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1.
Nat Methods ; 19(4): 418-428, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1784012

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is one of the deadliest pandemics in history. SARS-CoV-2 not only infects the respiratory tract, but also causes damage to many organs. Organoids, which can self-renew and recapitulate the various physiology of different organs, serve as powerful platforms to model COVID-19. In this Perspective, we overview the current effort to apply both human pluripotent stem cell-derived organoids and adult organoids to study SARS-CoV-2 tropism, host response and immune cell-mediated host damage, and perform drug discovery and vaccine development. We summarize the technologies used in organoid-based COVID-19 research, discuss the remaining challenges and provide future perspectives in the application of organoid models to study SARS-CoV-2 and future emerging viruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pluripotent Stem Cells , Adult , Humans , Organoids , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Circ Res ; 130(7): 963-977, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731376

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Increasing evidence suggests that cardiac arrhythmias are frequent clinical features of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Sinus node damage may lead to bradycardia. However, it is challenging to explore human sinoatrial node (SAN) pathophysiology due to difficulty in isolating and culturing human SAN cells. Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) can be a source to derive human SAN-like pacemaker cells for disease modeling. METHODS: We used both a hamster model and human ESC (hESC)-derived SAN-like pacemaker cells to explore the impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection on the pacemaker cells of the heart. In the hamster model, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and immunostaining were used to detect viral RNA and protein, respectively. We then created a dual knock-in SHOX2:GFP;MYH6:mCherry hESC reporter line to establish a highly efficient strategy to derive functional human SAN-like pacemaker cells, which was further characterized by single-cell RNA sequencing. Following exposure to SARS-CoV-2, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, immunostaining, and RNA sequencing were used to confirm infection and determine the host response of hESC-SAN-like pacemaker cells. Finally, a high content chemical screen was performed to identify drugs that can inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection, and block SARS-CoV-2-induced ferroptosis. RESULTS: Viral RNA and spike protein were detected in SAN cells in the hearts of infected hamsters. We established an efficient strategy to derive from hESCs functional human SAN-like pacemaker cells, which express pacemaker markers and display SAN-like action potentials. Furthermore, SARS-CoV-2 infection causes dysfunction of human SAN-like pacemaker cells and induces ferroptosis. Two drug candidates, deferoxamine and imatinib, were identified from the high content screen, able to block SARS-CoV-2 infection and infection-associated ferroptosis. CONCLUSIONS: Using a hamster model, we showed that primary pacemaker cells in the heart can be infected by SARS-CoV-2. Infection of hESC-derived functional SAN-like pacemaker cells demonstrates ferroptosis as a potential mechanism for causing cardiac arrhythmias in patients with COVID-19. Finally, we identified candidate drugs that can protect the SAN cells from SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ferroptosis , Humans , Myocytes, Cardiac/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Sinoatrial Node/metabolism
4.
Clin Pediatr (Phila) ; 61(2): 150-158, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1511594

ABSTRACT

Background. This case-control study aims to investigate the clinical characteristics in pediatric patients with pneumonia infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), influenza A, and human adenoviruses (HAdVs). Methods. Hospitalized pediatric patients with pneumonia infected with SARS-CoV-2 at Wuhan Children's Hospital and pneumonia infected with influenza A, and HAdVs at Qilu Children's Hospital were compared. Clinical manifestations, laboratory examinations, and imaging characteristics were analyzed. Results. The proportions of hyperpyrexia (54.3%, 33.9%), cough (100%, 99.2%), wheezing (45.7%, 53.7%), diarrhea (31.4%, 14.9%), and fever (100%, 75.2%) in patients with influenza A and HAdVs were higher than those of patients with SARS-CoV-2 (9.4%, P < .001; 48.5%, P < .001; 0%, P < .001; 8.8%, P = .002; 41.5%, P < .001; respectively). Laboratory examinations revealed the proportions of leukocytosis (37.1%, 52.9%), abnormal rates of neutrophils (40%, 40.5%), and lymphocytosis (42.9%, 65.3%) in influenza A and HAdV pneumonia groups were significantly higher than coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) group (0%, P < .001; 0%, P < .001; 0%, P < .001; respectively). The proportion of elevated procalcitonin (5.7%, 14%) in patients with influenza A and HAdVs was significantly lower than those in patients with SARS-CoV-2 (64%, P < .001). In chest computed tomography, ground-glass opacities near the pleura were more common in patients with COVID-19 than those in patients with influenza A and HAdVs (32.7% vs 0% vs 0%, P < .001). Conclusion. Fever, cough, and wheezing are more common in the influenza A and HAdVs groups, whereas procalcitonin and computed tomography findings are likely to be pronounced in COVID-19 pneumonia. It provides a variety of methods except polymerase chain reaction for differentiating COVID-19 pneumonia from influenza A and HAdVs pneumonia.


Subject(s)
Adenovirus Infections, Human/physiopathology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Child, Hospitalized/statistics & numerical data , Influenza, Human/physiopathology , Pneumonia/physiopathology , Adenovirus Infections, Human/epidemiology , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , Case-Control Studies , Child , Child, Preschool , China/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Influenza A virus/pathogenicity , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Male , Pneumonia/epidemiology , Pneumonia/etiology , Retrospective Studies
5.
Mol Med ; 27(1): 105, 2021 09 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403209

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vaccination programs have been launched worldwide to halt the spread of COVID-19. However, the identification of existing, safe compounds with combined treatment and prophylactic properties would be beneficial to individuals who are waiting to be vaccinated, particularly in less economically developed countries, where vaccine availability may be initially limited. METHODS: We used a data-driven approach, combining results from the screening of a large transcriptomic database (L1000) and molecular docking analyses, with in vitro tests using a lung organoid model of SARS-CoV-2 entry, to identify drugs with putative multimodal properties against COVID-19. RESULTS: Out of thousands of FDA-approved drugs considered, we observed that atorvastatin was the most promising candidate, as its effects negatively correlated with the transcriptional changes associated with infection. Atorvastatin was further predicted to bind to SARS-CoV-2's main protease and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, and was shown to inhibit viral entry in our lung organoid model. CONCLUSIONS: Small clinical studies reported that general statin use, and specifically, atorvastatin use, are associated with protective effects against COVID-19. Our study corroborrates these findings and supports the investigation of atorvastatin in larger clinical studies. Ultimately, our framework demonstrates one promising way to fast-track the identification of compounds for COVID-19, which could similarly be applied when tackling future pandemics.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Atorvastatin/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Lung/drug effects , Organoids/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Atorvastatin/chemistry , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cell Line , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , Doxycycline/pharmacology , Drug Approval , Drug Repositioning , Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects , Humans , Lung/virology , Models, Biological , Molecular Docking Simulation , Organoids/virology , Raloxifene Hydrochloride/chemistry , Raloxifene Hydrochloride/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Trifluoperazine/chemistry , Trifluoperazine/pharmacology , United States , United States Food and Drug Administration , Vesiculovirus/genetics , Virus Internalization/drug effects
6.
Stem Cell Reports ; 16(9): 2274-2288, 2021 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1360129

ABSTRACT

Heart injury has been reported in up to 20% of COVID-19 patients, yet the cause of myocardial histopathology remains unknown. Here, using an established in vivo hamster model, we demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 can be detected in cardiomyocytes of infected animals. Furthermore, we found damaged cardiomyocytes in hamsters and COVID-19 autopsy samples. To explore the mechanism, we show that both human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-derived CMs) and adult cardiomyocytes (CMs) can be productively infected by SARS-CoV-2, leading to secretion of the monocyte chemoattractant cytokine CCL2 and subsequent monocyte recruitment. Increased CCL2 expression and monocyte infiltration was also observed in the hearts of infected hamsters. Although infected CMs suffer damage, we find that the presence of macrophages significantly reduces SARS-CoV-2-infected CMs. Overall, our study provides direct evidence that SARS-CoV-2 infects CMs in vivo and suggests a mechanism of immune cell infiltration and histopathology in heart tissues of COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Chemokine CCL2/metabolism , Heart Injuries/virology , Monocytes/immunology , Myocytes, Cardiac/metabolism , Animals , Cell Communication/physiology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Macrophages/immunology , Male , Myocytes, Cardiac/virology , Pluripotent Stem Cells/cytology , Vero Cells
8.
Nature ; 589(7841): 270-275, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065893

ABSTRACT

There is an urgent need to create novel models using human disease-relevant cells to study severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) biology and to facilitate drug screening. Here, as SARS-CoV-2 primarily infects the respiratory tract, we developed a lung organoid model using human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC-LOs). The hPSC-LOs (particularly alveolar type-II-like cells) are permissive to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and showed robust induction of chemokines following SARS-CoV-2 infection, similar to what is seen in patients with COVID-19. Nearly 25% of these patients also have gastrointestinal manifestations, which are associated with worse COVID-19 outcomes1. We therefore also generated complementary hPSC-derived colonic organoids (hPSC-COs) to explore the response of colonic cells to SARS-CoV-2 infection. We found that multiple colonic cell types, especially enterocytes, express ACE2 and are permissive to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Using hPSC-LOs, we performed a high-throughput screen of drugs approved by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) and identified entry inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2, including imatinib, mycophenolic acid and quinacrine dihydrochloride. Treatment at physiologically relevant levels of these drugs significantly inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection of both hPSC-LOs and hPSC-COs. Together, these data demonstrate that hPSC-LOs and hPSC-COs infected by SARS-CoV-2 can serve as disease models to study SARS-CoV-2 infection and provide a valuable resource for drug screening to identify candidate COVID-19 therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/virology , Colon/cytology , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/methods , Lung/cytology , Organoids/drug effects , Organoids/virology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/prevention & control , Colon/drug effects , Colon/virology , Drug Approval , Female , Heterografts/drug effects , Humans , In Vitro Techniques , Lung/drug effects , Lung/virology , Male , Mice , Organoids/cytology , Organoids/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , United States , United States Food and Drug Administration , Viral Tropism , Virus Internalization/drug effects
9.
Res Sq ; 2020 Nov 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-946476

ABSTRACT

Heart injury has been reported in up to 20% of COVID-19 patients, yet the cause of myocardial histopathology remains unknown. In order to study the cause of myocardial pathology in COVID-19 patients, we used a hamster model to determine whether following infection SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, can be detected in heart tissues. Here, we clearly demonstrate that viral RNA and nucleocapsid protein is present in cardiomyocytes in the hearts of infected hamsters. Interestingly, functional cardiomyocyte associated gene expression was decreased in infected hamster hearts, corresponding to an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS). This data using an animal model was further validated using autopsy heart samples of COVID-19 patients. Moreover, we show that both human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-derived CMs) and adult cardiomyocytes (CMs) can be infected by SARS-CoV-2 and that CCL2 is secreted upon SARS-CoV-2 infection, leading to monocyte recruitment. Increased CCL2 expression and macrophage infiltration was also observed in the hearts of infected hamsters. Using single cell RNA-seq, we also show that macrophages are able to decrease SARS-CoV-2 infection of CMs. Overall, our study provides direct evidence that SARS-CoV-2 infects CMs in vivo and proposes a mechanism of immune-cell infiltration and pathology in heart tissue of COVID-19 patients.

10.
Res Sq ; 2020 Aug 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-729814

ABSTRACT

Dysfunctional immune responses contribute critically to the progression of Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) from mild to severe stages including fatality, with pro-inflammatory macrophages as one of the main mediators of lung hyper-inflammation. Therefore, there is an urgent need to better understand the interactions among SARS-CoV-2 permissive cells, macrophage, and the SARS-CoV-2 virus, thereby offering important insights into new therapeutic strategies. Here, we used directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) to establish a lung and macrophage co-culture system and model the host-pathogen interaction and immune response caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection. Among the hPSC-derived lung cells, alveolar type II and ciliated cells are the major cell populations expressing the viral receptor ACE2 and co-effector TMPRSS2, and both were highly permissive to viral infection. We found that alternatively polarized macrophages (M2) and classically polarized macrophages (M1) had similar inhibitory effects on SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, only M1 macrophages significantly up-regulated inflammatory factors including IL-6 and IL-18, inhibiting growth and enhancing apoptosis of lung cells. Inhibiting viral entry into target cells using an ACE2 blocking antibody enhanced the activity of M2 macrophages, resulting in nearly complete clearance of virus and protection of lung cells. These results suggest a potential therapeutic strategy, in that by blocking viral entrance to target cells while boosting anti-inflammatory action of macrophages at an early stage of infection, M2 macrophages can eliminate SARS-CoV-2, while sparing lung cells and suppressing the dysfunctional hyper-inflammatory response mediated by M1 macrophages.

11.
Cell Stem Cell ; 27(1): 125-136.e7, 2020 07 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-610467

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has caused the COVID-19 pandemic. There is an urgent need for physiological models to study SARS-CoV-2 infection using human disease-relevant cells. COVID-19 pathophysiology includes respiratory failure but involves other organ systems including gut, liver, heart, and pancreas. We present an experimental platform comprised of cell and organoid derivatives from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). A Spike-enabled pseudo-entry virus infects pancreatic endocrine cells, liver organoids, cardiomyocytes, and dopaminergic neurons. Recent clinical studies show a strong association with COVID-19 and diabetes. We find that human pancreatic beta cells and liver organoids are highly permissive to SARS-CoV-2 infection, further validated using adult primary human islets and adult hepatocyte and cholangiocyte organoids. SARS-CoV-2 infection caused striking expression of chemokines, as also seen in primary human COVID-19 pulmonary autopsy samples. hPSC-derived cells/organoids provide valuable models for understanding the cellular responses of human tissues to SARS-CoV-2 infection and for disease modeling of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/metabolism , Models, Biological , Organoids/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Tropism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Autopsy , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Hepatocytes/pathology , Hepatocytes/virology , Humans , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/virology , Liver/pathology , Mice , Pancreas/pathology , Pancreas/virology , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Internalization
12.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 9(1): 707-713, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-18586

ABSTRACT

This study aims to analyze the different clinical characteristics between children and their families infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Clinical data from nine children and their 14 families were collected, including general status, clinical, laboratory test, and imaging characteristics. All the children were detected positive result after their families onset. Three children had fever (22.2%) or cough (11.2%) symptoms and six (66.7%) children had no symptom. Among the 14 adult patients, the major symptoms included fever (57.1%), cough (35.7%), chest tightness/pain (21.4%), fatigue (21.4%) and sore throat (7.1%). Nearly 70% of the patients had normal (71.4%) or decreased (28.6%) white blood cell counts, and 50% (7/14) had lymphocytopenia. There were 10 adults (71.4%) showed abnormal imaging. The main manifestations were pulmonary consolidation (70%), nodular shadow (50%), and ground glass opacity (50%). Five discharged children were admitted again because their stool showed positive result in SARS-CoV-2 PCR. COVID-19 in children is mainly caused by family transmission, and their symptoms are mild and prognosis is better than adult. However, their PCR result in stool showed longer time than their families. Because of the mild or asymptomatic clinical process, it is difficult to recognize early for pediatrician and public health staff.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Adult , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Chest Pain , Child , Child, Preschool , China , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/diagnostic imaging , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Cough , Family Health , Feces/virology , Female , Fever , Humans , Infant , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Male , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Prognosis , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
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