Murine cytomegalovirus infection alters Th1/Th2 cytokine expression, decreases airway eosinophilia, and enhances mucus production in allergic airway disease

C. A. Wu, L. Puddington, H. E. Whiteley, C. A. Yiamouyiannis, C. M. Schramm, F. Mohammadu, R. S. Thrall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Concomitant infection of murine CMV (MCMV), an opportunistic respiratory pathogen, altered Th1/Th2 cytokine expression, decreased bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid eosinophilia, and increased mucus production in a murine model of OVA-induced allergic airway disease. Although no change in the total number of leukocytes infiltrating the lung was observed between challenged and MCMV/challenged mice, the cellular profile differed dramatically. After 10 days of OVA-aerosol challenge, eosinophils comprised 64% of the total leukocyte population in BAL fluid from challenged mice compared with 11% in MCMV/challenged mice. Lymphocytes increased from 11% in challenged mice to 30% in MCMV/challenged mice, and this increase corresponded with an increase in the ratio of CD8+ to CD4+TCRαβ lymphocytes. The decline in BAL fluid eosinophilia was associated with a change in local Th1/Th2 cytokine profiles. Enhanced levels of IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, and IL-13 were detected in lung tissue from challenged mice by RNase protection assays. In contrast, MCMV/challenged mice transiently expressed elevated levels of IFN-γ and IL-10 mRNAs, as well as decreased levels of IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13 mRNAs. Elevated levels of IFN-γ and reduced levels of IL-5 were also demonstrated in BAL fluid from MCMV/challenged mice. Histological evaluation of lung sections revealed extensive mucus plugging and epithelial cell hypertrophy/hyperplasia only in MCMV/challenged mice. Interestingly, the development of airway hyperresponsiveness was observed in challenged mice, not MCMV/challenged mice. Thus, MCMV infection can modulate allergic airway inflammation, and these findings suggest that enhanced mucus production may occur independently of BAL fluid eosinophilia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2798-2807
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume167
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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