Cigarette Smoke Impacts Immune Inflammatory Responses to Influenza in Mice
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RATIONALE: Studies have shown that cigarette smoke impacts respiratory host defense mechanisms; however, it is poorly understood how these smoke-induced changes impact the overall ability of the host to deal with pathogenic agents. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of mainstream cigarette smoke exposure on immune inflammatory responses and viral burden after respiratory infection with influenza A. METHODS: C57BL/6 mice were sham- or smoke-exposed for 3 to 5 mo and infected with either 2.5 x 10(3) pfu (low dose) or 2.5 x 10(5) pfu (high dose) influenza virus. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Although smoke exposure attenuated the airway's inflammatory response to low-dose infection, we observed increased inflammation in smoke-exposed compared with sham-exposed mice after infection with high-dose influenza, despite a similar rate of viral clearance. The heightened inflammatory response was associated with increased expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-6, and type 1 IFN in the airway, and increased mortality. Importantly, smoke exposure did not interfere with the development of influenza-specific memory responses; sham- and smoke-exposed animals were equally protected upon viral rechallenge. CONCLUSION: Our study suggests that, in mice, cigarette smoke affects primary antiviral immune-inflammatory responses, whereas secondary immune protection remains intact.
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