Increased Lung Catalase Activity Confers Protection Against Experimental RSV Infection

Maria Ansar, Teodora Ivanciuc, Roberto P. Garofalo, Antonella Casola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection in mouse and human lung is associated with oxidative injury and pathogenic inflammation. RSV impairs antioxidant responses by increasing the degradation of transcription factor NRF2, which controls the expression of several antioxidant enzyme (AOE) genes, including catalase. Since catalase is a key enzyme for the dismutation of virus-mediated generation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) we developed a model of intranasal supplementation of polyethylene glycol-conjugated catalase (PG-CAT) for RSV-infected mice. The results of our study show that PG-CAT supplementation was able to increase specific enzymatic activity along with reduction in H2O2 in the airways and had a significant protective effect against RSV-induced clinical disease and airway pathology. PG-CAT treated mice showed amelioration in airway obstruction, reduction in neutrophil elastase and inflammation. Improved airway hyperresponsiveness was also observed in mice that received PG-CAT as a treatment post-viral inoculation. In addition, PG-CAT greatly reduced the concentration of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, including IL-1, TNF-α, IL-9, CXCL1, CCL2, and CCL5 in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of RSV-infected mice, without increasing viral replication in the lung. In conclusion, catalase supplementation may represent a novel pharmacologic approach to be explored in human for prevention or treatment of respiratory infections caused by RSV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3653
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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