Rhinoviruses induce interleukin-8 mRNA and protein production in human monocytes

J Infect Dis. 1997 Feb;175(2):323-9. doi: 10.1093/infdis/175.2.323.


Rhinoviruses are important upper respiratory pathogens that are strongly associated with asthma exacerbations. However, the inflammatory response to rhinovirus infection is poorly understood. Interleukin (IL)-8 has been implicated in the pathogenesis of respiratory viral infections and asthma. Rhinovirus-induced IL-8 release and mRNA induction were examined in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Rhinoviruses induced IL-8 release for up to 7 days after inoculation onto PBMC. This was associated with an increase in IL-8 mRNA expression that peaked 48 h after exposure to the virus. IL-8 protein production was reduced by UV inactivation of the virus and abolished by preventing virus-receptor binding. Although rhinovirus replication was not demonstrated in PBMC, low-grade productive infection was shown in the human monocyte cell line THP-1. Rhinovirus induction of IL-8 in monocytes or airway macrophages may be important in the pathogenesis of rhinovirus-induced asthma exacerbation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cells, Cultured
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / pharmacology
  • Interleukin-8 / metabolism*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear
  • Monocytes / metabolism*
  • Monocytes / virology*
  • Picornaviridae Infections / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Rhinovirus / drug effects
  • Rhinovirus / growth & development*
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • Interleukin-8
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1