Exacerbation of chronic cigarette-smoke induced lung disease by rhinovirus in mice

Alexander N. Larcombe, Thomas Iosifidis, Rachel E. Foong, Luke J. Berry, Philip A. Stumbles, Deborah H. Strickland, Peter D. Sly, Anthony Kicic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


A significant proportion of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations are strongly associated with rhinovirus infection (HRV). In this study, we combined long-term cigarette smoke exposure with HRV infection in a mouse model. Our aim was to better understand the effects of HRV infection on such exacerbations, using a realistic method for generating a COPD-like phenotype. After 12-weeks of cigarette smoke exposure, adult female BALB/c mice were infected with HRV-1A and three days later we assessed a range of outcomes including lung volume and function, collected lung tissue for measurement of viral titre, bronchoalveolar lavage for assessment of pulmonary inflammation and levels of key mediators, and fixed lungs for stereological structural analyses. Cigarette smoke exposure alone significantly increased total cells and macrophages, and reduced MIP-2 in bronchoalveolar lavage. HRV-1A infection alone increased neutrophilic inflammation, IP-10 and total protein in lavage and also increased specific airway resistance measured at functional residual capacity. Cigarette smoke and HRV-1A together impacted various lung structural parameters including increasing stereological lung volume. Our results show that long-term cigarette smoke exposure and HRV-1A infection both individually impact respiratory outcomes and combine to alter aspects of lung structure in a mouse model, thus providing insight into the development of future mechanistic studies and appropriate interventions in human disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103846
JournalRespiratory Physiology and Neurobiology
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


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