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1.
European Review for Medical & Pharmacological Sciences ; 26(8):3025-3029, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1836395

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Previous studies have confirmed the key mechanism by which SARS-CoV-2 enters human cells. It is well established that ACE2 is the receptor that can mark the beginning of the infection. In light of this, the organs that express higher levels of ACE2 are generally considered at higher risk, while those with lower levels should be somehow more protected. This - if related to the scarcity of ace2-expressing cells in the brain - seems to contrast with the presence of a variety of neurological symptoms that follow infection with ace2. The aim of this work was to analyze ACE2 expression in the human brain, focusing on the choroid plexuses. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twenty brain samples were obtained at autopsy from ten human fetuses and from ten adult subjects. All samples were selected to contain the choroid plexus. Specimens were fixed in 10% formalin, routinely processed and paraffin embedded. 5-micron sections were stained with Hematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) and immunostained with a commercial anti-human ACE2 rabbit monoclonal antibody at 1:100 dilution. RESULTS: We analyzed 20 samples by immunohistochemistry, and we noted that, as far as fetal samples are concerned, a strong reactivity for ACE2 was detected in the myxoid stroma of the choroid plexuses and in the endothelial cells in fetuses. The complete absence of the ACE2 marker was detected in epithelial cells, neurons and glial cells of the cerebral cortex, both in fetuses and in adults. Whereas a strong but selective reactivity for ACE2 was also detected in adult choroid plexuses, mainly localized in the endothelial cells of the choroid capillaries. CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows a strong expression of ACE in the fetal and adult brain choroid plexuses. This new histopathological finding may clarify the susceptibility of the human brain to SARS-COV-2 infection. Our data indicate the choroid plexus as the entry gate of virus for in the human brain;therefore, the entrance of SARS-CoV-2 into the cerebrospinal fluid through the choroid plexuses might represent the mechanism utilized by this coronavirus to cause direct injury to brain cells.

2.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 26(1): 270-277, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1631285

ABSTRACT

Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) is a rare new syndrome occurring after the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine immunization. Patients with VITT are characterized by a variable clinical presentation, likewise also the outcome of these patients is very variable. Here we report the lung ultrastructural findings in the course of VITT of a 58-year-old male patient. Alveoli were mainly dilated, irregular in shape, and occupied by a reticular network of fibrin, while interalveolar septa appeared thickened. The proliferation of small capillaries gave rise to plexiform structures and pulmonary capillary hemangiomatosis-like features. Near the alveoli occupied by a dense fibrin network, the medium-sized arteries showed a modified wall and an intraluminal thrombus. This scenario looks quite similar to that found during COVID-19, where the lungs suffer from the attack of the antigen-antibodies complexes and the virus respectively. In both diseases, the final outcome is a severe inflammation, activation of the haemostatic system and fibrinolysis.


Subject(s)
/adverse effects , Lung Injury/etiology , Lung Injury/pathology , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/chemically induced , Vaccination/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Fibrin , Humans , Lung Injury/diagnostic imaging , Lung Injury/immunology , Male , Microscopy, Electron, Scanning , Middle Aged , Parenchymal Tissue/pathology , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/diagnosis , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/immunology
3.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 25(20): 6439-6442, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1503076

ABSTRACT

Arterial thromboembolic complications reported in patients with COVID-19 infection suggested that SARS-CoV-2 can trigger atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability. While endothelial cells in healthy subjects protect against thrombus formation, after injury they show prothrombotic activity. In addition, it has been hypothesized that "cytokine storm" might stimulate the production of neo-platelets triggering an abnormal "immunothrombosis" responsible for the hypercoagulable state induced in COVID-19 patients. The aim of this study is to report a case of severe COVID-19 infection characterized by the occurrence of microthrombosis in the vasa vasorum of the aorta. A 67-year-old male patient, in good health status and without comorbidities, who underwent a severe COVID-19 infection with fatal outcome, showed scattered aortic atherosclerotic plaques, characterized by multiple occlusive micro-thromboses in the vasa vasorum, spread out lymphocytic infiltrates and foci of endotheliitis and endothelial detachment. This case report confirms the previously described thrombotic involvement of vasa vasorum in COVID-19. The occurrence of the synchronous damage involving both the lumen surface (endothelial dysfunction, endotheliitis and endothelial detachment) and the adventitia (inflammation and occlusive thrombosis of vasa vasorum) could be the key points related to the fatal outcome of the SARS-CoV-2 patients. In our opinion, vasa vasorum thrombosis may thus initiate an atherogenic process that could be characterized by a much more rapid development.


Subject(s)
Aortic Diseases/complications , COVID-19/pathology , Microvessels/pathology , Plaque, Atherosclerotic/pathology , Vasa Vasorum/pathology , Aged , Aortic Diseases/pathology , Humans , Male
4.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 25(19): 5904-5912, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1478932

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Liver injury has been reported in patients with COVID-19. This condition is characterized by severe outcome and could be related with the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to activate cytotoxic T cells. The purpose of this study is to show the histological and scanning electron microscopy features of liver involvement in COVID-19 to characterize the liver changes caused by the activation of multiple molecular pathways following this infection. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Liver biopsies from 4 patients (3 post-mortems and 1 in vivo) with COVID-19 were analyzed with histology and by scanning electron microscopy. RESULTS: The liver changes showed significant heterogeneity. The first case showed ground glass hepatocytes and scattered fibrin aggregates in the sinusoidal lumen. The second evidenced intra-sinusoidal thrombi. The third was characterized by sinusoidal dilatation, atrophy of hepatocytes, Disse's spaces dilatation and intra-sinusoidal aggregates of fibrin and red blood cells. The fourth case exhibited diffuse fibrin aggregates in the dilated Disse spaces and microthrombi in the sinusoidal lumen. CONCLUSIONS: In COVID-19-related liver injury, a large spectrum of pathological changes was observed. The most peculiar features were very mild inflammation, intra-sinusoidal changes, including sinusoidal dilatation, thrombotic sinusoiditis and diffuse intra-sinusoidal fibrin deposition. These findings suggested that a thrombotic sinusoiditis followed by a local diffuse intra-vascular (intra-sinusoidal) coagulation could be the typical features of the SARS-CoV-2-related liver injury.


Subject(s)
Blood Coagulation Disorders/pathology , COVID-19/pathology , Liver Diseases/pathology , Liver/pathology , Thrombosis/pathology , Aged , Autopsy , Biopsy , Erythrocytes/pathology , Fibrin , Hepatocytes/pathology , Humans , Male , Microscopy, Electron, Scanning , Middle Aged , Thrombosis/complications , Young Adult
5.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 25(18): 5876-5884, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1451047

ABSTRACT

The risk stratification of young adults between subjects who will develop a mild form COVID-19 and subjects who will undergo a severe disease remains inaccurate. In this review, we propose that the Barker hypothesis might explain the increased susceptibility to severe forms of COVID-19 in subjects who underwent intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). In this paper evidence indicating an association between a low birth weight and an adult phenotype which might favor a severe outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection are presented: lower lung functional capacity; increased respiratory morbidity; changes in fibrinogen and Factor VII serum levels and dysregulation of the hemostasis and thrombosis system; acquisition of a pro-thrombotic phenotype; low nephron number, with decreased ability to sustain renal function and increased renal morbidity; heart remodeling, with a less efficient cardiac function; endothelial dysfunction, a risk factor for the insurgence of the multiple organ failure; remodeling of arteries, with changes in the elastic properties of the arterial wall, predisposing to the insurgence and progression of atherosclerosis; dysfunction of the innate immune system, a risk factor for immune diseases in adulthood. These data suggest that young and adult subjects born too small (IUGR) or too early (pre-terms) might represent a subgroup of "at risk subjects", more susceptible toward severe forms of COVID-19. Given that LBW may be considered a surrogate of IUGR, this phenotypic marker should be included among the indispensable clinical data collected in every patient presenting with SARS-COV-2 infection, irrespectively of his/her age.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Susceptibility/epidemiology , Fetal Development , Disease Susceptibility/virology , Fetal Growth Retardation , Humans , Infant, Low Birth Weight , Severity of Illness Index , Young Adult
6.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 25(10): 3772-3790, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1264762

ABSTRACT

Multiple epidemiological studies have suggested that industrialization and progressive urbanization should be considered one of the main factors responsible for the rising of atherosclerosis in the developing world. In this scenario, the role of trace metals in the insurgence and progression of atherosclerosis has not been clarified yet. In this paper, the specific role of selected trace elements (magnesium, zinc, selenium, iron, copper, phosphorus, and calcium) is described by focusing on the atherosclerotic prevention and pathogenesis plaque. For each element, the following data are reported: daily intake, serum levels, intra/extracellular distribution, major roles in physiology, main effects of high and low levels, specific roles in atherosclerosis, possible interactions with other trace elements, and possible influences on plaque development. For each trace element, the correlations between its levels and clinical severity and outcome of COVID-19 are discussed. Moreover, the role of matrix metalloproteinases, a family of zinc-dependent endopeptidases, as a new medical therapeutical approach to atherosclerosis is discussed. Data suggest that trace element status may influence both atherosclerosis insurgence and plaque evolution toward a stable or an unstable status. However, significant variability in the action of these traces is evident: some - including magnesium, zinc, and selenium - may have a protective role, whereas others, including iron and copper, probably have a multi-faceted and more complex role in the pathogenesis of the atherosclerotic plaque. Finally, calcium and phosphorus are implicated in the calcification of atherosclerotic plaques and in the progression of the plaque toward rupture and severe clinical complications. In particular, the role of calcium is debated. Focusing on the COVID-19 pandemia, optimized magnesium and zinc levels are indicated as important protective tools against a severe clinical course of the disease, often related to the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to cause a systemic inflammatory response, able to transform a stable plaque into an unstable one, with severe clinical complications.


Subject(s)
Atherosclerosis/pathology , Trace Elements/metabolism , Atherosclerosis/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Calcium/blood , Calcium/metabolism , Copper/blood , Copper/metabolism , Humans , Iron/blood , Iron/metabolism , Magnesium/blood , Magnesium/metabolism , Matrix Metalloproteinases/metabolism , Phosphorus/blood , Phosphorus/metabolism , Risk , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Selenium/blood , Selenium/metabolism , Severity of Illness Index , Trace Elements/blood , Zinc/blood , Zinc/metabolism
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