Rhinovirus causes pro-asthmatic airway changes in the absence of viral infection

מתוך medicontext.co.il
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – In experiments with airway smooth muscle tissues and cells, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia show that rhinovirus (RV), in the absence of viral infection, can produce changes in smooth muscle tissue that promote wheezing in asthma patients.

Dr. Michael M. Grunstein and colleagues inoculated airway smooth muscle tissue and airway smooth muscle cells with infectious or noninfectious RV16 and RV2. RV16 belongs to the major group of RV subtypes, while RV2 is from the minor group of RV subtypes, the researchers note.

Inoculation with RV2 had no effect on smooth airway muscle tissue or cells; however, inoculation with RV16 caused enhanced contractility of airway smooth muscle, Dr. Grunstein's team found. RV16 also impaired relaxation to cholinergic and beta-adrenergic agonists and increased Gi protein expression and induced the release of interleukin-5 and interleukin-1beta.

These same pro-asthmatic-like effects occurred when airway smooth muscle was exposed to RV16 that had been UV irradiated to inhibit viral replication, according to the report in the December 2001 issue of The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Treating airway smooth muscle tissue before RV16 inoculation with a neutralizing antibody against ICAM-1, which is the host receptor for the major group of RVs, "completely abrogated the pro-asthmatic effects of RV16," Dr. Grunstein' group found.

These findings raise the possibility that the "exacerbation of wheezing that occurs in asthmatic individuals after RV exposure can at times be triggered even in the absence of any overt clinical symptoms or signs typically associated with the common cold," the investigators conclude.

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