Neutrophils are the predominant inflammatory cell in the lung tissues and airways in RSV infection, and can augment the epithelial cell damage induced by RSV. Neutrophil apoptosis has been suggested to be a mechanism to reduce the potential for tissue injury. The apoptosis of neutrophils from nasopharyngeal aspirates (NPA) (n = 19) and peripheral blood (PB) of infants with RSV bronchiolitis (n = 11) and PB from healthy controls (n = 9) was investigated. Monoclonal antibody against CD95 (Fas) and a binding protein Annexin V were used to determine the apoptosis of neutrophils. The expression of CD11b and CD18 on neutrophils was also detected with flow cytometry. The mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) of CD95 on neutrophils from RSV+ NPA was increased compared with cells from control PB (73.6 ± 7.6 versus 31.5 ± 4.3); the MFI of Annexin V, CD11b and CD18 on neutrophils from RSV+ NPA was upregulated compared with cells from both control PB (105.3 ± 18.1 versus 11.8 ± 1.5; 1683 ± 153.3 versus 841.1 ± 72.3; 517 ± 50.5 versus 147 ± 8.7, respectively) and RSV+ PB (105.3 ± 18.1 versus 35.8 ± 4.1; 1683 ± 153.3 versus 818 ± 141.2; 517 ± 50.5 versus 260 ± 25.8, respectively). Furthermore, the percentage of neutrophils expressing Annexin V and the MFI of CD18 on neutrophils from RSV+ PB were increased compared with neutrophils from control PB. In addition, both CD11b (MFI) and CD18 (MFI) correlated with Annexin V (MFI) on neutrophils. We conclude that neutrophiI apoptosis in RSV bronchiolitis is accelerated; and CD11b/CD18 may play an important role in RSV infection by influencing neutrophil apoptosis.
- Neutrophil apoptosis
- Respiratory syncytial virus