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1.
PLoS Pathog ; 18(5): e1010471, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1833668

ABSTRACT

The ability to treat severe viral infections is limited by our understanding of the mechanisms behind virus-induced immunopathology. While the role of type I interferons (IFNs) in early control of viral replication is clear, less is known about how IFNs can regulate the development of immunopathology and affect disease outcomes. Here, we report that absence of type I IFN receptor (IFNAR) is associated with extensive immunopathology following mucosal viral infection. This pathology occurred independent of viral load or type II immunity but required the presence of macrophages and IL-6. The depletion of macrophages and inhibition of IL-6 signaling significantly abrogated immunopathology. Tissue destruction was mediated by macrophage-derived matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), as MMP inhibition by doxycycline and Ro 28-2653 reduced the severity of tissue pathology. Analysis of post-mortem COVID-19 patient lungs also displayed significant upregulation of the expression of MMPs and accumulation of macrophages. Overall, we demonstrate that IFNs inhibit macrophage-mediated MMP production to prevent virus-induced immunopathology and uncover MMPs as a therapeutic target towards viral infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interferon Type I , Orthomyxoviridae Infections , Humans , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Macrophages/metabolism , Proteolysis
2.
Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med ; 2022 May 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1831593

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has been associated with a range of illness severity-from minimal symptoms to life-threatening multisystem organ failure. The severe forms of COVID-19 appear to be associated with an angiocentric or vascular phase of the disease. In studying autopsy patients succumbing to COVID-19, we found alveolar capillary microthrombi were 9 times more common in COVID-19 than in comparable patients with influenza. Corrosion casting of the COVID-19 microcirculation has revealed microvascular distortion, enhanced bronchial circulation, and striking increases in intussusceptive angiogenesis. In patients with severe COVID-19, endothelial cells commonly demonstrate significant ultrastructural injury. High-resolution imaging suggests that microcirculation perturbations are linked to ischemic changes in microanatomic compartments of the lung (secondary lobules). NanoString profiling of these regions has confirmed a transcriptional signature compatible with microischemia. We conclude that irreversible tissue ischemia provides an explanation for the cystic and fibrotic changes associated with long-haul COVID-19 symptoms.

4.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(3)2022 Jan 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1667195

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: In COVID-19 survivors there is an increased prevalence of pulmonary fibrosis of which the underlying molecular mechanisms are poorly understood; (2) Methods: In this multicentric study, n = 12 patients who succumbed to COVID-19 due to progressive respiratory failure were assigned to an early and late group (death within ≤7 and >7 days of hospitalization, respectively) and compared to n = 11 healthy controls; mRNA and protein expression as well as biological pathway analysis were performed to gain insights into the evolution of pulmonary fibrogenesis in COVID-19; (3) Results: Median duration of hospitalization until death was 3 (IQR25-75, 3-3.75) and 14 (12.5-14) days in the early and late group, respectively. Fifty-eight out of 770 analyzed genes showed a significantly altered expression signature in COVID-19 compared to controls in a time-dependent manner. The entire study group showed an increased expression of BST2 and IL1R1, independent of hospitalization time. In the early group there was increased activity of inflammation-related genes and pathways, while fibrosis-related genes (particularly PDGFRB) and pathways dominated in the late group; (4) Conclusions: After the first week of hospitalization, there is a shift from pro-inflammatory to fibrogenic activity in severe COVID-19. IL1R1 and PDGFRB may serve as potential therapeutic targets in future studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , Aged , COVID-19/mortality , Female , Hospital Mortality/trends , Hospitalization , Humans , Lung/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Pulmonary Fibrosis/metabolism , Respiratory Insufficiency/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
6.
Elife ; 102021 12 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1597375

ABSTRACT

For the first time, we have used phase-contrast X-ray tomography to characterize the three-dimensional (3d) structure of cardiac tissue from patients who succumbed to Covid-19. By extending conventional histopathological examination by a third dimension, the delicate pathological changes of the vascular system of severe Covid-19 progressions can be analyzed, fully quantified and compared to other types of viral myocarditis and controls. To this end, cardiac samples with a cross-section of 3.5mm were scanned at a laboratory setup as well as at a parallel beam setup at a synchrotron radiation facility the synchrotron in a parallel beam configuration. The vascular network was segmented by a deep learning architecture suitable for 3d datasets (V-net), trained by sparse manual annotations. Pathological alterations of vessels, concerning the variation of diameters and the amount of small holes, were observed, indicative of elevated occurrence of intussusceptive angiogenesis, also confirmed by high-resolution cone beam X-ray tomography and scanning electron microscopy. Furthermore, we implemented a fully automated analysis of the tissue structure in the form of shape measures based on the structure tensor. The corresponding distributions show that the histopathology of Covid-19 differs from both influenza and typical coxsackie virus myocarditis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Myocarditis/pathology , Myocarditis/virology , Myocardium/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Artificial Intelligence , COVID-19/pathology , Heart/diagnostic imaging , Heart/virology , Humans , Imaging, Three-Dimensional , Myocarditis/diagnostic imaging , Myocarditis/etiology , Synchrotrons , Tomography, X-Ray Computed
8.
EMBO Mol Med ; 13(11): e13714, 2021 11 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1471196

ABSTRACT

Risk stratification of COVID-19 patients is essential for pandemic management. Changes in the cell fitness marker, hFwe-Lose, can precede the host immune response to infection, potentially making such a biomarker an earlier triage tool. Here, we evaluate whether hFwe-Lose gene expression can outperform conventional methods in predicting outcomes (e.g., death and hospitalization) in COVID-19 patients. We performed a post-mortem examination of infected lung tissue in deceased COVID-19 patients to determine hFwe-Lose's biological role in acute lung injury. We then performed an observational study (n = 283) to evaluate whether hFwe-Lose expression (in nasopharyngeal samples) could accurately predict hospitalization or death in COVID-19 patients. In COVID-19 patients with acute lung injury, hFwe-Lose is highly expressed in the lower respiratory tract and is co-localized to areas of cell death. In patients presenting in the early phase of COVID-19 illness, hFwe-Lose expression accurately predicts subsequent hospitalization or death with positive predictive values of 87.8-100% and a negative predictive value of 64.1-93.2%. hFwe-Lose outperforms conventional inflammatory biomarkers and patient age and comorbidities, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) 0.93-0.97 in predicting hospitalization/death. Specifically, this is significantly higher than the prognostic value of combining biomarkers (serum ferritin, D-dimer, C-reactive protein, and neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio), patient age and comorbidities (AUROC of 0.67-0.92). The cell fitness marker, hFwe-Lose, accurately predicts outcomes in COVID-19 patients. This finding demonstrates how tissue fitness pathways dictate the response to infection and disease and their utility in managing the current COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Biomarkers , Flowers , Humans , Pandemics , ROC Curve , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
9.
Angiogenesis ; 24(4): 755-788, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1286153

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is presenting as a systemic disease associated with vascular inflammation and endothelial injury. Severe forms of SARS-CoV-2 infection induce acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and there is still an ongoing debate on whether COVID-19 ARDS and its perfusion defect differs from ARDS induced by other causes. Beside pro-inflammatory cytokines (such as interleukin-1 ß [IL-1ß] or IL-6), several main pathological phenomena have been seen because of endothelial cell (EC) dysfunction: hypercoagulation reflected by fibrin degradation products called D-dimers, micro- and macrothrombosis and pathological angiogenesis. Direct endothelial infection by SARS-CoV-2 is not likely to occur and ACE-2 expression by EC is a matter of debate. Indeed, endothelial damage reported in severely ill patients with COVID-19 could be more likely secondary to infection of neighboring cells and/or a consequence of inflammation. Endotheliopathy could give rise to hypercoagulation by alteration in the levels of different factors such as von Willebrand factor. Other than thrombotic events, pathological angiogenesis is among the recent findings. Overexpression of different proangiogenic factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) or placental growth factors (PlGF) have been found in plasma or lung biopsies of COVID-19 patients. Finally, SARS-CoV-2 infection induces an emergency myelopoiesis associated to deregulated immunity and mobilization of endothelial progenitor cells, leading to features of acquired hematological malignancies or cardiovascular disease, which are discussed in this review. Altogether, this review will try to elucidate the pathophysiology of thrombotic complications, pathological angiogenesis and EC dysfunction, allowing better insight in new targets and antithrombotic protocols to better address vascular system dysfunction. Since treating SARS-CoV-2 infection and its potential long-term effects involves targeting the vascular compartment and/or mobilization of immature immune cells, we propose to define COVID-19 and its complications as a systemic vascular acquired hemopathy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Myelopoiesis , Neovascularization, Pathologic/metabolism , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Thrombosis/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/therapy , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/pathology , Endothelial Cells/virology , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products/metabolism , Fibroblast Growth Factor 2/metabolism , Humans , Interleukin-1beta/metabolism , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Membrane Proteins/metabolism , Neovascularization, Pathologic/pathology , Neovascularization, Pathologic/therapy , Neovascularization, Pathologic/virology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/pathology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , Thrombosis/pathology , Thrombosis/therapy , Thrombosis/virology , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A/metabolism , von Willebrand Factor/metabolism
10.
Cell Death Differ ; 28(11): 3125-3139, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1241944

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection poses a major threat to the lungs and multiple other organs, occasionally causing death. Until effective vaccines are developed to curb the pandemic, it is paramount to define the mechanisms and develop protective therapies to prevent organ dysfunction in patients with COVID-19. Individuals that develop severe manifestations have signs of dysregulated innate and adaptive immune responses. Emerging evidence implicates neutrophils and the disbalance between neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation and degradation plays a central role in the pathophysiology of inflammation, coagulopathy, organ damage, and immunothrombosis that characterize severe cases of COVID-19. Here, we discuss the evidence supporting a role for NETs in COVID-19 manifestations and present putative mechanisms, by which NETs promote tissue injury and immunothrombosis. We present therapeutic strategies, which have been successful in the treatment of immunο-inflammatory disorders and which target dysregulated NET formation or degradation, as potential approaches that may benefit patients with severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Extracellular Traps/metabolism , Neutrophils/immunology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , Citrullination , Complement Activation , Humans , Neutrophils/metabolism , Platelet Activation , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index , Thrombosis/etiology
11.
Pathologe ; 42(2): 164-171, 2021 Mar.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1235729

ABSTRACT

Viral respiratory diseases constitute the most common reasons for hospitalization with more than half of all acute illnesses worldwide. Progressive respiratory failure with pronounced diffuse alveolar damage has been identified as the primary cause of death in COVID-19. COVID-19 pneumonia shares common histopathological hallmarks with influenza (H1N1)-related ARDS, like diffuse alveolar damage (DAD) with edema, hemorrhage, and intra-alveolar fibrin deposition. The lungs with COVID-19 pneumonia revealed perivascular inflammation, an endothelial injury, microangiopathy, and an aberrant blood vessel neoformation by intussusceptive angiogenesis. While this pronounced angiocentric inflammation is likely be found - to varying degrees - in numerous other organs, e.g., the heart, COVID-19 is hypothesized to be not just a pulmonary, but rather a systemic "vascular disease."


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Heart , Humans , Lung , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Pathologe ; 42(2): 164-171, 2021 Mar.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1070829

ABSTRACT

Viral respiratory diseases constitute the most common reasons for hospitalization with more than half of all acute illnesses worldwide. Progressive respiratory failure with pronounced diffuse alveolar damage has been identified as the primary cause of death in COVID-19. COVID-19 pneumonia shares common histopathological hallmarks with influenza (H1N1)-related ARDS, like diffuse alveolar damage (DAD) with edema, hemorrhage, and intra-alveolar fibrin deposition. The lungs with COVID-19 pneumonia revealed perivascular inflammation, an endothelial injury, microangiopathy, and an aberrant blood vessel neoformation by intussusceptive angiogenesis. While this pronounced angiocentric inflammation is likely be found - to varying degrees - in numerous other organs, e.g., the heart, COVID-19 is hypothesized to be not just a pulmonary, but rather a systemic "vascular disease."


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Heart , Humans , Lung , SARS-CoV-2
15.
N Engl J Med ; 383(27): 2689-2690, 2020 12 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1003368
16.
N Engl J Med ; 383(2): 120-128, 2020 07 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-327378

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Progressive respiratory failure is the primary cause of death in the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. Despite widespread interest in the pathophysiology of the disease, relatively little is known about the associated morphologic and molecular changes in the peripheral lung of patients who die from Covid-19. METHODS: We examined 7 lungs obtained during autopsy from patients who died from Covid-19 and compared them with 7 lungs obtained during autopsy from patients who died from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) secondary to influenza A(H1N1) infection and 10 age-matched, uninfected control lungs. The lungs were studied with the use of seven-color immunohistochemical analysis, micro-computed tomographic imaging, scanning electron microscopy, corrosion casting, and direct multiplexed measurement of gene expression. RESULTS: In patients who died from Covid-19-associated or influenza-associated respiratory failure, the histologic pattern in the peripheral lung was diffuse alveolar damage with perivascular T-cell infiltration. The lungs from patients with Covid-19 also showed distinctive vascular features, consisting of severe endothelial injury associated with the presence of intracellular virus and disrupted cell membranes. Histologic analysis of pulmonary vessels in patients with Covid-19 showed widespread thrombosis with microangiopathy. Alveolar capillary microthrombi were 9 times as prevalent in patients with Covid-19 as in patients with influenza (P<0.001). In lungs from patients with Covid-19, the amount of new vessel growth - predominantly through a mechanism of intussusceptive angiogenesis - was 2.7 times as high as that in the lungs from patients with influenza (P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: In our small series, vascular angiogenesis distinguished the pulmonary pathobiology of Covid-19 from that of equally severe influenza virus infection. The universality and clinical implications of our observations require further research to define. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.).


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Endothelium, Vascular/pathology , Neovascularization, Pathologic , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Thrombosis/virology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Autopsy , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Endothelium, Vascular/virology , Female , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Influenza, Human/mortality , Influenza, Human/pathology , Lung/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/pathology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , Respiratory Insufficiency , SARS-CoV-2
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