Obese individuals show increased susceptibility to infection, low vaccine efficacy, and worse pathophysiology. However, it is unclear how obesity affects these events. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of obesity-triggered chronic inflammation on immune cells after influenza virus infection. Control and lipopolysaccharide mice, in which an osmotic pump continually released Tween saline or lipopolysaccharide, were prepared and 3 weeks later were infected with pandemic H1N1 2009 influenza A virus. In lipopolysaccharide mice, we found a reduction in macrophage activation markers in the steady state, and reduced production of pro-inflammatory cytokines including tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, and interleukin-6, in restimulated peritoneal macrophages. Interestingly, lipopolysaccharide-triggered chronic inflammation exacerbated the severity of pathological symptoms in the lungs after challenge with influenza virus. Taken together, the increased severity of virus-induced symptoms in obese individuals with chronic inflammation may be, at least partially, caused by macrophage dysfunction.
Keywords: Influenza virus; Low-level chronic inflammation; Obesity; Osmotic pump.
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