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1.
J Clin Med ; 10(24)2021 Dec 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572519

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The effects of immunomodulators in patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia are still unknown. We investigated the cellular inflammatory and molecular changes in response to standard-of-care + pidotimod (PDT) and explored the possible association with blood biomarkers of disease severity. METHODS: Clinical characteristics and outcomes, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), plasma and cell supernatant chemokines, and gene expression patterns after SARS-CoV-2 and influenza (FLU) virus in vitro stimulation were assessed in 16 patients with mild-moderate COVID-19 pneumonia, treated with standard of care and PDT 800 mg twice daily (PDT group), and measured at admission, 7 (T1), and 12 (T2) days after therapy initiation. Clinical outcomes and NLR were compared with age-matched historical controls not exposed to PDT. RESULTS: Hospital stay, in-hospital mortality, and intubation rate did not differ between groups. At T1, NLR was 2.9 (1.7-4.6) in the PDT group and 5.5 (3.4-7.1) in controls (p = 0.037). In the PDT group, eotaxin and IL-4 plasma concentrations progressively increased (p < 0.05). Upon SARS-CoV-2 and FLU-specific stimulation, IFN-γ was upregulated (p < 0.05), while at genetic transcription level, Pathogen Recognition Receptors (TRLs) were upregulated, especially in FLU-stimulated conditions. CONCLUSIONS: Immunomodulation exerted by PDT and systemic corticosteroids may foster a restoration in the innate response to the viral infection. These results should be confirmed in larger RCTs.

2.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(19)2021 Sep 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438628

ABSTRACT

The reason behind the high inter-individual variability in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection and patient's outcome is poorly understood. The present study targets the sphingolipid profile of twenty-four healthy controls and fifty-nine COVID-19 patients with different disease severity. Sera were analyzed by untargeted and targeted mass spectrometry and ELISA. Results indicated a progressive increase in dihydrosphingosine, dihydroceramides, ceramides, sphingosine, and a decrease in sphingosine-1-phosphate. These changes are associated with a serine palmitoyltransferase long chain base subunit 1 (SPTLC1) increase in relation to COVID-19 severity. Severe patients showed a decrease in sphingomyelins and a high level of acid sphingomyelinase (aSMase) that influences monosialodihexosyl ganglioside (GM3) C16:0 levels. Critical patients are characterized by high levels of dihydrosphingosine and dihydroceramide but not of glycosphingolipids. In severe and critical patients, unbalanced lipid metabolism induces lipid raft remodeling, leads to cell apoptosis and immunoescape, suggesting active sphingolipid participation in viral infection. Furthermore, results indicated that the sphingolipid and glycosphingolipid metabolic rewiring promoted by aSMase and GM3 is age-dependent but also characteristic of severe and critical patients influencing prognosis and increasing viral load. AUCs calculated from ROC curves indicated ceramides C16:0, C18:0, C24:1, sphingosine and SPTLC1 as putative biomarkers of disease evolution.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Sphingolipids/blood , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , Female , Humans , Lipidomics , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index , Sphingolipids/analysis , Sphingomyelins/analysis , Sphingomyelins/blood , Young Adult
3.
Cells ; 10(7)2021 07 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1314589

ABSTRACT

MicroRNAs are gene expression regulators associated with several human pathologies, including those generated by viral infections. Their role in SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 has been investigated and reviewed in many informative studies; however, a thorough miRNA outline in SARS-CoV-2-infected pregnant women (SIPW), at both systemic and placental levels, is missing. To fill this gap, blood and placenta biopsies collected at delivery from 15 asymptomatic SIPW were immediately analysed for: miRNA expression (n = 84) (QPCR array), antiviral/immune mRNA target expression (n = 74) (QGene) and cytokine/chemokines production (n = 27) (Multiplex ELISA). By comparing these results with those obtained from six uninfected pregnant women (UPW), we observed that, following SARS-CoV-2 infection, the transcriptomic profile of pregnant women is significantly altered in different anatomical districts, even in the absence of clinical symptoms and vertical transmission. This characteristic combination of miRNA and antiviral/immune factors seems to control both the infection and the dysfunctional immune reaction, thus representing a positive correlate of protection and a potential therapeutic target against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , MicroRNAs/genetics , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/genetics , Adult , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Female , Humans , MicroRNAs/analysis , MicroRNAs/blood , Placenta/metabolism , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/blood , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Transcriptome , Young Adult
4.
Cells ; 9(9)2020 08 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-732817

ABSTRACT

Following influenza infection, rs2248374-G ERAP2 expressing cells may transcribe an alternative spliced isoform: ERAP2/Iso3. This variant, unlike ERAP2-wt, is unable to trim peptides to be loaded on MHC class I molecules, but it can still dimerize with both ERAP2-wt and ERAP1-wt, thus contributing to profiling an alternative cellular immune-peptidome. In order to verify if the expression of ERAP2/Iso3 may be induced by other pathogens, PBMCs and MDMs isolated from 20 healthy subjects were stimulated with flu, LPS, CMV, HIV-AT-2, SARS-CoV-2 antigens to analyze its mRNA and protein expression. In parallel, Calu3 cell lines and PBMCs were in vitro infected with growing doses of SARS-CoV-2 (0.5, 5, 1000 MOI) and HIV-1BAL (0.1, 1, and 10 ng p24 HIV-1Bal/1 × 106 PBMCs) viruses, respectively. Results showed that: (1) ERAP2/Iso3 mRNA expression can be prompted by many pathogens and it is coupled with the modulation of several determinants (cytokines, interferon-stimulated genes, activation/inhibition markers, antigen-presentation elements) orchestrating the anti-microbial immune response (Quantigene); (2) ERAP2/Iso3 mRNA is translated into a protein (western blot); (3) ERAP2/Iso3 mRNA expression is sensitive to SARS-CoV-2 and HIV-1 concentration. Considering the key role played by ERAPs in antigen processing and presentation, it is conceivable that these enzymes may be potential targets and modulators of the pathogenicity of infectious diseases and further analyses are needed to define the role played by the different isoforms.


Subject(s)
Aminopeptidases/genetics , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Immunization/methods , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/virology , Macrophages/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Protein Isoforms/genetics , Antigen Presentation/genetics , Blood Donors , COVID-19 , Cell Line, Tumor , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Gene Expression/immunology , Genotype , HIV Infections/genetics , HIV Infections/virology , HIV-1/immunology , Humans , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/metabolism , Macrophages/metabolism , Minor Histocompatibility Antigens/genetics , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Transcription, Genetic/immunology
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