Effects of rhinovirus infection on hydrogen peroxide- induced alterations of barrier function in the cultured human tracheal epithelium

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1998 Jul;158(1):241-8. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.158.1.9607117.


To investigate whether rhinovirus infection impairs epithelial barrier functions, human rhinovirus 14 (HRV-14) was infected to primary cultures of human tracheal epithelial cells and experiments were performed on Day 2 after HRV-14 infection. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2; 3 x 10(-)4 M) increased electrical conductance (G) across the epithelial cell sheet measured with Ussing's chamber methods. Exposure of the epithelial cells to HRV-14 had no effect on H2O2-induced increases in G and [3H]mannitol flux through the cultured epithelium in the control condition, but it markedly potentiated H2O2- induced increases in both parameters in IL-1beta (100 U/ml) pretreated condition. However, pretreatment with TNF-alpha (100 U/ml) was without effect. IL-1beta enhanced the intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) expression assessed by immunohistochemical analysis and susceptibility of epithelial cells to HRV-14 infection. An antibody to ICAM-1 inhibited HRV-14 infection of epithelial cells and abolished H2O2-induced increases in G and [3H]mannitol flux in IL-1beta-pretreated epithelial cells with HRV-14 infection. These results suggest that rhinovirus infection may reduce barrier functions in the airway epithelium in association with upregulation of ICAM-1 expression.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Cell Membrane Permeability / drug effects*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Epithelial Cells / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology*
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / immunology
  • Oxidants / pharmacology*
  • Picornaviridae Infections / pathology
  • Picornaviridae Infections / physiopathology*
  • Rhinovirus*
  • Trachea / cytology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Oxidants
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Hydrogen Peroxide