A new mechanism of vitamin C effects on A/FM/1/47(H1N1) virus-induced pneumonia in restraint-stressed mice

Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:675149. doi: 10.1155/2015/675149. Epub 2015 Feb 1.

Abstract

It is well known that vitamin C could protect against influenza infection, but little is known about the mechanisms. This study aimed to investigate the influence and possible mechanisms of vitamin C on pneumonia induced by influenza virus in stressed mice. Results showed that restraint stress significantly increased the mortality and the severity of pneumonia in mice caused by A/FM/1/47(H1N1) virus infection, which was attenuated by oral administration of vitamin C (125 and 250 mg/kg). Moreover, vitamin C administration significantly decreased expression of susceptibility genes, including mitochondrial antiviral signaling (MAVS) and interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3), and increased expression of NF-κB. These work in conjunction to induce type I interferons (IFNs) and elicit innate antiviral response as key factors in RIG-I-mediated signal transduction pathway. The above effects of vitamin C were further found to relate with inhibition of excess CORT synthesis by regulating steroid hydroxylating enzymes in adrenal gland. In conclusion, the protective effects of vitamin C on influenza virus-caused pneumonia might be related to its inhibition of CORT synthesis, which reduces the susceptibility to influenza viral infection in restraint-stressed mice. These findings provide a new mechanism for the effects of vitamin C on influenza virus-induced pneumonia in restraint-stressed mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype*
  • Influenza, Human / drug therapy*
  • Influenza, Human / immunology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Pneumonia, Viral / drug therapy*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / immunology*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / immunology
  • Restraint, Physical
  • Stress, Physiological / drug effects
  • Stress, Physiological / immunology
  • Treatment Outcome

Substances

  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Ascorbic Acid