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Endocrine ; 74(3): 638-645, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1384606


INTRODUCTION: Angiotensin-converting-enzyme-2 (ACE-2) was demonstrated to be the receptor for cellular entry of SARS-CoV-2. ACE-2 mRNA was identified in several human tissues and recently also in thyroid cells in vitro. PURPOSE: Aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of pro-inflammatory cytokines on the ACE-2 mRNA levels in human thyroid cells in primary cultures. METHODS: Primary thyroid cell cultures were treated with IFN-γ and TNF-α alone or in combination for 24 h. ACE-2 mRNA levels were measured by RT-PCR. As a control, the levels of IFN-γ inducible chemokine (CXCL10) were measured in the respective cell culture supernatants. RESULTS: The mean levels of ACE-2 mRNA increased after treatment with IFN-γ and TNF-α in all the thyroid cell preparations, while the combination treatment did not consistently synergically increase ACE-2-mRNA. At difference, CXCL10 was consistently increased by IFN-γ and synergically further increased by the combination treatment with IFN-γ + TNF-α, with respect to IFN-γ alone. CONCLUSIONS: The results of the present study show that IFN-γ and, to a lesser extent TNF-α consistently increase ACE-2 mRNA levels in NHT primary cultures. More interestingly, the combined stimulation (proven to be effective according to the synergic effect registered for CXCL10) produces different responses in terms of ACE-2 mRNA modulation. These results would suggest that elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines could facilitate the entering of the virus in cells by further increasing ACE-2 expression and/or account for the different degree of severity of SARS-COV-2 infection. This hypothesis deserves to be confirmed by further specific studies.

COVID-19 , Thyroid Gland , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Cytokines , Humans , Pilot Projects , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2 , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
Cytokine Growth Factor Rev ; 58: 82-91, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1081152


SARS-COV-2 infection represents the greatest pandemic of the world, counting daily increasing number of subjects positive to the virus and, sadly, increasing number of deaths. Current studies reported that the cytokine/chemokine network is crucial in the onset and maintenance of the "cytokine storm", the event occurring in those patients in whom the progression of COVID-19 will progress, in most cases, to a very severe and potentially threatening disease. Detecting a possible "immune signature" in patients, as assessed by chemokines status in patients with COVID-19, could be helpful for individual risk stratification for developing a more or less severe clinical course of the disease. The present review is specifically aimed at overviewing current evidences provided by in vitro and in vivo studies addressing the issue of which chemokines seems to be involved, at least at present, in COVID-19. Currently available experimental and clinical studies regarding those chemokines more deeply studied in COVID-19, with a specific focus on their role in the cytokine storm and ultimately with their ability to predict the clinical course of the disease, will be taken into account. Moreover, similarities and differences between chemokines and cytokines, which both contribute to the onset of the pro-inflammatory loop characterizing SARS-COV-2 infection, will be briefly discussed. Future studies will rapidly accumulate in the next months and their results will hopefully provide more insights as to the complex physiopathology of COVID-19-related cytokine storm. This will likely make the present review somehow "dated" in a short time, but still the present review provides an overview of the scenario of the current knowledge on this topic.

COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , Chemokines/physiology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/etiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Chemokines/metabolism , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Cytokines/metabolism , Cytokines/physiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/immunology