Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-related hospitalization during infancy is strongly associated with the subsequent development of asthma. Early life RSV infection results in a Th2-biased immune response, which is also typical of asthma. Murine models of neonatal RSV infection have been developed to examine the possible contribution of RSV-driven Th2 responses to the development of airway hyper-responsiveness later in childhood. We have investigated the ability of a cell-penetrating STAT6 inhibitory peptide (STAT6-IP), when delivered selectively during neonatal RSV infection, to modify pathogenesis induced upon secondary RSV reinfection of adults 6 wk later. Neonatal STAT6-IP treatment inhibited the development of airway hyper-responsiveness (AHR) and significantly reduced lung eosinophilia and collagen deposition in adult mice following RSV reinfection. STAT6-IP-treated, RSV-infected neonates had reduced levels of both IL-4 and alternatively activated macrophages (AAMs) in the lungs. Our findings suggest that targeting STAT6 activity at the time of early-life RSV infection may effectively reduce the risk of subsequent asthma development.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- Cell Biology