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Bone ; 154: 116227, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1446476


The consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection on the musculoskeletal system represent a dangerous knowledge gap. Aging patients are at added risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection; therefore, a greater understanding of the resulting musculoskeletal sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection may help guide clinical strategies. This study examined fundamental bone parameters among mice treated with escalating viral loads. Male C57BL/6J (WT, n = 17) and B6.Cg-Tg(K18-ACE2)2Prlmn/J mice (K18-hACE2 transgenic mice, n = 21) expressing human ACE2 (TG) were divided into eight groups (n = 4-6/group) and subjected to intranasal dosing of 0, 1 × 103, 1 × 104, and 1 × 105 PFU (plaque forming units) of human SARS-CoV-2. Animal health was assessed daily by veterinary staff using established and validated scoring criteria (activity, posture, body condition scores and body weight). We report here that mock and WT infected mice were healthy and completed the study, surviving until 12-14 days post infection (dpi). In contrast, the TG mice infected with 1 × 105 PFU all experienced severe health declines that necessitated early euthanasia (6-7 dpi). For TG mice infected with 1 × 104 PFU, 2 mice were also euthanized after 7 dpi, while 3 mice showed signs of moderate disease at day 6 dpi, but recovered fully by day 11 dpi. Four of the 5 TG mice that were infected with 1 × 103 PFU remained healthy throughout the study. This suggests that our study mimics what is seen during human disease, where some patients develop severe disease resulting in death, while others have moderate to severe disease but recover, and others are asymptomatic. At necropsy, femurs were extracted and analyzed by µCT. No difference was found in µCT determined bone parameters among the WT groups. There was, however, a significant 24.4% decrease in trabecular bone volume fraction (p = 0.0009), 19.0% decrease in trabecular number (p = 0.004), 6.2% decrease in trabecular thickness (p = 0.04), and a 9.8% increase in trabecular separation (p = 0.04) among surviving TG mice receiving any viral load compared to non-infected controls. No differences in cortical bone parameters were detected. TRAP staining revealed surviving infected mice had a significant 64% increase in osteoclast number, a 27% increase in osteoclast surface, and a 38% increase in osteoclasts per bone surface. While more studies are needed to investigate the long-term consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection on skeletal health, this study demonstrates a significant reduction in several bone parameters and corresponding robust increases in osteoclast number observed within 2 weeks post-infection in surviving asymptomatic and moderately affected mice.

COVID-19 , Animals , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Osteoclasts , SARS-CoV-2
Respir Care ; 66(1): 113-119, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389654


BACKGROUND: Low airway surface pH is associated with many airway diseases, impairs antimicrobial host defense, and worsens airway inflammation. Inhaled Optate is designed to safely raise airway surface pH and is well tolerated in humans. Raising intracellular pH partially prevents activation of SARS-CoV-2 in primary normal human airway epithelial (NHAE) cells, decreasing viral replication by several mechanisms. METHODS: We grew primary NHAE cells from healthy subjects, infected them with SARS-CoV-2 (isolate USA-WA1/2020), and used clinical Optate at concentrations used in humans in vivo to determine whether Optate would prevent viral infection and replication. Cells were pretreated with Optate or placebo prior to infection (multiplicity of infection = 1), and viral replication was determined with plaque assay and nucleocapsid (N) protein levels. Healthy human subjects also inhaled Optate as part of a Phase 2a safety trial. RESULTS: Optate almost completely prevented viral replication at each time point between 24 h and 120 h, relative to placebo, on both plaque assay and N protein expression (P < .001). Mechanistically, Optate inhibited expression of major endosomal trafficking genes and raised NHAE intracellular pH. Optate had no effect on NHAE cell viability at any time point. Inhaled Optate was well tolerated in 10 normal subjects, with no change in lung function, vital signs, or oxygenation. CONCLUSIONS: Inhaled Optate may be well suited for a clinical trial in patients with pulmonary SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, it is vitally important for patient safety that formulations designed for inhalation with regard to pH, isotonicity, and osmolality be used. An inhalational treatment that safely prevents SARS-CoV-2 viral replication could be helpful for treating patients with pulmonary SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Glycine/pharmacology , Isotonic Solutions/pharmacology , Lung/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Replication/drug effects , Administration, Inhalation , Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , Cells, Cultured/drug effects , Glycine/administration & dosage , Healthy Volunteers , Humans , Hydrogen-Ion Concentration/drug effects , Isotonic Solutions/administration & dosage