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1.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 3921, 2022 07 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1921607

ABSTRACT

Due to differences in human and murine angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) receptor, initially available SARS-CoV-2 isolates could not infect mice. Here we show that serial passaging of USA-WA1/2020 strain in mouse lungs results in "mouse-adapted" SARS-CoV-2 (MA-SARS-CoV-2) with mutations in S, M, and N genes, and a twelve-nucleotide insertion in the S gene. MA-SARS-CoV-2 infection causes mild disease, with more pronounced morbidity depending on genetic background and in aged and obese mice. Two mutations in the S gene associated with mouse adaptation (N501Y, H655Y) are present in SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VoCs). N501Y in the receptor binding domain of viruses of the B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1 and B.1.1.529 lineages (Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Omicron variants) is associated with high transmissibility and allows VoCs to infect wild type mice. We further show that S protein mutations of MA-SARS-CoV-2 do not affect neutralization efficiency by human convalescent and post vaccination sera.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Immune Evasion , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Aged , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Immune Sera , Mice , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
2.
Toxicol Pathol ; 50(3): 280-293, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673709

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in humans has a wide range of presentations, ranging from asymptomatic or mild symptoms to severe illness. Suitable animal models mimicking varying degrees of clinical disease manifestations could expedite development of therapeutics and vaccines for COVID-19. Here we demonstrate that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection resulted in subclinical disease in rhesus macaques with mild pneumonia and clinical disease in Syrian hamsters with severe pneumonia. SARS-CoV-2 infection was confirmed by formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) polymerase chain reaction (PCR), immunohistochemistry, or in situ hybridization. Replicating virus in the lungs was identified using in situ hybridization or virus plaque forming assays. Viral encephalitis, reported in some COVID-19 patients, was identified in one macaque and was confirmed with immunohistochemistry. There was no evidence of encephalitis in hamsters. Severity and distribution of lung inflammation were substantially more in hamsters compared with macaques and exhibited vascular changes and virus-induced cytopathic changes as seen in COVID-19 patients. Neither the hamster nor macaque models demonstrated evidence for multisystemic inflammatory syndrome (MIS). Data presented here demonstrate that macaques may be appropriate for mechanistic studies of mild asymptomatic COVID-19 pneumonia and COVID-19-associated encephalitis, whereas Syrian hamsters may be more suited to study severe COVID-19 pneumonia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Encephalitis , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Encephalitis/pathology , Humans , Lung/pathology , Macaca mulatta , Mesocricetus , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Nature ; 599(7884): 283-289, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1404888

ABSTRACT

Derailed cytokine and immune cell networks account for the organ damage and the clinical severity of COVID-19 (refs. 1-4). Here we show that SARS-CoV-2, like other viruses, evokes cellular senescence as a primary stress response in infected cells. Virus-induced senescence (VIS) is indistinguishable from other forms of cellular senescence and is accompanied by a senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP), which comprises pro-inflammatory cytokines, extracellular-matrix-active factors and pro-coagulatory mediators5-7. Patients with COVID-19 displayed markers of senescence in their airway mucosa in situ and increased serum levels of SASP factors. In vitro assays demonstrated macrophage activation with SASP-reminiscent secretion, complement lysis and SASP-amplifying secondary senescence of endothelial cells, which mirrored hallmark features of COVID-19 such as macrophage and neutrophil infiltration, endothelial damage and widespread thrombosis in affected lung tissue1,8,9. Moreover, supernatant from VIS cells, including SARS-CoV-2-induced senescence, induced neutrophil extracellular trap formation and activation of platelets and the clotting cascade. Senolytics such as navitoclax and a combination of dasatinib plus quercetin selectively eliminated VIS cells, mitigated COVID-19-reminiscent lung disease and reduced inflammation in SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters and mice. Our findings mark VIS as a pathogenic trigger of COVID-19-related cytokine escalation and organ damage, and suggest that senolytic targeting of virus-infected cells is a treatment option against SARS-CoV-2 and perhaps other viral infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cellular Senescence/drug effects , Molecular Targeted Therapy , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Aniline Compounds/pharmacology , Aniline Compounds/therapeutic use , Animals , COVID-19/complications , Cell Line , Cricetinae , Dasatinib/pharmacology , Dasatinib/therapeutic use , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Male , Mice , Quercetin/pharmacology , Quercetin/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Sulfonamides/pharmacology , Sulfonamides/therapeutic use , Thrombosis/complications , Thrombosis/immunology , Thrombosis/metabolism
4.
Science ; 371(6532): 926-931, 2021 02 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1048642

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viral proteins interact with the eukaryotic translation machinery, and inhibitors of translation have potent antiviral effects. We found that the drug plitidepsin (aplidin), which has limited clinical approval, possesses antiviral activity (90% inhibitory concentration = 0.88 nM) that is more potent than remdesivir against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro by a factor of 27.5, with limited toxicity in cell culture. Through the use of a drug-resistant mutant, we show that the antiviral activity of plitidepsin against SARS-CoV-2 is mediated through inhibition of the known target eEF1A (eukaryotic translation elongation factor 1A). We demonstrate the in vivo efficacy of plitidepsin treatment in two mouse models of SARS-CoV-2 infection with a reduction of viral replication in the lungs by two orders of magnitude using prophylactic treatment. Our results indicate that plitidepsin is a promising therapeutic candidate for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Depsipeptides/pharmacology , Peptide Elongation Factor 1/antagonists & inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Alanine/therapeutic use , Animals , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/biosynthesis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Depsipeptides/administration & dosage , Depsipeptides/therapeutic use , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Lung/virology , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mutation , Peptides, Cyclic , Phosphoproteins/biosynthesis , Phosphoproteins/genetics , RNA, Viral/biosynthesis , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication/drug effects
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