HIV infection model of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in mice

Patrick Geraghty, Eran Hadas, Boe Hyun Kim, Abdoulaye J. Dabo, David J. Volsky, Robert Foronjy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Cigarette smoke usage is prevalent in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients, and, despite highly active antiretroviral therapy, these individuals develop an accelerated form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Studies investigating the mechanisms of COPD development in HIV have been limited by the lack of suitable mouse models. Here we describe a model of HIV-induced COPD in wild-type mice using EcoHIV, a chimeric HIV capable of establishing chronic infection in immunocompetent mice. A/J mice were infected with EcoHIV and subjected to whole body cigarette smoke exposure. EcoHIV was detected in alveolar macrophages of mice. Compared with uninfected mice, concomitant EcoHIV infection significantly reduced forced expiratory flow 50%/forced vital capacity and enhanced distal airspace enlargement following cigarette smoke exposure. Lung IL-6, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, neutrophil elastase, cathepsin G, and matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression was significantly enhanced in smoke-exposed Eco-HIV-infected mice. These changes coincided with enhanced IκBα, ERK1/2, p38, and STAT3 phosphorylation and lung cell apoptosis. Thus, the EcoHIV smoke exposure mouse model reproduces several of the pathophysiological features of HIV-related COPD in humans, indicating that this murine model can be used to determine key parameters of HIV-related COPD and to test future therapies for this disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L500-L509
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2017


  • Animal model
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Human immunodeficiency virus


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