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1.
Proteomics ; : e2300096, 2023 Jun 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20244464

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected hundreds of millions of people all over the world and thus threatens human life. Clinical evidence shows that SARS-CoV-2 infection can cause several neurological consequences, but the existing antiviral drugs and vaccines have failed to stop its spread. Therefore, an understanding of the response to SARS-CoV-2 infection of hosts is vital to find a resultful therapy. Here, we employed a K18-hACE2 mouse infection model and LC-MS/MS to systematically evaluate the acetylomes of brain cortexes in the presence and absence of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Using a label-free strategy, 3829 lysine acetylation (Kac) sites in 1735 histone and nonhistone proteins were identified. Bioinformatics analyses indicated that SARS-CoV-2 infection might lead to neurological consequences via acetylation or deacetylation of important proteins. According to a previous study, we found 26 SARS-CoV-2 proteins interacted with 61 differentially expressed acetylated proteins with high confidence and identified one acetylated SARS-CoV-2 protein nucleocapsid phosphoprotein. We greatly expanded the known set of acetylated proteins and provide the first report of the brain cortex acetylome in this model and thus a theoretical basis for future research on the pathological mechanisms and therapies of neurological consequences after SARS-CoV-2 infection.

2.
Animal Model Exp Med ; 4(1): 2-15, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2270129

ABSTRACT

Background: Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and diabetes mellitus (DM) are top two chronic comorbidities that increase the severity and mortality of COVID-19. However, how SARS-CoV-2 alters the progression of chronic diseases remain unclear. Methods: We used adenovirus to deliver h-ACE2 to lung to enable SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice. SARS-CoV-2's impacts on pathogenesis of chronic diseases were studied through histopathological, virologic and molecular biology analysis. Results: Pre-existing CVDs resulted in viral invasion, ROS elevation and activation of apoptosis pathways contribute myocardial injury during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Viral infection increased fasting blood glucose and reduced insulin response in DM model. Bone mineral density decreased shortly after infection, which associated with impaired PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling. Conclusion: We established mouse models mimicked the complex pathological symptoms of COVID-19 patients with chronic diseases. Pre-existing diseases could impair the inflammatory responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection, which further aggravated the pre-existing diseases. This work provided valuable information to better understand the interplay between the primary diseases and SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/physiopathology , Cardiovascular Diseases/complications , Cardiovascular Diseases/physiopathology , Diabetes Complications/physiopathology , Animals , Comorbidity , Diabetes Mellitus , Disease Models, Animal , Male , Mice , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Animal Model Exp Med ; 3(1): 93-97, 2020 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2288057

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since December 2019, an outbreak of the Corona Virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in Wuhan, China, has become a public health emergency of international concern. The high fatality of aged cases caused by SARS-CoV-2 was a need to explore the possible age-related phenomena with non-human primate models. METHODS: Three 3-5 years old and two 15 years old rhesus macaques were intratracheally infected with SARS-CoV-2, and then analyzed by clinical signs, viral replication, chest X-ray, histopathological changes and immune response. RESULTS: Viral replication of nasopharyngeal swabs, anal swabs and lung in old monkeys was more active than that in young monkeys for 14 days after SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Monkeys developed typical interstitial pneumonia characterized by thickened alveolar septum accompanied with inflammation and edema, notably, old monkeys exhibited diffuse severe interstitial pneumonia. Viral antigens were detected mainly in alveolar epithelial cells and macrophages. CONCLUSION: SARS-CoV-2 caused more severe interstitial pneumonia in old monkeys than that in young monkeys. Rhesus macaque models infected with SARS-CoV-2 provided insight into the pathogenic mechanism and facilitated the development of vaccines and therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2 infection.

4.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 12(1): 2178242, 2023 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2278716

ABSTRACT

Outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases pose a serious threat to public health security, human health and economic development. After an outbreak, an animal model for an emerging infectious disease is urgently needed for studying the etiology, host immune mechanisms and pathology of the disease, evaluating the efficiency of vaccines or drugs against infection, and minimizing the time available for animal model development, which is usually hindered by the nonsusceptibility of common laboratory animals to human pathogens. Thus, we summarize the technologies and methods that induce animal susceptibility to human pathogens, which include viral receptor humanization, pathogen-targeted tissue humanization, immunodeficiency induction and screening for naturally susceptible animal species. Furthermore, the advantages and deficiencies of animal models developed using each method were analyzed, and these will guide the selection of susceptible animals and potentially reduce the time needed to develop animal models during epidemics.


Subject(s)
Communicable Diseases, Emerging , Vaccines , Animals , Humans , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Public Health , Models, Animal , Disease Susceptibility
5.
EBioMedicine ; 90: 104518, 2023 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2269298

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Neurological damage caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has attracted increasing attention. Recently, through autopsies of patients with COVID-19, the direct identification of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in their central nervous system (CNS) has been reported, indicating that SARS-CoV-2 might directly attack the CNS. The need to prevent COVID-19-induced severe injuries and potential sequelae is urgent, requiring the elucidation of large-scale molecular mechanisms in vivo. METHODS: In this study, we performed liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based proteomic and phosphoproteomic analyses of the cortex, hippocampus, thalamus, lungs, and kidneys of SARS-CoV-2-infected K18-hACE2 female mice. We then performed comprehensive bioinformatic analyses, including differential analyses, functional enrichment, and kinase prediction, to identify key molecules involved in COVID-19. FINDINGS: We found that the cortex had higher viral loads than did the lungs, and the kidneys did not have SARS-COV-2. After SARS-CoV-2 infection, RIG-I-associated virus recognition, antigen processing and presentation, and complement and coagulation cascades were activated to different degrees in all five organs, especially the lungs. The infected cortex exhibited disorders of multiple organelles and biological processes, including dysregulated spliceosome, ribosome, peroxisome, proteasome, endosome, and mitochondrial oxidative respiratory chain. The hippocampus and thalamus had fewer disorders than did the cortex; however, hyperphosphorylation of Mapt/Tau, which may contribute to neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, was found in all three brain regions. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2-induced elevation of human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) was observed in the lungs and kidneys, but not in the three brain regions. Although the virus was not detected, the kidneys expressed high levels of hACE2 and exhibited obvious functional dysregulation after infection. This indicates that SARS-CoV-2 can cause tissue infections or damage via complicated routes. Thus, the treatment of COVID-19 requires a multipronged approach. INTERPRETATION: This study provides observations and in vivo datasets for COVID-19-associated proteomic and phosphoproteomic alterations in multiple organs, especially cerebral tissues, of K18-hACE2 mice. In mature drug databases, the differentially expressed proteins and predicted kinases in this study can be used as baits to identify candidate therapeutic drugs for COVID-19. This study can serve as a solid resource for the scientific community. The data in this manuscript will serve as a starting point for future research on COVID-19-associated encephalopathy. FUNDING: This study was supported by grants from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Innovation Fund for Medical Sciences, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and the Natural Science Foundation of Beijing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mice , Humans , Female , Animals , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Proteomics , Mice, Transgenic , Lung , Hippocampus , Kidney , Thalamus , Disease Models, Animal
6.
EBioMedicine ; 90:104518-104518, 2023.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2269294

ABSTRACT

Background Neurological damage caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has attracted increasing attention. Recently, through autopsies of patients with COVID-19, the direct identification of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in their central nervous system (CNS) has been reported, indicating that SARS-CoV-2 might directly attack the CNS. The need to prevent COVID-19-induced severe injuries and potential sequelae is urgent, requiring the elucidation of large-scale molecular mechanisms in vivo. Methods In this study, we performed liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based proteomic and phosphoproteomic analyses of the cortex, hippocampus, thalamus, lungs, and kidneys of SARS-CoV-2-infected K18-hACE2 female mice. We then performed comprehensive bioinformatic analyses, including differential analyses, functional enrichment, and kinase prediction, to identify key molecules involved in COVID-19. Findings We found that the cortex had higher viral loads than did the lungs, and the kidneys did not have SARS-COV-2. After SARS-CoV-2 infection, RIG-I-associated virus recognition, antigen processing and presentation, and complement and coagulation cascades were activated to different degrees in all five organs, especially the lungs. The infected cortex exhibited disorders of multiple organelles and biological processes, including dysregulated spliceosome, ribosome, peroxisome, proteasome, endosome, and mitochondrial oxidative respiratory chain. The hippocampus and thalamus had fewer disorders than did the cortex;however, hyperphosphorylation of Mapt/Tau, which may contribute to neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, was found in all three brain regions. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2-induced elevation of human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) was observed in the lungs and kidneys, but not in the three brain regions. Although the virus was not detected, the kidneys expressed high levels of hACE2 and exhibited obvious functional dysregulation after infection. This indicates that SARS-CoV-2 can cause tissue infections or damage via complicated routes. Thus, the treatment of COVID-19 requires a multipronged approach. Interpretation This study provides observations and in vivo datasets for COVID-19-associated proteomic and phosphoproteomic alterations in multiple organs, especially cerebral tissues, of K18-hACE2 mice. In mature drug databases, the differentially expressed proteins and predicted kinases in this study can be used as baits to identify candidate therapeutic drugs for COVID-19. This study can serve as a solid resource for the scientific community. The data in this manuscript will serve as a starting point for future research on COVID-19-associated encephalopathy. Funding This study was supported by grants from the 10.13039/501100005150Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Innovation Fund for Medical Sciences, the 10.13039/501100001809National Natural Science Foundation of China, and the 10.13039/501100004826Natural Science Foundation of Beijing.

7.
NPJ Vaccines ; 7(1): 144, 2022 Nov 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2286285

ABSTRACT

Since the first outbreak in December 2019, SARS-CoV-2 has been constantly evolving and five variants have been classified as Variant of Concern (VOC) by the World Health Organization (WHO). These VOCs were found to enhance transmission and/or decrease neutralization capabilities of monoclonal antibodies and vaccine-induced antibodies. Here, we successfully designed and produced a recombinant COVID-19 vaccine in CHO cells at a high yield. The vaccine antigen contains four hot spot substitutions, K417N, E484K, N501Y and D614G, based on a prefusion-stabilized spike trimer of SARS-CoV-2 (S-6P) and formulated with an Alum/CpG 7909 dual adjuvant system. Results of immunogenicity studies showed that the variant vaccine elicited robust cross-neutralizing antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 prototype (Wuhan) strain and all 5 VOCs. It further, stimulated a TH1 (T Helper type 1) cytokine profile and substantial CD4+ T cell responses in BALB/c mice and rhesus macaques were recorded. Protective efficacy of the vaccine candidate was evaluated in hamster and rhesus macaque models of SARS-CoV-2. In Golden Syrian hamsters challenged with Beta or Delta strains, the vaccine candidate reduced the viral loads in nasal turbinates and lung tissues, accompanied by significant weight gain and relieved inflammation in the lungs. In rhesus macaque challenged with prototype SARS-CoV-2, the vaccine candidate decreased viral shedding in throat, anal, blood swabs over time, reduced viral loads of bronchus and lung tissue, and effectively relieved the lung pathological inflammatory response. Together, our data demonstrated the broadly neutralizing activity and efficacy of the variant vaccine against both prototype and current VOCs of SARS-CoV-2, justifying further clinical development.

8.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 8(1): 42, 2023 Jan 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2230292

ABSTRACT

The Omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2, primarily authenticated in November 2021 in South Africa, has initiated the 5th wave of global pandemics. Here, we systemically examined immunological and metabolic characteristics of Omicron variants infection. We found Omicron resisted to neutralizing antibody targeting receptor binding domain (RBD) of wildtype SARS-CoV-2. Omicron could hardly be neutralized by sera of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) convalescents infected with the Delta variant. Through mass spectrometry on MHC-bound peptidomes, we found that the spike protein of the Omicron variants could generate additional CD8 + T cell epitopes, compared with Delta. These epitopes could induce robust CD8 + T cell responses. Moreover, we found booster vaccination increased the cross-memory CD8 + T cell responses against Omicron. Metabolic regulome analysis of Omicron-specific T cell showed a metabolic profile that promoted the response of memory T cells. Consistently, a greater fraction of memory CD8 + T cells existed in Omicron stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). In addition, CD147 was also a receptor for the Omicron variants, and CD147 antibody inhibited infection of Omicron. CD147-mediated Omicron infection in a human CD147 transgenic mouse model induced exudative alveolar pneumonia. Taken together, our data suggested that vaccination booster and receptor blocking antibody are two effective strategies against Omicron.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Animals , Mice , COVID-19/genetics , Leukocytes, Mononuclear , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Epitopes , Mice, Transgenic
9.
Virol J ; 19(1): 212, 2022 12 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2162392

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its variants, has posed unprecedented challenges worldwide. Existing vaccines have limited effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 variants. Therefore, novel vaccines to match mutated viral lineages by providing long-term protective immunity are urgently needed. We designed a recombinant adeno-associated virus 5 (rAAV5)-based vaccine (rAAV-COVID-19) by using the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD-plus) sequence with both single-stranded (ssAAV5) and self-complementary (scAAV5) delivery vectors and found that it provides excellent protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection. A single-dose vaccination in mice induced a robust immune response; induced neutralizing antibody (NA) titers were maintained at a peak level of over 1:1024 more than a year post-injection and were accompanied by functional T-cell responses. Importantly, both ssAAV- and scAAV-based RBD-plus vaccines produced high levels of serum NAs against the circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants, including Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta. A SARS-CoV-2 virus challenge showed that the ssAAV5-RBD-plus vaccine protected both young and old mice from SARS-CoV-2 infection in the upper and lower respiratory tracts. Whole genome sequencing demonstrated that AAV vector DNA sequences were not found in the genomes of vaccinated mice one year after vaccination, demonstrating vaccine safety. These results suggest that the rAAV5-based vaccine is safe and effective against SARS-CoV-2 and several variants as it provides long-term protective immunity. This novel vaccine has a significant potential for development into a human prophylactic vaccination to help end the global pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Parvovirinae , Animals , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral
10.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 7(1): 382, 2022 Nov 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2133303

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 patients can develop clinical and histopathological features associated with fibrosis, but the pathogenesis of fibrosis remains poorly understood. CD147 has been identified as a universal receptor for SARS-CoV-2 and its variants, which could initiate COVID-19-related cytokine storm. Here, we systemically analyzed lung pathogenesis in SARS-CoV-2- and its delta variant-infected humanized CD147 transgenic mice. Histopathology and Transmission Electron Microscopy revealed inflammation, fibroblast expansion and pronounced fibrotic remodeling in SARS-CoV-2-infected lungs. Consistently, RNA-sequencing identified a set of fibrosis signature genes. Furthermore, we identified CD147 as a crucial regulator for fibroblast activation induced by SARS-CoV-2. We found conditional knockout of CD147 in fibroblast suppressed activation of fibroblasts, decreasing susceptibility to bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis. Meplazumab, a CD147 antibody, was able to inhibit the accumulation of activated fibroblasts and the production of ECM proteins, thus alleviating the progression of pulmonary fibrosis caused by SARS-CoV-2. In conclusion, we demonstrated that CD147 contributed to SARS-CoV-2-triggered progressive pulmonary fibrosis and identified CD147 as a potential therapeutic target for treating patients with post-COVID-19 pulmonary fibrosis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pulmonary Fibrosis , Mice , Animals , Pulmonary Fibrosis/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/genetics
11.
Front Immunol ; 13: 993754, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2055020

ABSTRACT

The adaptive immune response induced by SARS-CoV-2 plays a key role in the antiviral process and can protect the body from the threat of infection for a certain period of time. However, owing to the limitations of clinical studies, the antiviral mechanisms, protective thresholds, and persistence of the immune memory of adaptive immune responses remain unclear. This review summarizes existing research models for SARS-CoV-2 and elaborates on the advantages of animal models in simulating the clinical symptoms of COVID-19 in humans. In addition, we systematically summarize the research progress on the SARS-CoV-2 adaptive immune response and the remaining key issues, as well as the application and prospects of animal models in this field. This paper provides direction for in-depth analysis of the anti-SARS-CoV-2 mechanism of the adaptive immune response and lays the foundation for the development and application of vaccines and drugs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adaptive Immunity , Animals , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Humans , Models, Animal
12.
Vaccine ; 40(32): 4609-4616, 2022 07 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1882618

ABSTRACT

The mass inoculation of a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccine to induce herd immunity is one of the most effective measures to fight COVID-19. The vaccination of pregnant women cannot only avoid or reduce the probability of infectious diseases, but also offers the most effective and direct protection for neonates by means of passive immunization. However, there is no randomized clinical data to ascertain whether the inactivated vaccination of pregnant women or women of childbearing age can affect conception and the fetus. We found that human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) mice that were vaccinated with two doses of CoronaVac (an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine) before and during pregnancy exhibited normal weight changes and reproductive performance indices; the physical development of their offspring was also normal. Following intranasal inoculation with SARS-CoV-2, pregnant mice in the immunization group all survived; reproductive performance indices and the physical development of offspring were all normal. In contrast, mice in the non-immunization group all died before delivery. Analyses showed that inoculation of CoronaVac was safe and did not exert any significant effects on pregnancy, lactation, or the growth of offspring in hACE2 mice. Vaccination effectively protected the pregnant mice against SARS-CoV-2 infection and had no adverse effects on the growth and development of the offspring, thus suggesting that inoculation with an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine may be an effective strategy to prevent infection in pregnant women.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Lactation , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Female , Humans , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, Inactivated
13.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 7(1): 124, 2022 04 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1795804

ABSTRACT

Variants of concern (VOCs) like Delta and Omicron, harbor a high number of mutations, which aid these viruses in escaping a majority of known SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies (NAbs). In this study, Rhesus macaques immunized with 2-dose inactivated vaccines (Coronavac) were boosted with an additional dose of homologous vaccine or an RBD-subunit vaccine, or a bivalent inactivated vaccine (Beta and Delta) to determine the effectiveness of sequential immunization. The booster vaccination significantly enhanced the duration and levels of neutralizing antibody titers against wild-type, Beta, Delta, and Omicron. Animals administered with an indicated booster dose and subsequently challenged with Delta or Omicron variants showed markedly reduced viral loads and improved histopathological profiles compared to control animals, indicating that sequential immunization could protect primates against Omicron. These results suggest that sequential immunization of inactivated vaccines or polyvalent vaccines could be a potentially effective countermeasure against newly emerging variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , Macaca mulatta , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccination , Vaccines, Inactivated/genetics
15.
Protein Cell ; 13(12): 920-939, 2022 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1773029

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection causes complicated clinical manifestations with variable multi-organ injuries, however, the underlying mechanism, in particular immune responses in different organs, remains elusive. In this study, comprehensive transcriptomic alterations of 14 tissues from rhesus macaque infected with SARS-CoV-2 were analyzed. Compared to normal controls, SARS-CoV-2 infection resulted in dysregulation of genes involving diverse functions in various examined tissues/organs, with drastic transcriptomic changes in cerebral cortex and right ventricle. Intriguingly, cerebral cortex exhibited a hyperinflammatory state evidenced by significant upregulation of inflammation response-related genes. Meanwhile, expressions of coagulation, angiogenesis and fibrosis factors were also up-regulated in cerebral cortex. Based on our findings, neuropilin 1 (NRP1), a receptor of SARS-CoV-2, was significantly elevated in cerebral cortex post infection, accompanied by active immune response releasing inflammatory factors and signal transmission among tissues, which enhanced infection of the central nervous system (CNS) in a positive feedback way, leading to viral encephalitis. Overall, our study depicts a multi-tissue/organ transcriptomic landscapes of rhesus macaque with early infection of SARS-CoV-2, and provides important insights into the mechanistic basis for COVID-19-associated clinical complications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , Macaca mulatta , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Transcriptome
16.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 7(1): 29, 2022 01 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1655546

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is transmitted on mink farms between minks and humans in many countries. However, the systemic pathological features of SARS-CoV-2-infected minks are mostly unknown. Here, we demonstrated that minks were largely permissive to SARS-CoV-2, characterized by severe and diffuse alveolar damage, and lasted at least 14 days post inoculation (dpi). We first reported that infected minks displayed multiple organ-system lesions accompanied by an increased inflammatory response and widespread viral distribution in the cardiovascular, hepatobiliary, urinary, endocrine, digestive, and immune systems. The viral protein partially co-localized with activated Mac-2+ macrophages throughout the body. Moreover, we first found that the alterations in lipids and metabolites were correlated with the histological lesions in infected minks, especially at 6 dpi, and were similar to that of patients with severe and fatal COVID-19. Particularly, altered metabolic pathways, abnormal digestion, and absorption of vitamins, lipids, cholesterol, steroids, amino acids, and proteins, consistent with hepatic dysfunction, highlight metabolic and immune dysregulation. Enriched kynurenine in infected minks contributed to significant activation of the kynurenine pathway and was related to macrophage activation. Melatonin, which has significant anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating effects, was significantly downregulated at 6 dpi and displayed potential as a targeted medicine. Our data first illustrate systematic analyses of infected minks to recapitulate those observations in severe and fetal COVID-19 patients, delineating a useful animal model to mimic SARS-CoV-2-induced systematic and severe pathophysiological features and provide a reliable tool for the development of effective and targeted treatment strategies, vaccine research, and potential biomarkers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Lung/metabolism , Macrophages, Alveolar/metabolism , Metabolome , Mink/virology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Amino Acids/metabolism , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Macrophages, Alveolar/pathology , Macrophages, Alveolar/virology , Melatonin/metabolism , Metabolic Networks and Pathways/genetics , Molecular Targeted Therapy/methods , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Sterols/metabolism , Virulence , Virus Replication/genetics , COVID-19 Drug Treatment
17.
Hum Vaccin Immunother ; 18(1): 2016201, 2022 12 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1642249

ABSTRACT

Genetic optimization of Nucleic Acid immunogens is important for potentially improving their immune potency. A COVID-19 DNA vaccine is in phase III clinical trial which is based on a promising highly developable technology platform. Here, we show optimization in mice generating a pGX-9501 DNA vaccine encoding full-length spike protein, which results in induction of potent humoral and cellular immune responses, including neutralizing antibodies, that block hACE2-RBD binding of live CoV2 virus in vitro. Optimization resulted in improved induction of cellular immunity by pGX-9501 as demonstrated by increased IFN-γ expression in both CD8+ and CD4 + T cells and this was associated with more robust antiviral CTL responses compared to unoptimized constructs. Vaccination with pGX-9501 induced subsequent protection against virus challenge in a rigorous hACE2 transgenic mouse model. Overall, pGX-9501 is a promising optimized COVID-19 DNA vaccine candidate inducing humoral and cellular immunity contributing to the vaccine's protective effects.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Base Sequence , COVID-19/prevention & control , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
18.
Cell Mol Immunol ; 19(2): 210-221, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1608557

ABSTRACT

Exploring the cross-talk between the immune system and advanced biomaterials to treat SARS-CoV-2 infection is a promising strategy. Here, we show that ACE2-overexpressing A549 cell-derived microparticles (AO-MPs) are a potential therapeutic agent against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Intranasally administered AO-MPs dexterously navigate the anatomical and biological features of the lungs to enter the alveoli and are taken up by alveolar macrophages (AMs). Then, AO-MPs increase the endosomal pH but decrease the lysosomal pH in AMs, thus escorting bound SARS-CoV-2 from phago-endosomes to lysosomes for degradation. This pH regulation is attributable to oxidized cholesterol, which is enriched in AO-MPs and translocated to endosomal membranes, thus interfering with proton pumps and impairing endosomal acidification. In addition to promoting viral degradation, AO-MPs also inhibit the proinflammatory phenotype of AMs, leading to increased treatment efficacy in a SARS-CoV-2-infected mouse model without side effects. These findings highlight the potential use of AO-MPs to treat SARS-CoV-2-infected patients and showcase the feasibility of MP therapies for combatting emerging respiratory viruses in the future.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/administration & dosage , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/therapy , Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy/methods , Cell-Derived Microparticles/metabolism , Cholesterol/metabolism , Endosomes/chemistry , Macrophages, Alveolar/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , A549 Cells , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Hydrogen-Ion Concentration , Lysosomes/chemistry , Mice , Mice, Inbred ICR , Mice, Transgenic , Oxidation-Reduction , RAW 264.7 Cells , Treatment Outcome , Vero Cells
19.
J Cardiovasc Transl Res ; 15(1): 38-48, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594479

ABSTRACT

Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is required for the cellular entry of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. ACE2, via the Ang-(1-7)-Mas-R axis, is part of the antihypertensive and cardioprotective effects of the renin-angiotensin system. We studied hospitalized COVID-19 patients with hypertension and hypertensive human(h) ACE2 transgenic mice to determine the outcome of COVID-19 with or without AT1 receptor (AT1R) blocker treatment. The severity of the illness and the levels of serum cardiac biomarkers (CK, CK-BM, cTnI), as well as the inflammation markers (IL-1, IL-6, CRP), were lesser in hypertensive COVID-19 patients treated with AT1R blockers than those treated with other antihypertensive drugs. Hypertensive hACE2 transgenic mice, pretreated with AT1R blocker, had increased ACE2 expression and SARS-CoV-2 in the kidney and heart, 1 day post-infection. We conclude that those hypertensive patients treated with AT1R blocker may be at higher risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, AT1R blockers had no effect on the severity of the illness but instead may have protected COVID-19 patients from heart injury, via the ACE2-angiotensin1-7-Mas receptor axis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hypertension , Animals , Humans , Hypertension/complications , Hypertension/drug therapy , Inpatients , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Renin-Angiotensin System , SARS-CoV-2 , Virulence
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