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Neuron ; 110(21): 3484-3496, 2022 Nov 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2061716


Persistent neurological and neuropsychiatric symptoms affect a substantial fraction of people after COVID-19 and represent a major component of the post-acute COVID-19 syndrome, also known as long COVID. Here, we review what is understood about the pathobiology of post-acute COVID-19 impact on the CNS and discuss possible neurobiological underpinnings of the cognitive symptoms affecting COVID-19 survivors. We propose the chief mechanisms that may contribute to this emerging neurological health crisis.

COVID-19 , Mental Disorders , Nervous System Diseases , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
Cell ; 185(14): 2452-2468.e16, 2022 07 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1885669


COVID survivors frequently experience lingering neurological symptoms that resemble cancer-therapy-related cognitive impairment, a syndrome for which white matter microglial reactivity and consequent neural dysregulation is central. Here, we explored the neurobiological effects of respiratory SARS-CoV-2 infection and found white-matter-selective microglial reactivity in mice and humans. Following mild respiratory COVID in mice, persistently impaired hippocampal neurogenesis, decreased oligodendrocytes, and myelin loss were evident together with elevated CSF cytokines/chemokines including CCL11. Systemic CCL11 administration specifically caused hippocampal microglial reactivity and impaired neurogenesis. Concordantly, humans with lasting cognitive symptoms post-COVID exhibit elevated CCL11 levels. Compared with SARS-CoV-2, mild respiratory influenza in mice caused similar patterns of white-matter-selective microglial reactivity, oligodendrocyte loss, impaired neurogenesis, and elevated CCL11 at early time points, but after influenza, only elevated CCL11 and hippocampal pathology persisted. These findings illustrate similar neuropathophysiology after cancer therapy and respiratory SARS-CoV-2 infection which may contribute to cognitive impairment following even mild COVID.

COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Neoplasms , Animals , Humans , Influenza, Human/pathology , Mice , Microglia/pathology , Myelin Sheath , Neoplasms/pathology , SARS-CoV-2
Cell Rep ; 33(3): 108286, 2020 10 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-880155


Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is an incurable brain tumor of childhood characterized by histone mutations at lysine 27, which results in epigenomic dysregulation. There has been a failure to develop effective treatment for this tumor. Using a combined RNAi and chemical screen targeting epigenomic regulators, we identify the polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1) component BMI1 as a critical factor for DIPG tumor maintenance in vivo. BMI1 chromatin occupancy is enriched at genes associated with differentiation and tumor suppressors in DIPG cells. Inhibition of BMI1 decreases cell self-renewal and attenuates tumor growth due to induction of senescence. Prolonged BMI1 inhibition induces a senescence-associated secretory phenotype, which promotes tumor recurrence. Clearance of senescent cells using BH3 protein mimetics co-operates with BMI1 inhibition to enhance tumor cell killing in vivo.

Aging/genetics , Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma/genetics , Polycomb Repressive Complex 1/metabolism , Astrocytoma/genetics , Brain Stem Neoplasms/drug therapy , Brain Stem Neoplasms/genetics , Cell Differentiation/genetics , Cell Line, Tumor , Cell Proliferation/drug effects , Child , Child, Preschool , Chromatin/genetics , Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma/drug therapy , Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma/metabolism , Epigenomics , Female , Glioma/drug therapy , Glioma/genetics , Glioma/pathology , Histones/metabolism , Humans , Lysine/metabolism , Male , Mutation , Neoplasm Recurrence, Local/drug therapy , Neoplasm Recurrence, Local/genetics , Polycomb Repressive Complex 1/antagonists & inhibitors , Polycomb Repressive Complex 1/genetics