Priming with a secreted form of the fusion protein of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) promotes interleukin-4 (IL-4) and IL-5 production but not pulmonary eosinophilia following RSV challenge

G P Bembridge, J A Lopez, R Bustos, J A Melero, R Cook, H Mason, G Taylor
Journal of Virology 1999, 73 (12): 10086-94
The attachment (G) protein of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is synthesized as two mature forms: a membrane-anchored form and a smaller secreted form. BALB/c mice scarified with vaccinia virus (VV) expressing the secreted form develop a greater pulmonary eosinophilic influx following RSV challenge than do mice scarified with VV expressing the membrane-anchored form. To determine if a soluble form of an RSV protein was sufficient to induce eosinophilia following RSV challenge, a cDNA that encoded a secreted form of the fusion (F) protein of RSV was constructed and expressed in VV (VV-Ftm(-)). Splenocytes and lung lymphocytes from mice primed with VV-Ftm(-) produced significantly more of the Th2 cytokines interleukin-4 (IL-4) and IL-5 than did mice vaccinated with VV expressing either the native (membrane-anchored) form of the F protein or the G protein. Although mice scarified with VV-Ftm(-) developed a slight increase in the number of pulmonary eosinophils following RSV infection, the increase was not as great as that seen in VV-G-primed mice. Despite the increased IL-4 and IL-5 production and in contrast to mice primed with VV-G, mice primed with VV-Ftm(-) developed RSV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) and maintained high levels of gamma interferon production. These data demonstrate that recombinant VV strains expressing soluble forms of RSV proteins induce immune responses that are more Th2-like. However, this change alone does not appear sufficient to induce vaccine-augmented disease in the face of active CD8(+) CTL populations.

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