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Infect Immun. 2004 Mar;72(3):1479-86.

Nutritional effects on host response to lung infections with mucoid Pseudomonas aeruginosa in mice.

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Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio. Hospital San Rafael, La Coruña, Spain.


In cystic fibrosis, a recessive genetic disease caused by defects in the cystic fibrosis conductance regulator (CFTR), the main cause of death is lung infection and inflammation. Nutritional deficits have been proposed to contribute to the excessive host inflammatory response in both humans and Cftr-knockout mice. Cftr-knockout mice and gut-corrected Cftr-knockout mice expressing human CFTR primarily in the gut were challenged with Pseudomonas aeruginosa-laden agarose beads; they responded similarly with respect to bronchoalveolar lavage cell counts and levels of the acute-phase cytokines tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), and IL-6. Wild-type mice fed the liquid diet used to prevent intestinal obstruction in Cftr-knockout mice had inflammatory responses to P. aeruginosa-laden agarose beads similar to those of wild-type mice fed an enriched solid diet, so dietary effects are unlikely to account for differences between wild-type mice and mice with cystic fibrosis. Finally, since cystic fibrosis patients and Cftr-knockout mice have an imbalance in fatty acids (significantly lower-than-normal levels of docosahexaenoic acid), the effects of specific supplementation with docosahexaenoic acid of wild-type and Cftr-knockout mice on their inflammatory responses to P. aeruginosa-laden agarose beads were tested. There were no significant differences (P = 0.35) in cumulative survival rates between Cftr-knockout mice and wild-type mice provided with either the liquid diet Peptamen or Peptamen containing docosahexaenoic acid. In conclusion, diet and docosahexaenoic acid imbalances alone are unlikely to explain the differences in the host response to lung infections with mucoid P. aeruginosa between mice with cystic fibrosis and their wild-type counterparts.

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