Sex and molecular differences in cardiovascular parameters at peak influenza disease in mice.

Document Type


Publication Date



JGM, Female, Male, Animals, Mice, Humans, Influenza, Human, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Lung, Orthomyxoviridae Infections

JAX Source

Physiol Genomics. 2023;55(2):79-89.







B.E.M. is supported by NIH Grant T32HL105324. This work was also supported by NIH Grant R01HL137673 (M.R.G.). The work performed through the UMMC Molecular and Genomics Facility is supported, in part, by funds from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), including Mississippi INBRE (P20GM103476), and Obesity, Cardiorenal and Metabolic Diseases- COBRE (P20GM104357).


There is a growing interest in the detection of subtle changes in cardiovascular physiology in response to viral infection to develop better disease surveillance strategies. This is not only important for earlier diagnosis and better prognosis of symptomatic carriers but also useful to diagnose asymptomatic carriers of the virus. Previous studies provide strong evidence of an association between inflammatory biomarker levels and both blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) during infection. The identification of novel biomarkers during an inflammatory event could significantly improve predictions for cardiovascular events. Thus, we evaluated changes in cardiovascular physiology induced in A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (PR8) influenza infections in female and male C57BL/6J mice and compared them with the traditional method of influenza disease detection using body weight (BW). Using radiotelemetry, changes in BP, HR, and activity were studied. Change in BW of infected females was significantly decreased from 5 to 13 days postinfection (dpi), yet alterations in normal physiology including loss of diurnal rhythm and reduced activity was observed starting at about 3 dpi for HR and 4 dpi for activity and BP; continuing until about 13 dpi. In contrast, males had significantly decreased BW 8 to 12 dpi and demonstrated altered physiological measurements for a shorter period compared with females with a reduction starting at 5 dpi for activity, 6 dpi for BP, and 7 dpi for HR until about 12 dpi, 10 dpi, and 9 dpi, respectively. Finally, females and males exhibited different patterns of inflammatory maker expression in lungs at peak disease by analyzing bulk RNA-sequencing data for lungs and Bio-plex cytokine assay for blood collected from influenza-infected and naïve C57BL/6J female and male mice at 7 dpi. In total, this study provides insight into cardiovascular changes and molecular markers to distinguish sex differences in peak disease caused by influenza virus infection.