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Viruses ; 15(1)2022 Dec 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2227484


Increasing evidence suggests that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection impacts neurological function both acutely and chronically, even in the absence of pronounced respiratory distress. Developing clinically relevant laboratory mouse models of the neuropathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 infection is an important step toward elucidating the underlying mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2-induced neurological dysfunction. Although various transgenic models and viral delivery methods have been used to study the infection potential of SARS-CoV-2 in mice, the use of commonly available laboratory mice would facilitate the study of SARS-CoV-2 neuropathology. Herein we show neuroinflammatory profiles of immunologically intact mice, C57BL/6J and BALB/c, as well as immunodeficient (Rag2-/-) mice, to a mouse-adapted strain of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2 (MA10)). Our findings indicate that brain IL-6 levels are significantly higher in BALB/c male mice infected with SARS-CoV-2 MA10. Additionally, blood-brain barrier integrity, as measured by the vascular tight junction protein claudin-5, was reduced by SARS-CoV-2 MA10 infection in all three strains. Brain glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) mRNA was also elevated in male C57BL/6J infected mice compared with the mock group. Lastly, immune-vascular effects of SARS-CoV-2 (MA10), as measured by H&E scores, demonstrate an increase in perivascular lymphocyte cuffing (PLC) at 30 days post-infection among infected female BALB/c mice with a significant increase in PLC over time only in SARS-CoV-2 MA10) infected mice. Our study is the first to demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 (MA10) infection induces neuroinflammation in laboratory mice and could be used as a novel model to study SARS-CoV-2-mediated cerebrovascular pathology.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Mice , Male , Female , Animals , COVID-19/pathology , Lung , Neuroinflammatory Diseases , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Disease Models, Animal , Mice, Transgenic
Am J Respir Crit Care Med ; 206(9): 1178-1179, 2022 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1950555
Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol ; 64(1): 79-88, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1004249


Preclinical mouse models that recapitulate some characteristics of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will facilitate focused study of pathogenesis and virus-host responses. Human agniotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) serves as an entry receptor for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to infect people via binding to envelope spike proteins. Herein we report development and characterization of a rapidly deployable COVID-19 mouse model. C57BL/6J (B6) mice expressing hACE2 in the lung were transduced by oropharyngeal delivery of the recombinant human adenovirus type 5 that expresses hACE2 (Ad5-hACE2). Mice were infected with SARS-CoV-2 at Day 4 after transduction and developed interstitial pneumonia associated with perivascular inflammation, accompanied by significantly higher viral load in lungs at Days 3, 6, and 12 after infection compared with Ad5-empty control group. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in pneumocytes in alveolar septa. Transcriptomic analysis of lungs demonstrated that the infected Ad5-hACE mice had a significant increase in IFN-dependent chemokines Cxcl9 and Cxcl10, and genes associated with effector T-cell populations including Cd3 g, Cd8a, and Gzmb. Pathway analysis showed that several Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways were enriched in the data set, including cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, the chemokine signaling pathway, the NOD-like receptor signaling pathway, the measles pathway, and the IL-17 signaling pathway. This response is correlative to clinical response in lungs of patients with COVID-19. These results demonstrate that expression of hACE2 via adenovirus delivery system sensitized the mouse to SARS-CoV-2 infection and resulted in the development of a mild COVID-19 phenotype, highlighting the immune and inflammatory host responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection. This rapidly deployable COVID-19 mouse model is useful for preclinical and pathogenesis studies of COVID-19.

Alveolar Epithelial Cells/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Gene Expression , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Signal Transduction/immunology , Adenoviridae/genetics , Adenoviridae/metabolism , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/biosynthesis , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Signal Transduction/genetics , Transduction, Genetic