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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Leukotriene B4 protects latently infected mice against murine cytomegalovirus reactivation following allogeneic transplantation.

Human CMV is often associated with transplant rejection and opportunistic infections such as pneumonia in immunosuppressed patients. Current anti-CMV therapies, although effective, show relatively high toxicity, which seriously limits their long-term use. In this study, we provide evidence that leukotriene B(4) (LTB(4)) plays an important role in the fight against murine CMV (MCMV) infection in vivo. Intravenous administration of 50 and 500 ng/kg/day of LTB(4) to mice infected with a lethal dose of MCMV significantly increases their survival (50 and 70%, respectively), compared with the placebo-treated group (10% of survival). In mice infected with a sublethal dose of MCMV and treated daily with 50 ng/kg/day of LTB(4), the salivary gland viral loads were found to be reduced by 66% compared with the control group. Furthermore, using an allogeneic bone marrow transplantation mouse model, the frequency of MCMV reactivation from latently infected mice was much lower (38%) in LTB(4) (500 ng/kg)-treated mice than in the placebo-treated group (78%). Finally, in experiments using 5-lipoxygenase-deficient mice, MCMV viral loads in salivary glands were found to be higher in animals unable to produce leukotrienes than in the control groups, supporting a role of endogenous 5-lipoxygenase products, possibly LTB(4), in host defense against CMV infection.[1]


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