Paramyxoviral infection in childhood has been linked to a significant increased rate of asthma development. In mice, paramyxoviral infection with the mouse parainfluenza virus type I, Sendai virus (Sev), causes a limited bronchiolitis followed by persistent asthma traits. We have previously shown that the absence of cysteine protease dipeptidyl peptidase I (DPPI) dampened the acute lung inflammatory response and the subsequent asthma phenotype induced by Sev. Adoptive transfer of wild-type neutrophils into DPPI-deficient mice restored leukocyte influx, the acute cytokine response, and the subsequent mucous cell metaplasia that accompanied Sev-induced asthma phenotype. However, the exact mechanism by which DPPI-sufficient neutrophils promote asthma development following Sev infection is still unknown. We hypothesize that neutrophils recruited to the alveolar space following Sev infection elaborate neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) that propagate the inflammatory cascade, culminating in the eventual asthma phenotype. Indeed, we found that Sev infection was associated with NET formation in the lung and release of cell-free DNA complexed to myeloperoxidase in the alveolar space and plasma that peaked on day 2 post infection. Absence of DPPI significantly attenuated Sev-induced NET formation in vivo and in vitro. Furthermore, concomitant administration of DNase 1, which dismantled NETs, or inhibition of peptidylarginine deiminase 4 (PAD4), an essential mediator of NET formation, suppressed the early inflammatory responses to Sev infection. Lastly, NETs primed bone marrow-derived cells to release cytokines that can amplify the inflammatory cascade.
- Dipeptidyl peptidase I
- Sendai virus-induced asthma