HUMAN MAST CELL RESPONSES TO RESPIRATORY SYNCYTIAL VIRUS
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Mast cells reside at tissue sites closely interfacing the environment and play a role in host defense against pathogens. Mast cell responses to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a major cause of severe respiratory tract infections and subsequent bronchiolitis, are not fully elucidated. Human cord blood-derived mast cells (CBMCs) and the HMC-1 mast cell line supported low levels of RSV antigen expression as compared with airway epithelial cells. RSV inoculated mast cells up-regulated the expression of several chemokines such as CCL4, CCL5 and CXCL10, as well as type I and III interferons. Type I interferon receptor blockade on RSV-inoculated HMC-1 cells had no effect on chemokine production or viral antigen expression. These data show that mast cells respond to RSV by expressing various cytokines and chemokines that may enhance inflammation and effector cell recruitment during RSV disease.