Protectins PCTR1 and PD1 Reduce Viral Load and Lung Inflammation During Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection in Mice

Front Immunol. 2021 Aug 19:12:704427. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.704427. eCollection 2021.


Viral pneumonias are a major cause of morbidity and mortality, owing in part to dysregulated excessive lung inflammation, and therapies to modulate host responses to viral lung injury are urgently needed. Protectin conjugates in tissue regeneration 1 (PCTR1) and protectin D1 (PD1) are specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs) whose roles in viral pneumonia are of interest. In a mouse model of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) pneumonia, intranasal PCTR1 and PD1 each decreased RSV genomic viral load in lung tissue when given after RSV infection. Concurrent with enhanced viral clearance, PCTR1 administration post-infection, decreased eosinophils, neutrophils, and NK cells, including NKG2D+ activated NK cells, in the lung. Intranasal PD1 administration post-infection decreased lung eosinophils and Il-13 expression. PCTR1 increased lung expression of cathelicidin anti-microbial peptide and decreased interferon-gamma production by lung CD4+ T cells. PCTR1 and PD1 each increased interferon-lambda expression in human bronchial epithelial cells in vitro and attenuated RSV-induced suppression of interferon-lambda in mouse lung in vivo. Liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry of RSV-infected and untreated mouse lungs demonstrated endogenous PCTR1 and PD1 that decreased early in the time course while cysteinyl-leukotrienes (cys-LTs) increased during early infection. As RSV infection resolved, PCTR1 and PD1 increased and cys-LTs decreased to pre-infection levels. Together, these results indicate that PCTR1 and PD1 are each regulated during RSV pneumonia, with overlapping and distinct mechanisms for PCTR1 and PD1 during the resolution of viral infection and its associated inflammation.

Keywords: docosahexaenoic acid; interferon; pro-resolving; resolution; viral.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Animals
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / prevention & control
  • Lung / immunology*
  • Lung / virology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / immunology
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / prevention & control
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections* / immunology
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections* / prevention & control
  • Respiratory Syncytial Viruses / immunology*
  • Viral Load / drug effects


  • protectin D1
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids