The aim of this study was to investigate whether respiratory syncytial virus persistence regulates interleukin 8 (IL-8) mRNA synthesis and protein secretion in a human lung epithelial cell line (A549). Therefore, we established RSV persistence in these cells (A549per) and determined the levels of interleukin-8 mRNA by RT-PCR and of protein through ELISA. Interleukin-8 mRNA synthesis and protein secretion were continuously up-regulated in A549per cells during passages and in A549 cells that had been incubated with supernatants (cA549per) obtained from A549per passages. These results suggested that the enhancement of interleukin-8 was stimulated either by the presence of the RSV genome in the cell or by soluble mediator(s) induced by RSV, which, in turn, increased interleukin-8 mRNA synthesis and protein secretion. Soluble RSV F and G proteins were identified as mediators. Moreover, interleukin-8 enhancement was observed after 1-min incubation with the soluble mediators, thus suggesting that interleukin-8 up-regulation was triggered by receptor-ligand interaction.
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