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Cells ; 12(4)2023 Feb 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2234951


Viral myocarditis is pathologically associated with RNA viruses such as coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3), or more recently, with SARS-CoV-2, but despite intensive research, clinically proven treatment is limited. Here, by use of a transgenic mouse strain (TG) containing a CVB3ΔVP0 genome we unravel virus-mediated cardiac pathophysiological processes in vivo and in vitro. Cardiac function, pathologic ECG alterations, calcium homeostasis, intracellular organization and gene expression were significantly altered in transgenic mice. A marked alteration of mitochondrial structure and gene expression indicates mitochondrial impairment potentially contributing to cardiac contractile dysfunction. An extended picture on viral myocarditis emerges that may help to develop new treatment strategies and to counter cardiac failure.

COVID-19 , Coxsackievirus Infections , Myocarditis , Virus Diseases , Mice , Animals , Mice, Transgenic , Enterovirus B, Human , SARS-CoV-2
J Muscle Res Cell Motil ; 43(2): 45-47, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1919885


A report on the first virtual European Muscle Conference.

Muscle, Skeletal , Pandemics
Front Immunol ; 13: 916512, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911050


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a systemic disease associated with injury (thinning) of the endothelial glycocalyx (eGC), a protective layer on the vascular endothelium. The aim of this translational study was to investigate the role of the eGC-degrading enzyme heparanase (HPSE), which is known to play a central role in the destruction of the eGC in bacterial sepsis. Excess activity of HPSE in plasma from COVID-19 patients correlated with several markers of eGC damage and perfused boundary region (PBR, an inverse estimate of glycocalyx dimensions of vessels with a diameter 4-25 µm). In a series of translational experiments, we demonstrate that the changes in eGC thickness of cultured cells exposed to COVID-19 serum correlated closely with HPSE activity in concordant plasma samples (R = 0.82, P = 0.003). Inhibition of HPSE by a nonanticoagulant heparin fragment prevented eGC injury in response to COVID-19 serum, as shown by atomic force microscopy and immunofluorescence imaging. Our results suggest that the protective effect of heparin in COVID-19 may be due to an eGC-protective off-target effect.

COVID-19 , Glucuronidase , Glycocalyx , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Glucuronidase/metabolism , Glycocalyx/metabolism , Glycocalyx/pathology , Heparin/pharmacology , Humans