Macrophage inflammatory protein-1 alpha (MIP-1 alpha) is a chemokine that has pro-inflammatory and stem cell inhibitory activities in vitro. Its biologic role in vivo was examined in mice in which the gene encoding MIP-1 alpha had been disrupted. Homozygous MIP-1 alpha mutant (-/-) mice were resistant to Coxsackievirus-induced myocarditis seen in infected wild-type (+/+) mice. Influenza virus-infected -/- mice had reduced pneumonitis and delayed clearance of the virus compared with infected +/+ mice. The -/- mice had no overt hematopoietic abnormalities. These results demonstrate that MIP-1 alpha is an important mediator of virus-induced inflammation in vivo.
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