Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the leading cause of acute lower respiratory infections in young children. Although the disease may be severe in immunocompromised, young, and elderly people, there is currently no approved vaccine. We previously reported the development and immunological assessment of a novel intranasal vaccine formulation consisting of a truncated version of the RSV fusion protein (ΔF) combined with a three-component adjuvant (TriAdj). Now, we aim to investigate the mechanism of action of the ΔF/TriAdj formulation by searching for metabolic alterations caused by intranasal immunization and the RSV challenge. We carried out untargeted lipidomics and submetabolome profiling (carboxylic acids and amine/phenol-containing metabolites) of lung tissue from ΔF/TriAdj-immunized and nonimmunized, RSV-challenged mice. We observed significant changes of lipids involved in the lung surfactant layer for the nonimmunized animals compared to healthy controls but not for the immunized mice. Metabolic pathways involving the synthesis and regulation of amino acids and unsaturated fatty acids were also modulated by immunization and the RSV challenge. This study illustrates that lipidomic and metabolomic profiling could provide a more comprehensive understanding of the immunological and metabolic alterations caused by RSV and the modulation effected by the ΔF/TriAdj formulation.
Keywords: lipidomics; lung tissue; metabolic pathway; metabolomics; respiratory syncytial virus; vaccine.