ACS Pharmacol. Transl. Sci. 5 (3) 141-148 [2022-03-11; online 2022-01-25]
COVID-19 is characterized by a dysregulated and excessive inflammatory response and, in severe cases, acute respiratory distress syndrome. We have recently demonstrated a previously unknown high-affinity interaction between the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein and bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), leading to the boosting of inflammation. Here we present a mouse inflammation model employing the coadministration of aerosolized S protein together with LPS to the lungs. Using NF-κB-RE-Luc reporter and C57BL/6 mice followed by combinations of bioimaging, cytokine, chemokine, fluorescence-activated cell sorting, and histochemistry analyses, we show that the model yields severe pulmonary inflammation and a cytokine profile similar to that observed in COVID-19. Therefore, the model offers utility for analyses of the pathophysiological features of COVID-19 and the development of new treatments.