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1.  Role of CCL5 (RANTES) in Viral Lung Disease 
Journal of Virology  2006;80(16):8151-8157.
CCL5/RANTES is a key proinflammatory chemokine produced by virus-infected epithelial cells and present in respiratory secretions of asthmatics. To examine the role of CCL5 in viral lung disease, we measured its production during primary respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection and during secondary infection after sensitizing vaccination that induces Th2-mediated eosinophilia. A first peak of CCL5 mRNA and protein production was seen at 18 to 24 h of RSV infection, before significant lymphocyte recruitment occurred. Treatment in vivo with Met-RANTES (a competitive chemokine receptor blocker) throughout primary infection decreased CD4+ and CD8+ cell recruitment and increased viral replication. In RSV-infected, sensitized mice with eosinophilic disease, CCL5 production was further augmented; Met-RANTES treatment again reduced inflammatory cell recruitment and local cytokine production. A second wave of CCL5 production occurred on day 7, attributable to newly recruited T cells. Paradoxically, mice treated with Met-RANTES during primary infection demonstrated increased cellular infiltration during reinfection. We therefore show that RSV induces CCL5 production in the lung and this causes the recruitment of RSV-specific cells, including those making additional CCL5. If this action is blocked with Met-RANTES, inflammation decreases and viral clearance is delayed. However, the exact effects of chemokine modulation depend critically on time of administration, a factor that may potentially complicate the use of chemokine blockers in inflammatory diseases.
PMCID: PMC1563837  PMID: 16873271
2.  The Chemokine MIP1α/CCL3 Determines Pathology in Primary RSV Infection by Regulating the Balance of T Cell Populations in the Murine Lung 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(2):e9381.
CD8 T cells assist in the clearance of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection from the lungs. However, disease after RSV infection is in part caused by excessive T cell activity, and a balance is therefore needed between beneficial and harmful cellular immune responses. The chemokine CCL3 (MIP1α) is produced following RSV infection and is broadly chemotactic for both T cells and natural killer (NK) cells. We therefore investigated its role in RSV disease.
Methodology/Principal Findings
CCL3 was produced biphasically, in both the early (day 1) and late (day 6–7) stages of infection. CCL3 depletion did not alter the recruitment of natural killer (NK) cells to the lungs during the early stage, but depletion did affect the later adaptive phase. While fewer T cells were recruited to the lungs of either CCL3 knockout or anti-CCL3 treated RSV infected mice, more RSV-specific pro-inflammatory T cells were recruited to the lung when CCL3 responses were impaired. This increase in RSV-specific pro-inflammatory T cells was accompanied by increased weight loss and illness after RSV infection.
CCL3 regulates the balance of T cell populations in the lung and can alter the outcome of RSV infection. Understanding the role of inflammatory mediators in the recruitment of pathogenic T cells to the lungs may lead to novel methods to control RSV disease.
PMCID: PMC2827540  PMID: 20195359
3.  Differential Chemokine Expression following Respiratory Virus Infection Reflects Th1- or Th2-Biased Immunopathology 
Journal of Virology  2006;80(9):4521-4527.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major viral pathogen of infants that also reinfects adults. During RSV infection, inflammatory host cell recruitment to the lung plays a central role in determining disease outcome. Chemokines mediate cell recruitment to sites of inflammation and are influenced by, and influence, the production of cytokines. We therefore compared chemokine production in a mouse model of immunopathogenic RSV infection in which either Th1 or Th2 immunopathology is induced by prior sensitization to individual RSV proteins. Chemokine expression profiles were profoundly affected by the nature of the pulmonary immunopathology: “Th2” immunopathology in BALB/c mice was associated with increased and prolonged expression of CCL2 (MCP-1), CXCL10 (IP-10), and CCL11 (eotaxin) starting within 24 h of challenge. C57BL/6 mice with “Th2” pathology (enabled by a deficiency of CD8+ cells) also showed increased CCL2 production. No differences in chemokine receptor expression were detected. Chemokine blockers may therefore be of use for children with bronchiolitis.
PMCID: PMC1472012  PMID: 16611912
4.  Pseudotyped Adeno-Associated Virus 2/9-Delivered CCL11 shRNA Alleviates Lung Inflammation in an Allergen-Sensitized Mouse Model 
Human Gene Therapy  2012;23(11):1156-1165.
Airway infiltration by eosinophils is a major characteristic of chronic asthma. CCL11 (eotaxin-1) is secreted by lung epithelial cells and functions as the major chemokine for eosinophil recruitment. Pseudotyped adeno-associated virus (AAV) 2/9, composed by the AAV2 rep and AAV9 cap genes, can efficiently target lung epithelial cells and might carry gene sequences with therapeutic potential for asthma. This study aimed to determine whether pseudotyped AAV2/9 virus carrying the small hairpin RNA targeting CCL11 and expressed by CMV/U6 promoter could reduce eosinophilia and asthmatic responses in mite allergen-sensitized mice. Mice were sensitized by intraperitoneal and challenged by intratracheal injection with recombinant Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus group 2 allergen (rDp2). AAV2/9 viral vectors were intratracheally injected three days before the first challenge. AAV2/9 sh47 virus significantly reduced airway hyperresponsiveness, airway resistance, CCL11 levels, and eosinophilia in the lungs of sensitized mice. Th2 cytokines, including interleukins (IL)-4, IL-5, and IL-10, were also significantly reduced in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of AAV2/9 sh47 virus-treated mice. Th2 cytokine levels were also reduced in rDp2-stimulated mediastinal lymphocytes in treated mice. However, serum levels of rDp2-specific IgG1 and IgE, as well as Th2 cytokine levels in rDp2-stimulated splenocyte culture supernatants, were comparable to the sensitized control group. The results suggest that AAV2/9 sh47 virus relieved local instead of systemic inflammatory responses. Therefore, the CMV/U6 promoter with AAV2/9 viral vector, which is preferable to target lung epithelia cells, might be applied as a novel therapeutic approach for asthma.
Wu and colleagues show that intratracheal injection of AAV2/9 vector encoding short hairpin RNA (shRNA) against CCL11 (AAV2/9 sh47) leads to a significant reduction of airway hyperresponsiveness and airway resistance in the lungs of allergen-sensitized mice. Serum levels of allergen-specific IgG1 and IgE, as well as helper T cell type 2 cytokine levels, were similar in the AAV2/9 and sensitized control groups, suggesting that this approach relieves local but not systemic inflammatory responses.
PMCID: PMC3498884  PMID: 22913580
5.  Rhinovirus infection of allergen-sensitized and -challenged mice induces eotaxin release from functionally polarized macrophages 
Human rhinovirus is responsible for the majority of virus-induced asthma exacerbations. To determine the immunologic mechanisms underlying rhinovirus-induced asthma exacerbations, we combined mouse models of allergic airways disease and human rhinovirus infection. We inoculated ovalbumin-sensitized and challenged BALB/c mice with rhinovirus serotype 1B, a minor group strain capable of infecting mouse cells. Compared to sham-infected, ovalbumin-treated mice, virus-infected mice showed increased lung infiltration with neutrophils, eosinophils and macrophages, airway cholinergic hyperresponsiveness, and increased lung expression of cytokines including eotaxin-1/CCL11, IL-4, IL-13 and IFN-γ. Administration of anti-eotaxin-1 attenuated rhinovirus-induced airway eosinophilia and responsiveness. Immunohistochemistry showed eotaxin-1 in the lung macrophages of virus-infected, ovalbumin-treated mice, and confocal fluorescence microscopy revealed co-localization of rhinovirus, eotaxin-1 and IL-4 in CD68-positive cells. RV inoculation of lung macrophages from ovalbumin-treated, but not PBS-treated, mice induced expression of eotaxin-1, IL-4, and IL-13 ex vivo. Macrophages from ovalbumin-treated mice showed increased expression of arginase-1, Ym-1, Mgl-2 and IL-10, indicating a shift in macrophage activation status. Depletion of macrophages from ovalbumin-sensitized and -challenged mice reduced eosinophilic inflammation and airway hyperreactivity following RV infection. We conclude that augmented airway eosinophilic inflammation and hyperresponsiveness in RV-infected mice with allergic airways disease is directed in part by eotaxin-1. Airway macrophages from mice with allergic airways disease demonstrate a change in activation state characterized in part by altered eotaxin and IL-4 production in response to RV infection. These data provide a new paradigm to explain RV-induced asthma exacerbations.
PMCID: PMC3208235  PMID: 20644177
6.  Regulatory T Cells Prevent Th2 Immune Responses and Pulmonary Eosinophilia during Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection in Mice 
Journal of Virology  2013;87(20):10946-10954.
During viral infection, inflammation and recovery are tightly controlled by competing proinflammatory and regulatory immune pathways. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the leading global cause of infantile bronchiolitis, which is associated with recurrent wheeze and asthma diagnosis in later life. Th2-driven disease has been well described under some conditions for RSV-infected mice. In the present studies, we used the Foxp3DTR mice (which allow specific conditional depletion of Foxp3+ T cells) to investigate the functional effects of regulatory T cells (Tregs) during A2-strain RSV infection. Infected Treg-depleted mice lost significantly more weight than wild-type mice, indicating enhanced disease. This enhancement was characterized by increased cellularity in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid and notable lung eosinophilia not seen in control mice. This was accompanied by abundant CD4+ and CD8+ T cells exhibiting an activated phenotype and induction of interleukin 13 (IL-13)- and GATA3-expressing Th2-type CD4+ T cells that remained present in the airways even 14 days after infection. Therefore, Treg cells perform vital anti-inflammatory functions during RSV infection, suppressing pathogenic T cell responses and inhibiting lung eosinophilia. These findings provide additional evidence that dysregulation of normal immune responses to viral infection may contribute to severe RSV disease.
PMCID: PMC3807299  PMID: 23926350
7.  CCL3 and Viral Chemokine-Binding Protein gG Modulate Pulmonary Inflammation and Virus Replication during Equine Herpesvirus 1 Infection▿  
Journal of Virology  2007;82(4):1714-1722.
CCL3 is a proinflammatory chemokine that mediates many of the cellular changes occurring in pulmonary disease. Here, CCL3−/− mice were used to investigate the role of this chemokine during respiratory herpesvirus infection. Compared to wild-type mice, CCL3−/− mice infected with the alphaherpesvirus equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) displayed reduced body weight loss but had higher pulmonary viral loads. Lungs from infected CCL3−/− mice suffered a milder interstitial pneumonia, and fewer immune cells were recovered from the pulmonary airways after infection. We could also demonstrate that herpesvirus-encoded chemokine-binding glycoprotein G (gG) was capable of inhibiting the chemotactic functions of CCL3. This CCL3-mediated chemotaxis, however, was restored in the presence of gG-specific antibodies, which puts into question the advertised use of gG deletion mutants as marker vaccines. In summary, we concluded that CCL3 is a major player in controlling herpesvirus replication in the target organ, the lung, and does so by evoking a strong inflammatory response. The immunomodulatory activity of CCL3 is balanced by the expression of viral gG, whose chemokine-binding activity is mitigated in secondary infections by the production of anti-gG antibodies.
PMCID: PMC2258710  PMID: 18077722
8.  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
9.  Differential Role for TLR3 in Respiratory Syncytial Virus-Induced Chemokine Expression 
Journal of Virology  2005;79(6):3350-3357.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the leading cause of lower respiratory tract infection in young infants worldwide. Previous studies have reported that the induction of interleukin-8/CXCL8 and RANTES/CCL5 correlates with disease severity in humans. The production of these chemokines is elicited by viral replication and is NF-κB dependent. RSV, a negative-sense single-stranded RNA virus, requires full-length positive-sense RNA for synthesis of new viral RNA. The aim of our studies was to investigate whether active viral replication by RSV could evoke chemokine production through TLR3-mediated signaling pathways. In TLR3-transfected HEK 293 cells, live RSV preferentially activated chemokines in both a time- and dose-dependent manner compared to vector controls. RSV was also shown to upregulate TLR3 in human lung fibroblasts and epithelial cells (MRC-5 and A549). Targeting the expression of TLR3 with small interfering RNA decreased synthesis of IP-10/CXCL10 and CCL5 but did not significantly reduce levels of CXCL8. Blocking the expression of the adapter protein MyD88 established a role for MyD88 in CXCL8 production, whereas CCL5 synthesis was found to be MyD88 independent. Production of CCL5 by RSV was induced directly through TLR3 signaling pathways and did not require interferon (IFN) signaling through the IFN-α/β receptor. TLR3 did not affect viral replication, since equivalent viral loads were recovered from RSV-infected cells despite altered TLR3 expression. Taken together, our studies indicate that TLR3 mediates inflammatory cytokine and chemokine production in RSV-infected epithelial cells.
PMCID: PMC1075725  PMID: 15731229
10.  Early phase resolution of mucosal eosinophilic inflammation in allergic rhinitis 
Respiratory Research  2010;11(1):54.
It is widely assumed that apoptosis of eosinophils is a central component of resolution of allergic airway disease. However, this has not been demonstrated in human allergic airways in vivo. Based on animal in vivo observations we hypothesised that steroid-induced resolution of human airway eosinophilic inflammation involves inhibition of CCL5 (RANTES), a CC-chemokine regulating eosinophil and lymphocyte traffic, and elimination of eosinophils without evident occurrence of apoptotic eosinophils in the diseased tissue.
To determine mucosal eosinophilia, apoptotic eosinophils, general cell apoptosis and cell proliferation, and expression of CCL5 and CCL11 (eotaxin) in human allergic airway tissues in vivo at resolution of established symptomatic eosinophilic inflammation.
Twenty-one patients with intermittent (birch and/or grass) allergic rhinitis received daily nasal allergen challenges for two seven days' periods separated by more than two weeks washout. Five days into these "artificial pollen seasons", nasal treatment with budesonide was instituted and continued for six days in a double blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled, and crossover design. This report is a parallel group comparison of nasal biopsy histochemistry data obtained on the final day of the second treatment period.
Treatments were instituted when clinical rhinitis symptoms had been established. Compared to placebo, budesonide reduced tissue eosinophilia, and subepithelial more than epithelial eosinophilia. Steroid treatment also attenuated tissue expression of CCL5, but CCL11 was not reduced. General tissue cell apoptosis and epithelial cell proliferation were reduced by budesonide. However, apoptotic eosinophils were not detected in any biopsies, irrespective of treatment.
Inhibition of CCL5-dependent recruitment of cells to diseased airway tissue, and reduced cell proliferation, reduced general cell apoptosis, but not increased eosinophil apoptosis, are involved in early phase steroid-induced resolution of human allergic rhinitis.
PMCID: PMC2873933  PMID: 20459697
11.  Cell-Specific Expression of RANTES, MCP-1, and MIP-1α by Lower Airway Epithelial Cells and Eosinophils Infected with Respiratory Syncytial Virus 
Journal of Virology  1998;72(6):4756-4764.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the major cause of acute bronchiolitis in infancy, a syndrome characterized by wheezing, respiratory distress, and the pathologic findings of peribronchial mononuclear cell infiltration and release of inflammatory mediators by basophil and eosinophil leukocytes. Composition and activation of this cellular response are thought to rely on the discrete target cell selectivity of C-C chemokines. We demonstrate that infection in vitro of human epithelial cells of the lower respiratory tract by RSV induced dose- and time-dependent increases in mRNA and protein secretion for RANTES (regulated upon activation, normal T-cell expressed and presumably secreted), monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), and macrophage inflammatory protein-1α (MIP-1α). Production of MCP-1 and MIP-1α was selectively localized only in epithelial cells of the small airways and lung. Exposure of epithelial cells to gamma interferon (IFN-γ), in combination with RSV infection, induced a significant increase in RANTES production that was synergistic with respect to that obtained by RSV infection or IFN-γ treatment alone. Epithelial cell-derived chemokines exhibited a strong chemotactic activity for normal human blood eosinophils. Furthermore, eosinophils were susceptible to RSV and released RANTES and MIP-1α as a result of infection. Therefore, the inflammatory process in RSV-induced bronchiolitis appears to be triggered by the infection of epithelial cells and further amplified via mechanisms driven by IFN-γ and by the secretion of eosinophil chemokines.
PMCID: PMC110009  PMID: 9573240
12.  Strain-specific requirement for eosinophils in the recruitment of T cells to the lung during the development of allergic asthma 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2008;205(6):1285-1292.
Eosinophils have been implicated as playing a major role in allergic airway responses. However, the importance of these cells to the development of this disease has remained ambiguous despite many studies, partly because of lack of appropriate model systems. In this study, using transgenic murine models, we more clearly delineate a role for eosinophils in asthma. We report that, in contrast to results obtained on a BALB/c background, eosinophil-deficient C57BL/6 ΔdblGATA mice (eosinophil-null mice via the ΔDblGATA1 mutation) have reduced airway hyperresponsiveness, and cytokine production of interleukin (IL)-4, -5, and -13 in ovalbumin-induced allergic airway inflammation. This was caused by reduced T cell recruitment into the lung, as these mouse lungs had reduced expression of CCL7/MCP-3, CC11/eotaxin-1, and CCL24/eotaxin-2. Transferring eosinophils into these eosinophil-deficient mice and, more importantly, delivery of CCL11/eotaxin-1 into the lung during the development of this disease rescued lung T cell infiltration and airway inflammation when delivered together with allergen. These studies indicate that on the C57BL/6 background, eosinophils are integral to the development of airway allergic responses by modulating chemokine and/or cytokine production in the lung, leading to T cell recruitment.
PMCID: PMC2413027  PMID: 18490489
13.  Autocrine CCL3 and CCL4 Induced by the Oncoprotein LMP1 Promote Epstein-Barr Virus-Triggered B Cell Proliferation 
Journal of Virology  2013;87(16):9041-9052.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) alters the regulation and expression of a variety of cytokines in its host cells to modulate host immune surveillance and facilitate viral persistence. Using cytokine antibody arrays, we found that, in addition to the cytokines reported previously, two chemotactic cytokines, CCL3 and CCL4, were induced in EBV-infected B cells and were expressed at high levels in all EBV-immortalized lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs). Furthermore, EBV latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1)-mediated Jun N-terminal protein kinase activation was responsible for upregulation of CCL3 and CCL4. Inhibition of CCL3 and CCL4 in LCLs using a short hairpin RNA approach or by neutralizing antibodies suppressed cell proliferation and caused apoptosis, indicating that autocrine CCL3 and CCL4 are required for LCL survival and growth. Importantly, significant amounts of CCL3 were detected in EBV-positive plasma from immunocompromised patients, suggesting that EBV modulates this chemokine in vivo. This study reveals the regulatory mechanism and a novel function of CCL3 and CCL4 in EBV-infected B cells. CCL3 might be useful as a therapeutic target in EBV-associated lymphoproliferative diseases and malignancies.
PMCID: PMC3754032  PMID: 23760235
14.  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
15.  A role for CD44 in an antigen-induced murine model of pulmonary eosinophilia 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2003;111(10):1563-1570.
Previous studies established that IL-5–producing CD4+ T cells play a pivotal role in allergic respiratory inflammation. It was also reported that CD4+ T cells express higher levels of CD44 in the airway than in peripheral blood of patients with allergic respiratory diseases. We have used experimental pulmonary eosinophilia induced in mice by Ascaris suum (Asc) extract to investigate the role of CD44 in the development of allergic respiratory inflammation. Intraperitoneal administration of anti-CD44 mAb prevented both lymphocyte and eosinophil accumulation in the lung. Anti-CD44 mAb also blocked antigen-induced elevation of Th2 cytokines as well as chemokines (CCL11, CCL17) in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). Treatment with anti-CD44 mAb inhibited the increased levels of hyaluronic acid (HA) and leukotriene concentrations in BALF that typically result from antigen challenge. Anti-CD44 mAb also blocked antigen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness. An anti-CD44 mAb (IM7) inhibited the HA-binding ability of splenocytes associated with decreased levels of CD44. Soluble CD44 levels in serum were increased in Asc-challenged IM7–treated mice, but not in KM201-treated mice, compared with Asc-challenged rat IgG–treated mice. Ab’s that block CD44-HA binding reduced allergic respiratory inflammation by preventing lymphocyte and eosinophil accumulation in the lung. Thus, CD44 may be critical for development of allergic respiratory inflammation.
PMCID: PMC155042  PMID: 12750406
16.  Endogenous IL-21 regulates pathogenic mucosal CD4 T-cell responses during enhanced RSV disease in mice 
Mucosal Immunology  2012;6(4):704-717.
A role for interleukin-21 (IL-21) has recently been found in several diseases, but contribution to mucosal defences has not been described. In BALB/c mice infected with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), IL-21 depletion had little effect in primary infection. However, depletion of mice during priming with recombinant vaccinia expressing RSV G protein (which primes RSV-specific T helper type 2 cells and causes lung eosinophilia during RSV infection) further exacerbated pathology during RSV challenge, with reduced viral clearance and impaired virus-specific serum antibody responses. This enhancement was accompanied by lymphocyte, neutrophil, and antigen-presenting cell recruitment to the lungs, with increased bronchoalveolar lavage interferon-γ and IL-17 levels. Adoptive transfer of splenic CD4 T cells from depleted mice into naive recipients replicated these effects, indicating that IL-21 mediates its effects via CD4 T cells. Endogenous IL-21, therefore, has potent and specific effects on mucosal antiviral responses, assisting viral clearance, regulating pulmonary T- and B-cell responses, and inhibiting IL-17 production.
PMCID: PMC3610641  PMID: 23168836
17.  Influenza Virus Lung Infection Protects from Respiratory Syncytial Virus–Induced Immunopathology 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2000;192(9):1317-1326.
The effect of infection history is ignored in most animal models of infectious disease. The attachment protein of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) induces T helper cell type 2–driven pulmonary eosinophilia in mice similar to that seen in the failed infant vaccinations in the 1960s. We show that previous influenza virus infection of mice: (a) protects against weight loss, illness, and lung eosinophilia; (b) attenuates recruitment of inflammatory cells; and (c) reduces cytokine secretion caused by RSV attachment protein without affecting RSV clearance. This protective effect can be transferred via influenza-immune splenocytes to naive mice and is long lived. Previous immunity to lung infection clearly plays an important and underestimated role in subsequent vaccination and infection. The data have important implications for the timing of vaccinations in certain patient groups, and may contribute to variability in disease susceptibility observed in humans.
PMCID: PMC2193356  PMID: 11067880
viral immunology; murine model; eosinophils; major histocompatibility complex tetramers; mucosal immunology
18.  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
19.  Virally Delivered Cytokines Alter the Immune Response to Future Lung Infections▿  
Journal of Virology  2007;81(23):13105-13111.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is an important cause of infant morbidity and mortality worldwide and is increasingly recognized to have a role in the development and exacerbation of chronic lung diseases. There is no effective vaccine, and we reasoned that it might be possible to skew the immune system towards beneficial nonpathogenic responses by selectively priming protective T-cell subsets. We therefore tested recombinant RSV (rRSV) candidates expressing prototypic murine Th1 (gamma interferon [IFN-γ]) or Th2 (interleukin-4 [IL-4]) cytokines, with detailed monitoring of responses to subsequent infections with RSV or (as a control) influenza A virus. Although priming with either recombinant vector reduced viral load during RSV challenge, enhanced weight loss and enhanced pulmonary influx of RSV-specific CD8+ T cells were observed after challenge in mice primed with rRSV/IFN-γ. By contrast, rRSV/IL-4-primed mice were protected against weight loss during secondary challenge but showed airway eosinophilia. When rRSV/IL-4-primed mice were challenged with influenza virus, weight loss was attenuated but was again accompanied by marked airway eosinophilia. Thus, immunization directed toward enhancement of Th1 responses reduces viral load but is not necessarily protective against disease. Counter to expectation, Th2-biased responses were more beneficial but also influenced the pathological effects of heterologous viral challenge.
PMCID: PMC2169117  PMID: 17855518
20.  Inhibition of T1/St2 during Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection Prevents T Helper Cell Type 2 (Th2)- but Not Th1-Driven Immunopathology 
T cells secreting interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-5 (T helper cell type 2 [Th2] cells) play a detrimental role in a variety of diseases, but specific methods of regulating their activity remain elusive. T1/ST2 is a surface ligand of the IL-1 receptor family, expressed on Th2- but not on interferon (IFN)-γ–producing Th1 cells. Prior exposure of BALB/c mice to the attachment (G) or fusion (F) protein of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) increases illness severity during intranasal RSV challenge, due to Th2-driven lung eosinophilia and exuberant Th1-driven pulmonary infiltration, respectively. We used these polar models of viral illness to study the recruitment of T1/ST2 cells to the lung and to test the effects of anti-T1/ST2 treatment in vivo. T1/ST2 was present on a subset of CD4+ cells from mice with eosinophilic lung disease. Monoclonal anti-T1/ST2 treatment reduced lung inflammation and the severity of illness in mice with Th2 (but not Th1) immunopathology. These results show that inhibition of T1/ST2 has a specific effect on virally induced Th2 responses and suggests that therapy targeted at this receptor might be of value in treating Th2-driven illness.
PMCID: PMC2193366  PMID: 11283151
bronchiolitis, viral; immunity, mucosal; immunity, cellular; pulmonary infection; eosinophil
21.  Respiratory synctial virus infection in BALB/c mice previously immunized with formalin-inactivated virus induces enhanced pulmonary inflammatory response with a predominant Th2-like cytokine pattern. 
Journal of Virology  1996;70(5):2852-2860.
Vaccination with formalin-inactivated respiratory syncytial virus (FI-RSV) caused excessive disease in infants upon subsequent natural infection with RSV. Recent studies with BALB/c mice have suggested that T cells are important contributors to lung immunopathology during RSV infection. In this study, we investigated vaccine-induced enhanced disease by immunizing BALB/c mice with live RSV intranasally or with FI-RSV intramuscularly. The mice were challenged with RSV 6 weeks later, and the pulmonary inflammatory response was studied by analyzing cells obtained by bronchoalveolar lavage 4 and 8 days after challenge. FI-RSV-immunized mice had an increased number of total cells, granulocytes, eosinophils, and CD4+ cells but a decreased number of CD8+ cells. The immunized mice also had a marked increase in the expression of mRNA for the Th2-type cytokines interleukin-5 (IL-5) and IL-13 as well as some increase in the expression of IL-10 (a Th2-type cytokine) mRNA and some decrease in the expression of IL-12 (a Th1-type cytokine) mRNA. The clear difference in the pulmonary inflammatory response to RSV between FI-RSV- and live-RSV-immunized mice suggests that this model can be used to evaluate the disease-enhancing potential of candidate RSV vaccines and better understand enhanced disease.
PMCID: PMC190142  PMID: 8627759
22.  Potential therapeutic implications of new insights into respiratory syncytial virus disease 
Respiratory Research  2002;3(Suppl 1):S15-S20.
Viral bronchiolitis is the most common cause of hospitalization in infants under 6 months of age, and 70% of all cases of bronchiolitis are caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Early RSV infection is associated with respiratory problems such as asthma and wheezing later in life. RSV infection is usually spread by contaminated secretions and infects the upper then lower respiratory tracts. Infected cells release proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, including IL-1, tumor necrosis factor-α, IL-6, and IL-8. These activate other cells and recruit inflammatory cells, including macrophages, neutrophils, eosinophils, and T lymphocytes, into the airway wall and surrounding tissues. The pattern of cytokine production by T lymphocytes can be biased toward 'T-helper-1' or 'T-helper-2' cytokines, depending on the local immunologic environment, infection history, and host genetics. T-helper-1 responses are generally efficient in antiviral defense, but young infants have an inherent bias toward T-helper-2 responses. The ideal intervention for RSV infection would be preventive, but the options are currently limited. Vaccines based on protein subunits, live attenuated strains of RSV, DNA vaccines, and synthetic peptides are being developed; passive antibody therapy is at present impractical in otherwise healthy children. Effective vaccines for use in neonates continue to be elusive but simply delaying infection beyond the first 6 months of life might reduce the delayed morbidity associated with infantile disease.
PMCID: PMC1866373  PMID: 12119053
antiviral agents; asthma; bronchiolitis; respiratory syncytial virus
23.  Stimulation of Immature Lung Macrophages with Intranasal Interferon Gamma in a Novel Neonatal Mouse Model of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e40499.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the leading cause of bronchiolitis and viral death in infants. Reduced CD8 T-cells and negligible interferon gamma (IFNγ) in the airway are associated with severe infant RSV disease, yet there is an abundance of alveolar macrophages (AM) and neutrophils. However, it is unclear, based on our current understanding of macrophage functional heterogeneity, if immature AM improve viral clearance or contribute to inflammation and airway obstruction in the IFNγ-deficient neonatal lung environment. The aim of the current study was to define the age-dependent AM phenotype during neonatal RSV infection and investigate their differentiation to classically activated macrophages (CAM) using i.n. IFNγ in the context of improving viral clearance. Neonatal and adult BALB/cJ mice were infected with 1×106 plaque forming units (PFU)/gram (g) RSV line 19 and their AM responses compared. Adult mice showed a rapid and robust CAM response, indicated by increases in major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC II), CD86, CCR7, and a reduction in mannose receptor (MR). Neonatal mice showed a delayed and reduced CAM response, likely due to undetectable IFNγ production. Intranasal (i.n.) treatment with recombinant mouse IFNγ (rIFNγ) increased the expression of CAM markers on neonatal AM, reduced viral lung titers, and improved weight gain compared to untreated controls with no detectable increase in CD4 or CD8 T-cell infiltration. In vitro infection of J774A.1 macrophages with RSV induced an alternatively activated macrophage (AAM) phenotype however, when macrophages were first primed with IFNγ, a CAM phenotype was induced and RSV spread to adjacent Hep-2 cells was reduced. These studies demonstrate that the neonatal AM response to RSV infection is abundant and immature, but can be exogenously stimulated to express the antimicrobial phenotype, CAM, with i.n. rIFNγ.
PMCID: PMC3391240  PMID: 22792355
24.  Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infects and Abortively Replicates in the Lungs in Spite of Preexisting Immunity▿  
Journal of Virology  2007;81(17):9443-9450.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of bronchiolitis and viral pneumonia in young children and a serious health risk in immunocompromised individuals and the elderly. Immunity to RSV is not completely understood. In this work, we established a method for monitoring RSV infection by real-time PCR and applied this method for analysis of RSV replication in vivo in the cotton rat model in naïve animals and in animals rendered immune to RSV by prior RSV infection. We found that even though no virus could be isolated from the lungs of RSV-challenged immune animals, RSV infection in fact took place and an accumulation of viral RNA transcripts was observed. This type of replication, therefore, can be termed “abortive,” as RSV is capable of entering the cells in the lungs of immune animals, yet the production of progeny viruses is impaired. Similar patterns of RSV gene expression gradient were observed between naïve and reinfected animals, indicating that the skewing of mRNA gradient of viral gene expression, a mechanism documented during latent infection by other viruses, is not likely to be responsible for abortive replication of RSV during reinfection. We found that passive administration of antibodies to RSV prevents productive infection normally accompanied by viral release in the lung, but it does not prevent abortive replication of the virus. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first evidence of abortive replication of RSV in vivo.
PMCID: PMC1951413  PMID: 17596309
25.  A Role for Immune Complexes in Enhanced Respiratory Syncytial Virus Disease 
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the leading cause of bronchiolitis and viral pneumonia in infants and young children. Administration of a formalin inactivated vaccine against RSV to children in the 1960s resulted in increased morbidity and mortality in vaccine recipients who subsequently contracted RSV. This incident precluded development of subunit RSV vaccines for infants for over 30 years, because the mechanism of illness was never clarified. An RSV vaccine for infants is still not available.
Here, we demonstrate that enhanced RSV disease is mediated by immune complexes and abrogated in complement component C3 and B cell–deficient mice but not in controls. Further, we show correlation with the enhanced disease observed in children by providing evidence of complement activation in postmortem lung sections from children with enhanced RSV disease.
PMCID: PMC2194058  PMID: 12235218
respiratory syncytial virus; enhanced disease; immune complexes; airway hyperresponsiveness; compliment

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