Influenza A virus-dependent remodeling of pulmonary clock function in a mouse model of COPD.
Daily oscillations of pulmonary function depend on the rhythmic activity of the circadian timing system. Environmental tobacco/cigarette smoke (CS) disrupts circadian clock leading to enhanced inflammatory responses. Infection with influenza A virus (IAV) increases hospitalization rates and death in susceptible individuals, including patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). We hypothesized that molecular clock disruption is enhanced by IAV infection, altering cellular and lung function, leading to severity in airway disease phenotypes. C57BL/6J mice exposed to chronic CS, BMAL1 knockout (KO) mice and wild-type littermates were infected with IAV. Following infection, we measured diurnal rhythms of clock gene expression in the lung, locomotor activity, pulmonary function, inflammatory, pro-fibrotic and emphysematous responses. Chronic CS exposure combined with IAV infection altered the timing of clock gene expression and reduced locomotor activity in parallel with increased lung inflammation, disrupted rhythms of pulmonary function, and emphysema. BMAL1 KO mice infected with IAV showed pronounced detriments in behavior and survival, and increased lung inflammatory and pro-fibrotic responses. This suggests that remodeling of lung clock function following IAV infection alters clock-dependent gene expression and normal rhythms of lung function, enhanced emphysematous and injurious responses. This may have implications for the pathobiology of respiratory virus-induced airway disease severity and exacerbations.
Sci Rep. 2015 Apr 29;4:9927. doi: 10.1038/srep09927.