Semester of Graduation

Spring 2018


Master of Science (MS)


Pathobiological Sciences

Document Type



Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is a negative sense, single stranded RNA virus belonging to the Pneumoviridae family, and represents an important pathogen that causes severe respiratory disease worldwide. There is currently no vaccine against HMPV, so it is important to study the aspects of the immune response induced by HMPV. Because infiltration of mucus is a hallmark of HMPV infection, it is warranted to study the role of mucus in the disease process. Mucin proteins make up the major component of mucus and can be found within the airway and lungs. Previous work from our laboratory demonstrated a high upregulation of mucin 19 mRNA, both in human bronchial epithelial cells, as well as BALB/c mice that had been infected with HMPV. These findings led me to my hypothesis that mucin 19 plays a role in HMPV induced pathogenesis. Using a muc19+/+ and muc19-/- mouse model of HMPV infection, I was able to show that muc19 is the predominant mucin expressed in the lungs after HMPV infection. In addition, I demonstrate that the lack of muc19 yields a significantly lower CD4+ T cell response in both the lungs and lymph nodes of infected mice. Further analysis revealed that the dendritic cell compartment was also altered by removing muc19. My work suggests that mucin 19 potentially regulates dendritic cell maturation, leading to the generation of tolerogenic dendritic cells. These novel findings yield relevant information regarding the contribution of the mucins, specifically muc19, on the immune response induced by respiratory viral infections in the lung.



Committee Chair

Guerrero-Plata, Antonieta