In utero tobacco smoke exposure alters lung inflammation, viral clearance, and CD8 T-cell responses in neonatal mice infected with respiratory syncytial virus

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Maternal smoking during pregnancy and exposure of infants to cigarette smoke are strongly associated with adverse health effects in childhood including higher susceptibility to respiratory viral infections. Human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) is the most important cause of lower respiratory tract infection among young infants. Exacerbation of respiratory disease, including HRSV bronchiolitis and higher susceptibility to HRSV infection, is well correlated with previous smoke exposure. The mechanisms of recurrence and susceptibility to viral pathogens after passive smoke exposure are multifactorial and include alteration of the structural and immunologic host defenses. In this work, we used a well-established mouse model of in utero smoke exposure to investigate the effect of in utero smoke exposure in HRSV-induced pathogenesis. Sample analysis indicated that in utero exposure led to increased lung inflammation characterized by an increased influx of neutrophils to the airways of the infected mice and a delayed viral clearance. On the other hand, decreased HRSV-specific CD8 T-cell response was observed. These findings indicate that cigarette smoke exposure during pregnancy alters HRSV-induced disease as well as several aspects of the neonatal immune responses.

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American journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology

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