Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) triggered the pandemic Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19), causing millions of deaths. The elderly and those already living with comorbidity are likely to die after SARS-CoV-2 infection. People suffering from Alzheimer's disease (AD) have a higher risk of becoming infected, because they cannot easily follow health roles. Additionally, those suffering from dementia have a 40% higher risk of dying from COVID-19. Herein, we collected from Gene Expression Omnibus repository the brain samples of AD patients who died of COVID-19 (AD+COVID-19), AD without COVID-19 (AD), COVID-19 without AD (COVID-19) and control individuals. We inspected the transcriptomic and interactomic profiles by comparing the COVID-19 cohort against the control cohort and the AD cohort against the AD+COVID-19 cohort. SARS-CoV-2 in patients without AD mainly activated processes related to immune response and cell cycle. Conversely, 21 key nodes in the interactome are deregulated in AD. Interestingly, some of them are linked to beta-amyloid production and clearance. Thus, we inspected their role, along with their interactors, using the gene ontologies of the biological process that reveals their contribution in brain organization, immune response, oxidative stress and viral replication. We conclude that SARS-CoV-2 worsens the AD condition by increasing neurotoxicity, due to higher levels of beta-amyloid, inflammation and oxidative stress.
Subject(s)Alzheimer Disease/genetics , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/genetics , Alzheimer Disease/complications , Alzheimer Disease/virology , Amyloid beta-Peptides/metabolism , Brain/virology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Comorbidity/trends , Databases, Factual , Gene Expression/genetics , Gene Expression Profiling/methods , Humans , Inflammation/metabolism , Neurotoxicity Syndromes/metabolism , Oxidative Stress/physiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Transcriptome/genetics
The inflammatory response plays a central role in the complications of congenital pulmonary airway malformations (CPAM) and severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The aim of this study was to evaluate the transcriptional changes induced by SARS-CoV-2 exposure in pediatric MSCs derived from pediatric lung (MSCs-lung) and CPAM tissues (MSCs-CPAM) in order to elucidate potential pathways involved in SARS-CoV-2 infection in a condition of exacerbated inflammatory response. MSCs-lung and MSCs-CPAM do not express angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and transmembrane serine protease 2 (TRMPSS2). SARS-CoV-2 appears to be unable to replicate in MSCs-CPAM and MSCs-lung. MSCs-lung and MSCs-CPAM maintained the expression of stemness markers MSCs-lung show an inflammatory response (IL6, IL1B, CXCL8, and CXCL10), and the activation of Notch3 non-canonical pathway; this route appears silent in MSCs-CPAM, and cytokine genes expression is reduced. Decreased value of p21 in MSCs-lung suggested no cell cycle block, and cells did not undergo apoptosis. MSCs-lung appears to increase genes associated with immunomodulatory function but could contribute to inflammation, while MSCs-CPAM keeps stable or reduce the immunomodulatory receptors expression, but they also reduce their cytokines expression. These data indicated that, independently from their perilesional or cystic origin, the MSCs populations already present in a patient affected with CPAM are not permissive for SARS-CoV-2 entry, and they will not spread the disease in case of infection. Moreover, these MSCs will not undergo apoptosis when they come in contact with SARS-CoV-2; on the contrary, they maintain their staminality profile.
Subject(s)Mesenchymal Stem Cells/metabolism , Respiratory System Abnormalities , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Transcriptome , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Case-Control Studies , Cells, Cultured , Gene Expression Profiling , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Infant , Lung/abnormalities , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Male , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/pathology , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/virology , RNA-Seq , Respiratory System Abnormalities/genetics , Respiratory System Abnormalities/pathology , Respiratory System Abnormalities/virology
Recent studies have focused their attention on conjunctivitis as one of the symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Therefore, tear samples were taken from COVID-19 patients and the presence of SARS-CoV-2 was evidenced using Real Time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. The main aim of this study was to analyze mRNA expression in the tears of patients with COVID-19 compared with healthy subjects using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). The functional evaluation of the transcriptome highlighted 25 genes that differ statistically between healthy individuals and patients affected by COVID-19. In particular, the NGS analysis identified the presence of several genes involved in B cell signaling and keratinization. In particular, the genes involved in B cell signaling were downregulated in the tears of COVID-19 patients, while those involved in keratinization were upregulated. The results indicated that SARS-CoV-2 may induce a process of ocular keratinization and a defective B cell response.
Subject(s)COVID-19/genetics , Eye Diseases/virology , Tears/metabolism , Transcriptome , Aged , B-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Eye Diseases/genetics , Female , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing/methods , Humans , Keratins/metabolism , Male , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sequence Analysis, RNA/methods , Skin/metabolism , Skin/pathology , Skin/virology , Tears/virology
According to the neurological symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection, it is known that the nervous system is influenced by the virus. We used pediatric human cerebral cortical cell line HCN-2 as a neuronal model of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and, through transcriptomic analysis, our aim was to evaluate the effect of SARS-CoV-2 in this type of cells. Transcriptome analyses revealed impairment in TXN gene, resulting in deregulation of its antioxidant functions, as well as a decrease in the DNA-repairing mechanism, as indicated by the decrease in KAT5. Western blot analyses of SOD1 and iNOS confirmed the impairment of reduction mechanisms and an increase in oxidative stress. Upregulation of CDKN2A and a decrease in CDK4 and CDK6 point to the blocking of the cell cycle that, according to the deregulation of repairing mechanism, has apoptosis as the outcome. A high level of proapoptotic gene PMAIP1 is indeed coherent with neuronal death, as also supported by increased levels of caspase 3. The upregulation of cell-cycle-blocking genes and apoptosis suggests a sufferance state of neurons after SARS-CoV-2 infection, followed by their inevitable death, which can explain the neurological symptoms reported. Further analyses are required to deeply explain the mechanisms and find potential treatments to protect neurons from oxidative stress and prevent their death.
Subject(s)COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Cellular Senescence/genetics , Gene Expression Profiling , Neurons/pathology , Oxidative Stress/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Caspase 3/metabolism , Cell Death , Cell Line , Cyclooxygenase 2/metabolism , Humans , Superoxide Dismutase/metabolism , Virus Replication/physiology
Different mechanisms were proposed as responsible for COVID-19 neurological symptoms but a clear one has not been established yet. In this work we aimed to study SARS-CoV-2 capacity to infect pediatric human cortical neuronal HCN-2 cells, studying the changes in the transcriptomic profile by next generation sequencing. SARS-CoV-2 was able to replicate in HCN-2 cells, that did not express ACE2, confirmed also with Western blot, and TMPRSS2. Looking for pattern recognition receptor expression, we found the deregulation of scavenger receptors, such as SR-B1, and the downregulation of genes encoding for Nod-like receptors. On the other hand, TLR1, TLR4 and TLR6 encoding for Toll-like receptors (TLRs) were upregulated. We also found the upregulation of genes encoding for ERK, JNK, NF-κB and Caspase 8 in our transcriptomic analysis. Regarding the expression of known receptors for viral RNA, only RIG-1 showed an increased expression; downstream RIG-1, the genes encoding for TRAF3, IKKÎµ and IRF3 were downregulated. We also found the upregulation of genes encoding for chemokines and accordingly we found an increase in cytokine/chemokine levels in the medium. According to our results, it is possible to speculate that additionally to ACE2 and TMPRSS2, also other receptors may interact with SARS-CoV-2 proteins and mediate its entry or pathogenesis in pediatric cortical neurons infected with SARS-CoV-2. In particular, TLRs signaling could be crucial for the neurological involvement related to SARS-CoV-2 infection.