Effect of human rhinovirus infection on airway epithelium tight junction protein disassembly and transepithelial permeability
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© 2016 Taylor & Francis. Rationale: No studies have assessed the effects of human rhinovirus (HRV) infection on epithelial tight junctions (TJs) and resultant barrier function. Aim of the Study: To correlate viral infection with TJ disassembly, epithelial barrier integrity, and function. Materials and Methods: Human airway epithelial cells were infected with HRV minor serotype 1B (HRV-1B) at various 50% tissue culture infectivity doses (TCID 50 ) over 72 hours. HRV replication was assessed by quantitative-polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) while cell viability and apoptosis were assessed by proliferation and apoptotic assays, respectively. Protein expression of claudin-1, occludin, and zonula occludens protein-1 (ZO-1) was assessed using In-Cell™ Western assays. Transepithelial permeability assays were performed to assess effects on barrier functionality. RT 2 Profiler focused qPCR arrays and pathway analysis evaluating associations between human TJ and antiviral response were performed to identify potential interactions and pathways between genes of interests. Results: HRV-1B infection affected viability that was both time and TCID 50 dependent. Significant increases in apoptosis and viral replication post-infection correlated with viral titer. Viral infection significantly decreased claudin-1 protein expression at the lower TCID 50 , while a significant decrease in all three TJ protein expressions occurred at higher TCID 50 . Decrease in protein expression was concomitant with significant increases in epithelial permeability of fluorescein isothiocynate labeled-dextran 4 and 20 kDa. Analysis of focused qPCR arrays demonstrated a significant decrease in ZO-1 gene expression. Furthermore, network analysis between human TJ and antiviral response genes revealed possible interactions and regulation of TJ genes via interleukin (IL)-15 in response to HRV-1B infection. Conclusion: HRV-1B infection directly alters human airway epithelial TJ expression leading to increased epithelial permeability potentially via an antiviral response of IL-15.
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