Inflammasome activation is gaining recognition as an important mechanism for protection during viral infection. Here, we investigate whether Rift Valley fever virus, a negative-strand RNA virus, can induce inflammasome responses and IL-1? processing in immune cells. We have determined that RVFV induces NLRP3 inflammasome activation in murine dendritic cells, and that this process is dependent upon ASC and caspase-1. Furthermore, absence of the cellular RNA helicase adaptor protein MAVS/IPS-1 significantly reduces extracellular IL-1? during infection. Finally, direct imaging using confocal microscopy shows that the MAVS protein co-localizes with NLRP3 in the cytoplasm of RVFV infected cells.
Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is an emerging RNA virus with devastating economic and social consequences. Clinically, RVFV induces a gamut of symptoms ranging from febrile illness to retinitis, hepatic necrosis, hemorrhagic fever, and death. It is known that type I interferon (IFN) responses can be protective against severe pathology; however, it is unknown which innate immune receptor pathways are crucial for mounting this response. Using both in vitro assays and in vivo mucosal mouse challenge, we demonstrate here that RNA helicases are critical for IFN production by immune cells and that signaling through the helicase adaptor molecule MAVS (mitochondrial antiviral signaling) is protective against mortality and more subtle pathology during RVFV infection. In addition, we demonstrate that Toll-like-receptor-mediated signaling is not involved in IFN production, further emphasizing the importance of the RNA cellular helicases in type I IFN responses to RVFV.
Both respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza A virus induce nucleotide/P2Y purinergic receptor-mediated impairment of alveolar fluid clearance (AFC), which contributes to formation of lung edema. Although genetically dissimilar, both viruses generate double-stranded RNA replication intermediates, which act as Toll-like receptor (TLR)-3 ligands. We hypothesized that double-stranded RNA/TLR-3 signaling underlies nucleotide-mediated inhibition of amiloride-sensitive AFC in both infections. We found that addition of the synthetic double-stranded RNA analog poly-inosinic-cytidylic acid [poly(I:C)] (500 ng/ml) to the AFC instillate resulted in nucleotide/P2Y purinergic receptor-mediated inhibition of amiloride-sensitive AFC in BALB/c mice but had no effect on cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR)-mediated Cl(-) transport. Poly(I:C) also induced acute keratinocyte cytokine-mediated AFC insensitivity to stimulation by the ?-adrenergic agonist terbutaline. Inhibitory effects of poly(I:C) on AFC were absent in TLR-3(-/-) mice and were not replicated by addition to the AFC instillate of ligands for other TLRs except TLR-2. Intranasal poly(I:C) administration (250 ?g/mouse) similarly induced nucleotide-dependent AFC inhibition 2-3 days later, together with increased lung water content and neutrophilic inflammation. Intranasal treatment of BALB/c mice with poly(I:C) did not induce airway hyperresponsiveness at day 2 but did result in insensitivity to airway bronchodilation by ?-adrenergic agonists. These findings suggest that viral double-stranded RNA replication intermediates induce nucleotide-mediated impairment of amiloride-sensitive AFC in both infections, together with ?-adrenergic agonist insensitivity. Both of these effects also occur in RSV infection. However, double-stranded RNA replication intermediates do not appear to be sufficient to induce either adenosine-mediated, CFTR-dependent Cl(-) secretion in the lung or severe, lethal hypoxemia, both of which are features of influenza infection.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common cause of bronchiolitis in infants. Although antiinflammatory in nature, glucocorticoids have been shown to be ineffective in the treatment of RSV-induced bronchiolitis and wheezing. In addition, the effectiveness of glucocorticoids at inhibiting RSV-induced proinflammatory cytokine production in cell culture has been questioned. In this study, we have investigated the effect of RSV infection on glucocorticoid-induced gene activation in lung epithelium-derived cells. We show that RSV infection inhibits dexamethasone induction of three glucocorticoid receptor (GR)-regulated genes (glucocorticoid-inducible leucine zipper, FK506 binding protein, and MAPK phosphatase 1) in A549, BEAS-2B cells, and primary small airway epithelial cells. UV irradiation of the virus prevents this repression, suggesting that viral replication is required. RSV is known to activate the nuclear factor ?B (NF?B) pathway, which is mutually antagonistic towards the GR pathway. However, specific inhibition of NF?B had no effect on the repression of GR-induced genes by RSV infection, indicating that RSV repression of GR is independent of NF?B. RSV infection of A549 cells does not alter GR protein levels or GR nuclear translocation but does reduce GR binding to the promoters of the glucocorticoid responsive genes analyzed in this study. Repression of GR by RSV infection may account for the apparent clinical ineffectiveness of glucocorticoids in RSV bronchiolitis therapy. In addition, this data adds to our previously published data suggesting that GR may be a general target for infectious agents. Identifying the mechanisms through which this suppression occurs may lead to the development of novel therapeutics.
beta-Adrenergic agonists (beta-agonists) are commonly used to treat respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) bronchiolitis but are generally ineffective for unknown reasons. We have previously shown that RSV strain A2 inhibits bronchoalveolar epithelial responses to beta-agonists in a BALB/c mouse model by inducing heterologous keratinocyte cytokine (KC)/CXCR2-mediated desensitization of epithelial beta(2)-adrenergic receptors. The aim of the current study was to determine whether RSV also induces airway insensitivity to beta-agonists. Total lung resistance (R) was measured in anesthetized female BALB/c mice undergoing mechanical ventilation on a flexiVent computer-controlled piston ventilator. Data were analyzed using the single-compartment model. Infection with RSV A2 did not induce airway hyperresponsiveness to increasing doses of the nebulized cholinergic agonist methacholine (MCh) at any time point after RSV infection. Prenebulization with the beta-agonist terbutaline (100 muM) significantly attenuated bronchoconstrictive responses to 20 and 50 mg/ml MCh in uninfected mice and in mice infected with RSV 4-8 days postinfection (d.p.i.). However, in mice infected with replication-competent, but not UV-inactivated, RSV for 2 days, significant terbutaline insensitivity was found. Terbutaline insensitivity at 2 d.p.i. could be reversed by systemic preinfection treatment with neutralizing anti-CXCR2 antibodies, which reduced bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) neutrophil counts but did not alter viral replication, BAL KC levels, or lung edema. Terbutaline insensitivity was also reversed by postinfection nebulization with neutralizing anti-KC or anti-CXCR2 antibodies and could be replicated in normal, uninfected mice by nebulization with recombinant KC. These data suggest that KC/CXCR2-mediated airway insensitivity to beta-agonists may underlie the modest utility of these drugs as bronchodilators in therapy for acute RSV bronchiolitis.
High tidal volume ventilation is detrimental to alveolar fluid clearance (AFC), but effects of ventilation pressure (P) on AFC are unknown. In anesthetized BALB/c mice ventilated at constant tidal volume (8 ml/kg), mean AFC rate was 12.8% at 6 cmH(2)O P, but increased to 37.3% at 18 cmH(2)O P. AFC rate declined at 22 cmH(2)O P, which also induced lung damage. Increased AFC at 18 cmH(2)O P did not result from elevated plasma catecholamines, hypercapnia, or hypocapnia, but was due to augmented Na(+) and Cl(-) absorption. PKA agonists and beta-agonists stimulated AFC at 10 cmH(2)O P by upregulating amiloride-sensitive Na(+) transport. However, at 18 cmH(2)O P, PKA agonists and beta-agonists reduced AFC. At 15 cmH(2)O P, the AFC rate was intermediate (mean 26.6%), and forskolin and beta-agonists had no effect. Comparable P dependency of AFC and beta-agonist responsiveness was found in C57BL/6 mice. The effect on AFC of increasing P to 18 cmH(2)O was blocked by adenosine deaminase or an A(2b)-adenosine receptor antagonist, and could be mimicked by adenosine in mice ventilated at 10 cmH(2)O P. Modulation of adenosine signaling also resulted in altered responsiveness to beta-agonists. These findings indicate that, in the normal mouse lung, basal AFC rates and responses to beta-agonists are impacted by ventilation pressure in an adenosine-dependent manner.
In vitro studies show that hsp70 promotes gene expression for multiple viral families, although there are few reports on the in vivo significance of virus-hsp70 interaction. Previously we showed that hsp70-dependent stimulation of Edmonston measles virus (Ed MeV) transcription caused an increased cytopathic effect and mortality in transgenic hsp70-overexpressing C57BL/6 mice (H-2(b)). The response to MeV infection is influenced by the major histocompatibility complex haplotype; H-2(d) mice are resistant to brain infection due to robust antiviral immune responses, whereas H-2(b) mice are susceptible due to deficiencies in this response. We therefore tested the hypothesis that the outcome of MeV-hsp70 interaction may be dependent upon the host H-2 haplotype. The impact of selective neuronal hsp70 overexpression on Ed MeV brain infection was tested with congenic C57BL/10 H-2(d) neonatal mice. In this context, hsp70 overexpression conferred complete protection against virus-induced mortality, compared to >30% mortality in nontransgenic mice. Selective depletion of T-cell populations showed that transgenic mice exhibit a diminished reliance on T cells for protection. Brain transcript analysis indicated enhanced innate immune activation and signaling through Toll-like receptors 2 and 4 at early times postinfection for transgenic infected mice relative to those for nontransgenic infected mice. Collectively, results suggest that hsp70 can enhance innate antiviral immunity through Toll-like receptor signaling, supporting a protective role for physiological responses that enhance tissue levels of hsp70 (e.g., fever), and that the H-2 haplotype determines the effectiveness of this response.
Patients with severe seasonal or pandemic influenza pneumonia frequently develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). One clinical diagnostic criterion for ARDS is the P(a)O(2):F(i)O(2) ratio, which is an index of alveolar gas exchange. However, effects of H1N1 influenza infection on P(a)O(2):F(i)O(2) ratios and related pathophysiologic readouts of lung function have not been reported in mice.
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