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Previous influenza infection exacerbates allergen specific response and impairs airway barrier integrity in pre‐sensitized mice


Looi, K and Larcombe, AN and Perks, KL and Berry, LJ and Zosky, GR and Rigby, P and Knight, DA and Kicic, A and Stick, SM, Previous influenza infection exacerbates allergen specific response and impairs airway barrier integrity in pre‐sensitized mice, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22, (16) pp. 1-15. ISSN 1422-0067 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright: 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license (

DOI: doi:10.3390/ijms22168790


In this study we assessed the effects of antigen exposure in mice pre-sensitized with allergen following viral infection on changes in lung function, cellular responses and tight junction expression. Female BALB/c mice were sensitized to ovalbumin and infected with influenza A before receiving a second ovalbumin sensitization and challenge with saline, ovalbumin (OVA) or house dust mite (HDM). Fifteen days post-infection, bronchoalveolar inflammation, serum antibodies, responsiveness to methacholine and barrier integrity were assessed. There was no effect of infection alone on bronchoalveolar lavage cellular inflammation 15 days post-infection; however, OVA or HDM challenge resulted in increased bronchoalveolar inflammation dominated by eosinophils/neutrophils or neutrophils, respectively. Previously infected mice had higher serum OVA-specific IgE compared with uninfected mice. Mice previously infected, sensitized and challenged with OVA were most responsive to methacholine with respect to airway resistance, while HDM challenge caused significant increases in both tissue damping and tissue elastance regardless of previous infection status. Previous influenza infection was associated with decreased claudin-1 expression in all groups and decreased occludin expression in OVA or HDM-challenged mice. This study demonstrates the importance of the respiratory epithelium in pre-sensitized individuals, where influenza-infection-induced barrier disruption resulted in increased systemic OVA sensitization and downstream effects on lung function.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:house dust mite, lung function, BALB/c mice, influenza, tight junctions, epithelial barrier integrity
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Cardiovascular medicine and haematology
Research Field:Respiratory diseases
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Prevention of human diseases and conditions
UTAS Author:Zosky, GR (Professor Graeme Zosky)
ID Code:145992
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2021-08-17
Last Modified:2022-08-25
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