, and increased IFN-γ production in primary infected adult and neonatal mice. MK, administered during initial infection of neonates but not during secondary infection, prevented subsequent enhancement of AHR, airway eosinophilia, and mucus hyperproduction upon reinfection.
Conclusions: MK attenuated the initial responses to primary RSV infection in both age groups and altered the consequences of RSV reinfection in mice initially infected as neonates. These data support an important role for cysLT in RSV-induced AHR and inflammation.
PMCID: PMC2937239  PMID: 20442434
airway; inflammation; RSV; cysteinyl leukotrienes
2.  Delayed Sequelae of Neonatal Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection Are Dependent on Cells of the Innate Immune System 
Journal of Virology  2014;88(1):604-611.
Infection with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in neonatal mice leads to exacerbated disease if mice are reinfected with the same virus as adults. Both T cells and the host major histocompatibility complex genotype contribute to this phenomenon, but the part played by innate immunity has not been defined. Since macrophages and natural killer (NK) cells play key roles in regulating inflammation during RSV infection of adult mice, we studied the role of these cells in exacerbated inflammation following neonatal RSV sensitization/adult reinfection. Compared to mice undergoing primary infection as adults, neonatally sensitized mice showed enhanced airway fluid levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), alpha interferon (IFN-α), CXCL1 (keratinocyte chemoattractant/KC), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) at 12 to 24 h after reinfection and IL-4, IL-5, IFN-γ, and CCL11 (eotaxin) at day 4 after reinfection. Weight loss during reinfection was accompanied by an initial influx of NK cells and granulocytes into the airways and lungs, followed by T cells. NK cell depletion during reinfection attenuated weight loss but did not alter T cell responses. Depletion of alveolar macrophages with inhaled clodronate liposomes reduced both NK and T cell numbers and attenuated weight loss. These findings indicate a hitherto unappreciated role for the innate immune response in governing the pathogenic recall responses to RSV infection.
PMCID: PMC3911760  PMID: 24173217
3.  Th17 cytokines are critical for RSV associated airway hyperreponsiveness through regulation by complement C3a and tachykinins1 
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection is associated with serious lung disease in infants and immunocompromised individuals and is linked to development of asthma. In mice, acute RSV infection causes airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), inflammation, and mucus hypersecretion. Infected cells induce complement activation, producing the anaphylatoxin C3a. Here we show RSV infected wild type mice produce Th17 cytokines, a response not previously associated with viral infections. Mice deficient in the C3aR (C3aR1−/−) fail to develop AHR following acute RSV infection, and production of Th17 cytokines was significantly attenuated. Tachykinin production has also been implicated in RSV pathophysiology, and tachykinin receptor null mice (TACR1−/−) were similarly protected from developing AHR. These animals were also deficient in production of Th17 cytokines. Tachykinin release was absent in C3aR1−/− mice, while C3a levels were unchanged in TACR1−/− animals. Thus, our data reveal a crucial sequence following acute RSV infection where initial C3a production causes tachykinin release, followed by activation of the IL-17A pathway. Deficiency of either receptor affords protection from AHR, identifying two potential therapeutic targets.
PMCID: PMC3186836  PMID: 21918196
respiratory syncytial virus; C3a anaphylatoxin; complement; inflammation; IL17A; airway hyperresponsiveness; tachykinins; substance P; hemokinin-1
4.  Resveratrol-Mediated Gamma Interferon Reduction Prevents Airway Inflammation and Airway Hyperresponsiveness in Respiratory Syncytial Virus-Infected Immunocompromised Mice ▿  
Journal of Virology  2011;85(24):13061-13068.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most important cause of severe, lower respiratory tract infections in infants, and RSV infections have been associated with chronic wheezing and asthma during childhood. However, the mechanism of RSV-induced airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) is poorly understood. Furthermore, there are presently neither effective vaccines nor drugs available for the prevention or treatment of RSV infections. In this study, we investigated the effect of the plant extract resveratrol as a means of preventing airway inflammation and attenuating RSV-induced AHR. Our data showed that resveratrol reduced RSV lung titers and the number of infiltrating lymphocytes present in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and reduced inflammation. Furthermore, resveratrol attenuated airway responses to methacholine following RSV infection and significantly decreased gamma interferon (IFN-γ) levels in BALF of RSV-infected mice. Data presented in this report demonstrated that resveratrol controlled Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) expression, inhibited the TRIF signaling pathway, and induced M2 receptor expression following RSV infection. These data support a role for the use of resveratrol as a means of reducing IFN-γ levels associated with RSV-mediated airway inflammation and AHR, which may be mediated via TLR3 signaling.
PMCID: PMC3233156  PMID: 21937650
5.  The Role of T Cells in the Enhancement of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection Severity during Adult Reinfection of Neonatally Sensitized Mice▿  
Journal of Virology  2008;82(8):4115-4124.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the major cause of infantile bronchiolitis and hospitalization. Severe RSV disease is associated with the development of wheezing in later life. In a mouse model of the delayed effects of RSV, the age at primary infection determines responses to reinfection in adulthood. During primary RSV infection, neonatal BALB/c mice developed only mild disease and recruited CD8 cells that were defective in gamma interferon production. Secondary reinfection of neonatally primed mice caused enhanced inflammation and profuse lung T-cell recruitment. CD4 cell depletion during secondary RSV challenge attenuated disease (measured by weight loss); depletion of CD8 cells also markedly attenuated disease severity but enhanced lung eosinophilia, and depletion of both CD4 and CD8 cells together completely abrogated weight loss. Depletion of CD8 (but not CD4) cells during primary neonatal infection was protective against weight loss during adult challenge. Therefore, T cells, in particular CD8 T cells, play a central role in the outcome of neonatal infection by enhancing disease during secondary challenge. These findings demonstrate a crucial role for T cells in the regulation of immune responses after neonatal infection.
PMCID: PMC2293007  PMID: 18272579
6.  Combined fluticasone propionate and salmeterol reduces RSV infection more effectively than either of them alone in allergen-sensitized mice 
Virology Journal  2006;3:32.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection is the major cause of bronchiolitis in infants and is a risk factor for the development of asthma. Allergic asthmatics are more susceptible to RSV infection and viral exacerbation.
Since the effectiveness of corticosteroids in treating RSV infection has been controversial, we tested fluticasone propionate (FP) and salmeterol (Sal) alone versus FP plus Sal (FPS) on RSV-induced airway inflammation. Mice were sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin (OVA) and infected with RSV. Following infection they were treated with FP, Sal, or FPS intranasally and airway hyperreactivity (AHR), inflammation and RSV titers were examined.
The group treated with FPS showed significantly lower AHR compared to the group treated with FP or Sal alone. The group treated with FP alone showed slightly decreased (non-significant) AHR compared to controls. Treatment with FPS resulted in significant decreases in the percentage of eosinophils and neutrophils in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and in lung pathology compared to FP or Sal. FP alone decreased eosinophils but not neutrophils or lymphocytes, while Sal alone decreased eosinophils and neutrophils but not lymphocytes. FPS treatment of mice infected with RSV in the absence of allergen sensitization resulted in a 50% decrease of RSV titer in the lung and a reduction in neutrophils compared to FP or Sal.
Together, these results indicate that fluticasone in combination with salmeterol is a more effective treatment for decreasing airway hyperreactivity and inflammation than either of them alone in allergen-sensitized, RSV-infected mice.
PMCID: PMC1488829  PMID: 16719922
7.  Age at First Viral Infection Determines the Pattern of T Cell–mediated Disease during Reinfection in Adulthood 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2002;196(10):1381-1386.
Infants experiencing severe respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) bronchiolitis have an increased frequency of wheeze and asthma in later childhood. Since most severe RSV infections occur between the 8th and 24th postnatal week, we examined whether age at first infection determines the balance of cytokine production and lung pathology during subsequent rechallenge. Primary RSV infection in newborn mice followed the same viral kinetics as in adults but was associated with reduced and delayed IFN-γ responses. To study rechallenge, mice were infected at 1 day or 1, 4, or 8 weeks of age and reinfected at 12 weeks. Neonatal priming produced more severe weight loss and increased inflammatory cell recruitment (including T helper 2 cells and eosinophils) during reinfection, whereas delayed priming led to enhanced interferon γ production and less severe disease during reinfection. These results show the crucial importance of age at first infection in determining the outcome of reinfection and suggest that the environment of the neonatal lung is a major determinant of cytokine production and disease patterns in later life. Thus, simply delaying RSV infection beyond infancy might reduce subsequent respiratory morbidity in later childhood.
PMCID: PMC2193991  PMID: 12438429
bronchiolitis; asthma; immunity; pneumovirinae; virus
8.  The Role of RSV Infection in Asthma Initiation and Progression: Findings in a Mouse Model 
Pulmonary Medicine  2011;2011:748038.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common cause of severe lower respiratory tract diseases (bronchiolitis and pneumonia) during infancy and early childhood. There is increasing evidence which indicates that severe pulmonary disease caused by RSV infection in infancy is associated with recurrent wheezing and development of asthma later in childhood. However, the underlying mechanisms linking RSV infection to persistent airway hyperresponsiveness and dysfunction are not fully defined. To study these processes in ways which are not available in humans, animal models have been established and have provided valuable insight into the pathophysiology of RSV-induced disease. In this paper, we discuss experimental models of RSV infection in mice and highlight a new investigative approach in which mice are initially infected as neonates and then reinfected later in life. The findings shed light on the mechanisms underlying the association between early severe RSV infection and development of asthma later in childhood.
PMCID: PMC3135221  PMID: 21766019
9.  CxCL10/CxCR3-mediated Responses Promote Immunity to Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection by Augmenting Dendritic Cell and CD8+ T Cell Efficacy 
European journal of immunology  2008;38(8):2168-2179.
The induction of inflammatory cytokines during respiratory viral infections contributes to both disease pathogenesis and resolution. The present studies investigated the role of the chemokine CxCL10 and its specific receptor, CxCR3, in the host response to pulmonary respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. Antibody-mediated neutralization of CxCL10 resulted in a significant increase in disease pathogenesis, including airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), mucus gene expression, and impaired viral clearance. When the pulmonary cytokine levels were examined, only type I IFN and IL-12p70 were significantly reduced. These latter observations were reflected in reduced dendritic cell (DC) numbers and DC maturation in the lungs of RSV-infected mice treated with anti-CxCL10. Neutralization of the only known receptor for CxCL10, CxCR3, resulted in similar increases in pathogenic responses. When bone marrow-derived DC (BMDC) were incubated with CxCL10 and RSV, an upregulation of type I IFN was observed. In addition, T lymphocytes were also examined and a significant decrease in the number of RSV M2 peptide-specific CD8+ T cells was identified. These findings highlight a previously unappreciated role for the CXCL10:CXCR3 signaling axis in RSV-infected animals by recruiting virus-specific T cells into the lung and promoting viral clearance.
PMCID: PMC2743117  PMID: 18624292
Rodent; Lung; Dendritic Cells; Chemokines; Cytokines
10.  Delivery of Cytokines by Recombinant Virus in Early Life Alters the Immune Response to Adult Lung Infection▿  
Journal of Virology  2010;84(10):5294-5302.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the main cause of bronchiolitis, the major cause of hospitalization of infants. An ideal RSV vaccine would be effective for neonates, but the immune responses of infants differ markedly from those of adults, often showing a bias toward T-helper 2 (Th2) responses and reduced gamma interferon (IFN-γ) production. We previously developed recombinant RSV vectors expressing IFN-γ and interleukin-4 (IL-4) that allow us to explore the role of these key Th1 and Th2 cytokines during infection. The aim of the current study was to explore whether an immunomodulation of infant responses could enhance protection. The expression of IFN-γ by a recombinant RSV vector (RSV/IFN-γ) attenuated primary viral replication in newborn mice without affecting the development of specific antibody or T-cell responses. Upon challenge, RSV/IFN-γ mice were protected from the exacerbated disease observed for mice primed with wild-type RSV; however, antiviral immunity was not enhanced. Conversely, the expression of IL-4 by recombinant RSV did not affect virus replication in neonates but greatly enhanced Th2 immune responses upon challenge without affecting weight loss. These studies demonstrate that it is possible to manipulate infant immune responses by using cytokine-expressing recombinant viruses and that neonatal deficiency in IFN-γ responses may lead to enhanced disease during secondary infection.
PMCID: PMC2863826  PMID: 20200251
11.  Chinchilla and Murine Models of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections with Respiratory Syncytial Virus 
Journal of Virology  2005;79(10):6035-6042.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of lower respiratory tract infections in infants and the elderly. While the primary infection is the most serious, reinfection of the upper airway throughout life is the rule. Although relatively little is known about either RSV infection of the upper respiratory tract or host mucosal immunity to RSV, recent literature suggests that RSV is the predominant viral pathogen predisposing to bacterial otitis media (OM). Herein, we describe mouse and chinchilla models of RSV infection of the nasopharynx and Eustachian tube. Both rodent hosts were susceptible to RSV infection of the upper airway following intranasal challenge; however, the chinchilla proved to be more permissive than the mouse. The chinchilla model will likely be extremely useful to test the role of RSV in bacterial OM and the efficacy of RSV vaccine candidates designed to provide mucosal and cytotoxic T-lymphocyte immunity. Ultimately, we hope to investigate the relative ability of these candidates to potentially protect against viral predisposal to bacterial OM.
PMCID: PMC1091680  PMID: 15857989
12.  An immunocompromised BALB/c mouse model for respiratory syncytial virus infection 
Virology Journal  2005;2:3.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection causes bronchiolitis in infants and children, which can be fatal, especially in immunocompromised patients. The BALB/c mouse, currently used as a model for studying RSV immunopathology, is semi-permissive to the virus. A mouse model that more closely mimics human RSV infection is needed. Since immunocompromised conditions increase risk of RSV infection, the possibility of enhancing RSV infection in the BALB/c mouse by pretreatment with cyclophosphamide was examined in this study. BALB/c mice were treated with cyclophosphamide (CYP) and five days later, they were infected with RSV intranasally. Pulmonary RSV titers, inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness were measured five days after infection.
CYP-treated mice show higher RSV titers in their lungs of than the untreated mice. Also, a decreased percentage of macrophages and an increased number of lymphocytes and neutrophils were present in the BAL of CYP-treated mice compared to controls. The CYP-treated group also exhibited augmented bronchoalveolar and interstitial pulmonary inflammation. The increased RSV infection in CYP-treated mice was accompanied by elevated expression of IL-10, IL-12 and IFN-γ mRNAs and proteins compared to controls. Examination of CYP-treated mice before RSV infection showed that CYP treatment significantly decreased both IFN-γ and IL-12 expression.
These results demonstrate that CYP-treated BALB/c mice provide a better model for studying RSV immunopathology and that decreased production of IL-12 and IFN-γ are important determinants of susceptibility to RSV infection.
PMCID: PMC549044  PMID: 15701174
13.  Comparative Effects of Two Neutralizing Anti-Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Monoclonal Antibodies in the RSV Murine Model: Time versus Potency 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2005;49(11):4700-4707.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the leading viral pathogen responsible for bronchiolitis and pneumonia in infants and young children worldwide. We have previously shown in the mouse model that treatment with an anti-RSV neutralizing monoclonal antibody (MAb) against the F glycoprotein of RSV, palivizumab, decreased lung inflammation, airway obstruction, and postmethacholine airway hyperresponsiveness. MEDI-524, or Numax, is a new MAb derived from palivizumab with enhanced neutralizing activity against RSV. We compared the effects of these two MAbs on different markers of disease severity using the murine model of RSV infection. BALB/c mice were intranasally inoculated with RSV A2. Palivizumab or MEDI-524 was administered once at either 24 h before or 48 h after RSV inoculation. Regardless of the time of administration, all treated mice showed significantly decreased RSV loads in bronchoalveolar lavage samples measured by plaque assay. Only MEDI-524 given at −24 h significantly decreased lung RSV RNA loads on days 5 and 28 after RSV inoculation. Pulmonary histopathologic scores, airway obstruction, and postmethacholine airway hyperresponsiveness were significantly reduced in mice treated with MEDI-524 at 24 h before inoculation, compared with untreated controls and the other regimens evaluated. MEDI-524 was superior to palivizumab on several outcome variables of RSV disease assessed in the mouse model: viral replication, inflammatory and clinical markers of acute disease severity, and long-term pulmonary abnormalities.
PMCID: PMC1280119  PMID: 16251314
14.  Early-life viral infection and allergen exposure interact to induce an asthmatic phenotype in mice 
Respiratory Research  2010;11(1):14.
Early-life respiratory viral infections, notably with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), increase the risk of subsequent development of childhood asthma. The purpose of this study was to assess whether early-life infection with a species-specific model of RSV and subsequent allergen exposure predisposed to the development of features of asthma.
We employed a unique combination of animal models in which BALB/c mice were neonatally infected with pneumonia virus of mice (PVM, which replicates severe RSV disease in human infants) and following recovery, were intranasally sensitised with ovalbumin. Animals received low-level challenge with aerosolised antigen for 4 weeks to elicit changes of chronic asthma, followed by a single moderate-level challenge to induce an exacerbation of inflammation. We then assessed airway inflammation, epithelial changes characteristic of remodelling, airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and host immunological responses.
Allergic airway inflammation, including recruitment of eosinophils, was prominent only in animals that had recovered from neonatal infection with PVM and then been sensitised and chronically challenged with antigen. Furthermore, only these mice exhibited an augmented Th2-biased immune response, including elevated serum levels of anti-ovalbumin IgE and IgG1 as well as increased relative expression of Th2-associated cytokines IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13. By comparison, development of AHR and mucous cell change were associated with recovery from PVM infection, regardless of subsequent allergen challenge. Increased expression of IL-25, which could contribute to induction of a Th2 response, was demonstrable in the lung following PVM infection. Signalling via the IL-4 receptor α chain was crucial to the development of allergic inflammation, mucous cell change and AHR, because all of these were absent in receptor-deficient mice. In contrast, changes of remodelling were evident in mice that received chronic allergen challenge, regardless of neonatal PVM infection, and were not dependent on signalling via the IL-4 receptor.
In this mouse model, interaction between early-life viral infection and allergen sensitisation/challenge is essential for development of the characteristic features of childhood asthma, including allergic inflammation and a Th2-biased immune response.
PMCID: PMC2842242  PMID: 20122285
15.  Pulmonary Vγ4+ γδ T Cells Have Proinflammatory and Antiviral Effects in Viral Lung Disease1 
Host defenses, while effecting viral clearance, contribute substantially to inflammation and disease. This double action is a substantial obstacle to the development of safe and effective vaccines against many agents, particularly respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). RSV is a common cold virus and the major cause of infantile bronchiolitis worldwide. The role of αβ T cells in RSV-driven immunopathology is well studied, but little is known about the role of “unconventional” T cells. During primary RSV challenge of BALB/c mice, some Vγ7+ γδ T cells were present; however, immunization with a live vaccinia vector expressing RSV F protein substantially enhanced Vγ4+ γδ T cell influx after RSV infection. Harvested early, these cells produced IFN-γ, TNF, and RANTES after ex vivo stimulation. By contrast, those recruited 5 days after challenge made IL-4, IL-5, and IL-10. Depletion of γδ T cells in vivo reduced lung inflammation and disease severity and slightly increased peak viral replication but did not prevent viral clearance. These studies demonstrate a novel role for γδ T cells in the development of immunopathology and cellular influx into the lungs after immunization and RSV challenge. Though a minor population, γδ T cells have a critical influence on disease and are an attractive interventional target in the alleviation of viral lung disease.
PMCID: PMC2646375  PMID: 19124761
16.  Enhanced virulence, airway inflammation and impaired lung function induced by respiratory syncytial virus deficient in secreted G protein 
Thorax  2004;59(6):517-521.
Background: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection can cause bronchial hyperresponsiveness and asthma exacerbations. In mice it results in airway inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness. Since viral factors influencing these responses are not well defined, a study was undertaken to investigate the role of secreted G protein of human RSV in determining virulence, inflammatory responses, and changes in lung function.
Methods: BALB/c mice were infected with a spontaneous mutant of RSV deficient in secreted G protein (RSV-ΔsG) or with wild type RSV (RSV-WT). Viral titres, numbers of pulmonary inflammatory cells, and concentrations of interferon (IFN)-γ, interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5 and IL-10 in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid were determined. Airway function was assessed at baseline and following methacholine provocation using barometric whole body plethysmography.
Result: Following infection with RSV-ΔsG, viral titres were increased 50-fold compared with RSV-WT. Influx of eosinophils and macrophages to the lung and concentrations of IFN-γ and IL-10 in BAL fluid were also significantly higher following infection with RSV-ΔsG. Airway function, both at baseline and after methacholine provocation, was significantly decreased following infection with RSV-ΔsG compared with RSV-WT.
Conclusion: Secreted G protein is likely to be a regulatory factor in RSV infection limiting infectivity of the virus, inflammatory responses in the lungs, and reduction in lung function.
PMCID: PMC1747027  PMID: 15170038
17.  A role for airway remodeling during respiratory syncytial virus infection 
Respiratory Research  2005;6(1):122.
Severe respiratory syncytial virus infection (RSV) during infancy has been shown to be a major risk factor for the development of subsequent wheeze. However, the reasons for this link remain unclear. The objective of this research was to determine the consequences of early exposure to RSV and allergen in the development of subsequent airway hyperreactivity (AHR) using a developmental time point in the mouse that parallels that of the human neonate.
Weanling mice were sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin (Ova) and/or infected with RSV. Eight days after the last allergen challenge, various pathophysiological endpoints were examined.
AHR in response to methacholine was enhanced only in weanling mice exposed to Ova and subsequently infected with RSV. The increase in AHR appeared to be unrelated to pulmonary RSV titer. Total bronchoalveolar lavage cellularity in these mice increased approximately two-fold relative to Ova alone and was attributable to increases in eosinophil and lymphocyte numbers. Enhanced pulmonary pathologies including persistent mucus production and subepithelial fibrosis were observed. Interestingly, these data correlated with transient increases in TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-5, and IL-2.
The observed changes in pulmonary structure may provide an explanation for epidemiological data suggesting that early exposure to allergens and RSV have long-term physiological consequences. Furthermore, the data presented here highlight the importance of preventative strategies against RSV infection of atopic individuals during neonatal development.
PMCID: PMC1283984  PMID: 16242038
respiratory syncytial virus; pulmonary; inflammation; age factors; asthma; mice
18.  Virus-specific memory and effector T lymphocytes exhibit different cytokine responses to antigens during experimental murine respiratory syncytial virus infection. 
Journal of Virology  1997;71(1):678-685.
Mice sensitized to the G (attachment) or F (fusion) glycoproteins of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) expressed different patterns of cytokine production and lung pathology when challenged by intranasal infection with RSV. Five days after challenge, mice sensitized to G glycoprotein produced high levels of interleukin-4 (IL-4) and IL-5 in the lungs and spleens and developed extensive pulmonary eosinophilia, while mice sensitized to F glycoprotein produced IL-2 and developed a mononuclear cell infiltration. Memory lymphocytes isolated 2 weeks after intranasal challenge of mice primed to the G or F glycoprotein secreted only IL-2 and gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) when stimulated with RSV. IL-4 and IL-5 production characteristic of Th2-type effectors in the lung was observed only after multiple rounds of in vitro stimulation of RSV G-specific memory T lymphocytes with antigen. Also IFN-gamma production appeared to play only a minor role in the expression of pulmonary pathology characteristic of Th1 or Th2 T-lymphocyte responses, because mice genetically deficient in IFN-gamma production by gene disruption displayed the same pattern of pulmonary inflammation to RSV infection after priming to RSV F or G as conventional mice. These results suggest that effector T lymphocytes exhibit a different pattern of cytokine production than memory T-lymphocyte precursors precommitted to a Th1 or Th2 pattern of differentiation. Furthermore, these observations raise the possibility that the cytokine response of human memory T lymphocytes after a single exposure to antigen in vitro may not accurately reflect the cytokine response of differentiated effector T lymphocytes at the site of infection in vivo.
PMCID: PMC191100  PMID: 8985399
19.  Anti-Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Neutralizing Antibody Decreases Lung Inflammation, Airway Obstruction, and Airway Hyperresponsiveness in a Murine RSV Model 
Numerous studies have described a strong association between respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection in infancy and the development of recurrent wheezing and airway hyperresponsiveness. We evaluated the effect of an anti-RSV neutralizing monoclonal antibody (palivizumab) on different aspects of RSV disease by using a murine model. BALB/c mice were intranasally inoculated with RSV A2. Palivizumab or an isotype-matched control antibody was administered once at 24 h before inoculation, 1 h after inoculation, or 48 h after inoculation. Regardless of the timing of administration, all mice treated with the neutralizing antibody showed significantly decreased RSV loads in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and lung specimens compared with those of infected controls. Pulmonary histopathologic scores, airway obstruction measured by plethysmography, and airway hyperresponsiveness after methacholine challenge were significantly reduced in mice treated with the anti-RSV antibody 24 h before inoculation compared with those for untreated controls. Concentrations of interferon-gamma, interleukin-10, macrophage inflammatory protein 1α, regulated on activation normal T-cell expressed and secreted (RANTES), and eotaxin in BAL fluids were also significantly reduced in mice treated with palivizumab 24 h before inoculation. This study demonstrates that reduced RSV replication was associated with significant modulation of inflammatory and clinical markers of acute disease severity and significant improvement of the long-term pulmonary abnormalities. Studies to determine whether strategies aimed at preventing or reducing RSV replication could decrease the long-term morbidity associated with RSV infection in children should be considered.
PMCID: PMC400529  PMID: 15105140
20.  Antioxidant Treatment Ameliorates Respiratory Syncytial Virus–induced Disease and Lung Inflammation 
Rationale: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of lower respiratory tract infection in children. No treatment has been shown to significantly improve the clinical outcome of patients with this infection. Recent evidence suggests that oxidative stress could play an important role in the pathogenesis of acute and chronic lung inflammatory diseases. We do not known whether RSV induces pulmonary oxidative stress and whether antioxidant treatment can modulate RSV-induced lung disease.
Objectives: To investigate the effect of antioxidant administration on RSV-induced lung inflammation, clinical disease, and airway hyperreactivity (AHR).
Methods: BALB/c mice were infected with 107 plaque-forming units of RSV, in the presence or absence of orally administered butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), an antioxidant. Malondialdehyde and 4-hydroxynonenal were measured in bronchoalveoar lavage (BAL) by colorimetric assay. Cytokines and chemokines were measured in BAL by Bio-Plex and leukotrienes were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. AHR to methacholine challenge was measured by whole-body plethysmography.
Results: BHA treatment significantly attenuated RSV-induced lung oxidative stress, as indicated by the decrease of malondialdehyde and 4-hydroxynonenal content in BAL of RSV-infected mice. RSV-induced clinical illness and body weight loss were also reduced by BHA treatment, which inhibited neutrophil recruitment to the lung and significantly reduced pulmonary cytokine and chemokine production after RSV infection. Similarly, antioxidant treatment attenuated RSV-induced AHR.
Conclusion: Modulation of oxidative stress represents a potential novel pharmacologic approach to ameliorate RSV-induced acute lung inflammation and potentially prevent long-term consequences associated with RSV infection, such as bronchial asthma.
PMCID: PMC2648297  PMID: 17008643
antioxidant; chemokines; lung inflammation; oxidative stress; respiratory syncytial virus
21.  Protection against Respiratory Syncytial Virus by a Recombinant Newcastle Disease Virus Vector 
Journal of Virology  2006;80(3):1130-1139.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of severe lower respiratory tract disease in infants and the elderly, but no safe and effective RSV vaccine is yet available. For reasons that are not well understood, RSV is only weakly immunogenic, and reinfection occurs throughout life. This has complicated the search for an effective live attenuated viral vaccine, and past trials with inactivated virus preparations have led to enhanced immunopathology following natural infection. We have tested the hypothesis that weak stimulation of innate immunity by RSV correlates with ineffective adaptive responses by asking whether expression of the fusion glycoprotein of RSV by Newcastle disease virus (NDV) would stimulate a more robust immune response to RSV than primary RSV infection. NDV is a potent inducer of both alpha/beta interferon (IFN-α/β) production and dendritic cell maturation, while RSV is not. When a recombinant NDV expressing the RSV fusion glycoprotein was administered to BALB/c mice, they were protected from RSV challenge, and this protection correlated with a robust anti-F CD8+ T-cell response. The effectiveness of this vaccine construct reflects the differential abilities of NDV and RSV to promote dendritic cell maturation and is retained even in the absence of a functional IFN-α/β receptor.
PMCID: PMC1346968  PMID: 16414990
22.  IL-13 is associated with reduced illness and replication in primary respiratory syncytial virus infection in the mouse 
Microbes and infection / Institut Pasteur  2006;8(14-15):2880-2889.
The role of IL-13 in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) immunopathogenesis is incompletely described. To assess the effect of IL-13 on primary RSV infection, transgenic mice which either overexpress IL-13 in the lung (IL-13 OE) or nontransgenic littermates (IL-13 NT) were challenged intranasally with RSV. IL-13 OE mice had significantly decreased peak viral titers four days after infection compared to non-transgenic littermates. In addition, the IL-13 OE mice had significantly lower RSV-induced weight loss and reduced lung IFN-γ protein expression compared with IL-13 NT mice. In contrast, primary RSV challenge of IL-13 deficient mice resulted in a small, but statistically significant increase in viral titers on day four after infection, no difference in RSV-induced weight loss compared to wild type mice, and augmented IFN-γ production on day 6 after infection. In STAT1-deficient (STAT1 KO) mice, where primary RSV challenge produced high levels of IL-13 production in the lungs, treatment with an IL-13 neutralizing protein resulted in greater peak viral titers both four and six days after RSV and greater RSV-induced weight loss compared to mice treated with a control protein. These results suggest that IL-13 modulates illness from RSV-infection.
PMCID: PMC1811125  PMID: 17110149
virus; IL-13; interferon
23.  Activity and Regulation of Alpha Interferon in Respiratory Syncytial Virus and Human Metapneumovirus Experimental Infections 
Journal of Virology  2005;79(16):10190-10199.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human metapneumovirus (hMPV) cause a similar spectrum of respiratory infections in humans. Classified within the Paramyxoviridae family, Pneumovirinae subfamily, RSV and hMPV present a significant degree of divergence in genome constellation, organization, and protein sequences. RSV has been reported to be a poor inducer of alpha/beta interferons (IFN-α/β) and partially resistant to its antiviral activity. The nature of the innate immune response to hMPV is currently unknown. Herein, an experimental mouse model was used to investigate the interplay between RSV and hMPV infections and IFN-α in the airways. RSV-infected BALB/c mice treated intranasally with either poly-ICLC, a potent inducer of IFN-α, or directly with recombinant IFN-α showed significantly reduced lung viral titers, inflammation, and clinical disease than untreated controls. However, RSV was significantly less sensitive to the antiviral activity of IFN-α than hMPV. Similarly, when the ability to directly induce IFN-α production was assessed, RSV was clearly a weaker inducer of IFN-α than hMPV, as shown by both kinetics and the absolute amount of IFN-α secreted into the bronchoalveolar lavage. To further investigate the putative inhibitory effect of these viruses on IFN-α production, mice were infected for 48 h prior to treatment with poly-ICLC or a specific Toll-like receptor 9 ligand, CpG oligodeoxynucleotides. Strikingly, both poly-ICLC- and CpG-mediated IFN-α production was abrogated by either RSV or MPV infection. These results suggest that a complex interplay between virus-specific and host-mediated responses regulates IFN-α in the lung during infection by members of the Pneumovirinae family.
PMCID: PMC1182647  PMID: 16051812
24.  Responsiveness to respiratory syncytial virus in neonates is mediated through thymic stromal lymphopoietin and OX40 ligand 
Recent studies revealed a critical role for thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) released from epithelial cells and OX40 ligand (OX40L) expressed on dendritic cells (DCs) in TH2 priming and polarization.
We sought to determine the importance of the TSLP-OX40L axis in neonatal respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection.
Mice were initially infected with RSV as neonates or adults and reinfected 5 weeks later. Anti-OX40L or anti-TSLP were administered during primary or secondary infection. Outcomes included assessment of airway function and inflammation and expression of OX40L, TSLP, and IL-12.
OX40L was expressed mainly on CD11c+MHC class II (MHCII)+CD11b+ DCs but not CD103+ DCs. Treatment of neonates with OX40L antibody during primary RSV infection prevented the subsequent enhancement of airway hyperresponsiveness and the development of airway eosinophilia and mucus hyperproduction on reinfection. Administration of anti-TSLP before neonatal RSV infection reduced the accumulation of lung DCs, decreased OX40L expression on lung DCs, and attenuated the enhancement of airway responses after reinfection.
In mice initially infected as neonates, TSLP expression induced by RSV infection is an important upstream event that controls OX40L expression, lung DC migration, and TH2 polarization, accounting for the enhanced response on reinfection.
PMCID: PMC3593657  PMID: 23036746
Respiratory syncytial virus; OX40 ligand; thymic stromal lymphopoietin
25.  Respiratory syncytial virus infection results in airway hyperresponsiveness and enhanced airway sensitization to allergen. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1997;100(1):226-233.
Viral respiratory infections can predispose to the development of asthma by mechanisms that are presently undetermined. Using a murine model of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection, acute infection is associated with airway hyperresponsiveness as well as enhanced responses to subsequent sensitization to allergen. We demonstrate that acute viral infection results in increased airway responsiveness to inhaled methacholine and pulmonary neutrophilic and eosinophilic inflammation. This response is associated with predominant production of Th-1-type cytokines in peribronchial lymph node cells in vitro. Mice sensitized to ovalbumin via the airways after RSV infection developed increased airway responsiveness to methacholine and pulmonary eosinophilic and neutrophilic inflammation, associated with the predominant production of Th-2-type cytokines. Treatment of the mice with anti-IL-5 antibody abolished airway hyperresponsiveness and eosinophilic but not neutrophilic inflammation in both acutely infected mice and mice sensitized after infection. We conclude that RSV infection results in airway hyperresponsiveness in the acute phase and leads to changes in immune function that can enhance the effects of airway sensitization to antigen after infection. In both situations, airway hyperresponsiveness is closely associated with pulmonary eosinophilic inflammation. This model provides a means for further analyzing the influence of viral respiratory infections on airway sensitization and the development of altered airway responsiveness.
PMCID: PMC508183  PMID: 9202075

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