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Nature ; 605(7908): 146-151, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1815561


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is especially severe in aged populations1. Vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are highly effective, but vaccine efficacy is partly compromised by the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants with enhanced transmissibility2. The emergence of these variants emphasizes the need for further development of anti-SARS-CoV-2 therapies, especially for aged populations. Here we describe the isolation of highly virulent mouse-adapted viruses and use them to test a new therapeutic drug in infected aged animals. Many of the alterations observed in SARS-CoV-2 during mouse adaptation (positions 417, 484, 493, 498 and 501 of the spike protein) also arise in humans in variants of concern2. Their appearance during mouse adaptation indicates that immune pressure is not required for selection. For murine SARS, for which severity is also age dependent, elevated levels of an eicosanoid (prostaglandin D2 (PGD2)) and a phospholipase (phospholipase A2 group 2D (PLA2G2D)) contributed to poor outcomes in aged mice3,4. mRNA expression of PLA2G2D and prostaglandin D2 receptor (PTGDR), and production of PGD2 also increase with ageing and after SARS-CoV-2 infection in dendritic cells derived from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Using our mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2, we show that middle-aged mice lacking expression of PTGDR or PLA2G2D are protected from severe disease. Furthermore, treatment with a PTGDR antagonist, asapiprant, protected aged mice from lethal infection. PTGDR antagonism is one of the first interventions in SARS-CoV-2-infected animals that specifically protects aged animals, suggesting that the PLA2G2D-PGD2/PTGDR pathway is a useful target for therapeutic interventions.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Eicosanoids , Leukocytes, Mononuclear , Mice , Organic Chemicals , Oxazoles , Piperazines , Polyesters , Prostaglandins , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Sulfonamides
Radiology ; 304(1): 185-192, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1741709


Background The long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on pulmonary structure and function remain incompletely characterized. Purpose To test whether SARS-CoV-2 infection leads to small airways disease in patients with persistent symptoms. Materials and Methods In this single-center study at a university teaching hospital, adults with confirmed COVID-19 who remained symptomatic more than 30 days following diagnosis were prospectively enrolled from June to December 2020 and compared with healthy participants (controls) prospectively enrolled from March to August 2018. Participants with post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC) were classified as ambulatory, hospitalized, or having required the intensive care unit (ICU) based on the highest level of care received during acute infection. Symptoms, pulmonary function tests, and chest CT images were collected. Quantitative CT analysis was performed using supervised machine learning to measure regional ground-glass opacity (GGO) and using inspiratory and expiratory image-matching to measure regional air trapping. Univariable analyses and multivariable linear regression were used to compare groups. Results Overall, 100 participants with PASC (median age, 48 years; 66 women) were evaluated and compared with 106 matched healthy controls; 67% (67 of 100) of the participants with PASC were classified as ambulatory, 17% (17 of 100) were hospitalized, and 16% (16 of 100) required the ICU. In the hospitalized and ICU groups, the mean percentage of total lung classified as GGO was 13.2% and 28.7%, respectively, and was higher than that in the ambulatory group (3.7%, P < .001 for both comparisons). The mean percentage of total lung affected by air trapping was 25.4%, 34.6%, and 27.3% in the ambulatory, hospitalized, and ICU groups, respectively, and 7.2% in healthy controls (P < .001). Air trapping correlated with the residual volume-to-total lung capacity ratio (ρ = 0.6, P < .001). Conclusion In survivors of COVID-19, small airways disease occurred independently of initial infection severity. The long-term consequences are unknown. © RSNA, 2022 Online supplemental material is available for this article. See also the editorial by Elicker in this issue.

COVID-19/complications , Lung Diseases , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Female , Humans , Lung Diseases/diagnostic imaging , Lung Diseases/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Tomography, X-Ray Computed/methods
EBioMedicine ; 60: 102976, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-778773


BACKGROUND: Zoonotically transmitted coronaviruses are responsible for three disease outbreaks since 2002, including the current COVID-19 pandemic, caused by SARS-CoV-2. Its efficient transmission and range of disease severity raise questions regarding the contributions of virus-receptor interactions. ACE2 is a host ectopeptidase and the receptor for SARS-CoV-2. Numerous reports describe ACE2 mRNA abundance and tissue distribution; however, mRNA abundance is not always representative of protein levels. Currently, there is limited data evaluating ACE2 protein and its correlation with other SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility factors. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We systematically examined the human upper and lower respiratory tract using single-cell RNA sequencing and immunohistochemistry to determine receptor expression and evaluated its association with risk factors for severe COVID-19. FINDINGS: Our results reveal that ACE2 protein is highest within regions of the sinonasal cavity and pulmonary alveoli, sites of presumptive viral transmission and severe disease development, respectively. In the lung parenchyma, ACE2 protein was found on the apical surface of a small subset of alveolar type II cells and colocalized with TMPRSS2, a cofactor for SARS-CoV2 entry. ACE2 protein was not increased by pulmonary risk factors for severe COVID-19. Additionally, ACE2 protein was not reduced in children, a demographic with a lower incidence of severe COVID-19. INTERPRETATION: These results offer new insights into ACE2 protein localization in the human respiratory tract and its relationship with susceptibility factors to COVID-19.

Alveolar Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Sequence Analysis, RNA/methods , Adult , Aged , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/pathology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , Respiratory System/metabolism , Respiratory System/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Single-Cell Analysis , Young Adult