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Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2000 Sep-Dec;13(3):123-128.

Protective effect of n-acetylcysteine in a model of influenza infection in mice.

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Zambon Research, 20092 Bresso, Milan, Italy.


Reactive oxygen intermediates (ROI) and cytokines, particularly tumor necrosis factor (TNF) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of influenza. Using a murine model of influenza, we have studied the levels of TNF, interleukin 6 (IL-6) and of superoxide-generating xanthine oxidase (XO). Mice infected intranasally with influenza virus APR/8 had high levels of XO, TNF and IL-6 in the broncoalveolar lavage, as early as 3 d after infection. XO was elevated also in serum and lung tissue. Administration of the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC,1 g/kg per day, orally) significantly decreased the mortality in infected mice, indicating a role for RO1 in the lethality associated with influenza infection.


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