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Heightened immunity to colds makes asthma flare-ups worse, U-M research shows
Date:6/16/2011

se lungs, they infected mice deficient in MDA5 and TLR3 - two receptors that trigger the protective defenses of the immune system against viruses and other pathogens.

MDA5-deficient mice showed a delayed defensive response to the infection, leading to a small increase in the level of virus in the lungs. Nevertheless, these mice showed less airway inflammation and bronchoconstriction following infection compared to wild-type mice. TLR3-deficient mice also showed diminished airway responses.

In addition, MDA5- and TLR3-null mice that were made asthmatic by exposure to allergen showed decreased airway inflammatory and contractile responses in response to rhinovirus infection compared to normal mice. These results suggest that, in the context of rhinovirus infection, reducing the mouse's innate immune system led to reduced inflammatory signaling pathways and reduced airways inflammation and hyper-responsiveness.

"This study shows that, once you have a cold, elements of the immune response actually make the symptoms worse," Hershenson adds. "A better strategy might be to modulate the immune response in asthma patients with colds."


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Contact: Margarita Wagerson
mbauza@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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