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Int J Mol Sci ; 23(21)2022 Nov 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2099581


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Since a large portion of the world's population is currently unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated and has limited access to approved treatments against COVID-19, there is an urgent need to continue research on treatment options, especially those at low cost and which are immediately available to patients, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Prior in vitro and observational studies have shown that fluoxetine, possibly through its inhibitory effect on the acid sphingomyelinase/ceramide system, could be a promising antiviral and anti-inflammatory treatment against COVID-19. In this report, we evaluated the potential antiviral and anti-inflammatory activities of fluoxetine in a K18-hACE2 mouse model of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and against variants of concern in vitro, i.e., SARS-CoV-2 ancestral strain, Alpha B.1.1.7, Gamma P1, Delta B1.617 and Omicron BA.5. Fluoxetine, administrated after SARS-CoV-2 infection, significantly reduced lung tissue viral titres and expression of several inflammatory markers (i.e., IL-6, TNFα, CCL2 and CXCL10). It also inhibited the replication of all variants of concern in vitro. A modulation of the ceramide system in the lung tissues, as reflected by the increase in the ratio HexCer 16:0/Cer 16:0 in fluoxetine-treated mice, may contribute to explain these effects. Our findings demonstrate the antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties of fluoxetine in a K18-hACE2 mouse model of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and its in vitro antiviral activity against variants of concern, establishing fluoxetine as a very promising candidate for the prevention and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease pathogenesis.

COVID-19 Drug Treatment , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Mice , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacology , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Ceramides , Disease Models, Animal , Fluoxetine/pharmacology , Fluoxetine/therapeutic use
J Clin Med ; 11(5)2022 Feb 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1715439


Vaccines represent the best tool to prevent the severity course and fatal consequences of the pandemic by the new Coronavirus 2019 infection (SARS-CoV-2). Considering the limited data on vaccination of pediatric oncohematological patients, we developed a Consensus document to support the Italian pediatric hematological oncological (AIEOP) centers in a scientifically correct communication with families and patients and to promote vaccination. The topics of the Consensus were: SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease (COVID-19) in the pediatric subjects; COVID-19 vaccines (type, schedule); who and when to vaccinate; contraindications and risk of serious adverse events; rare adverse events; third dose and vaccination after COVID-19; and other general prevention measures. Using the Delphi methodology for Consensus, 21 statements and their corresponding rationale were elaborated and discussed with the representatives of 31 centers, followed by voting. A high grade of Consensus was obtained on topics such as the potential risk of severe COVID-19 outcome in pediatric oncohematological patients, the need for vaccination as a preventative measure, the type, schedule and booster dose of vaccine, the eligibility of the patients for vaccination, and the timing, definition, and management of contraindications and serious adverse events, and other general prevention measures. All 21 of the statements were approved. This consensus document highlights that children and adolescents affected by hematological and oncological diseases are a fragile category. Vaccination plays an important role to prevent COVID-19, to permit the regular administration of chemotherapy or other treatments, to perform control visits and hospital admissions, and to prevent treatment delays.

Cells ; 10(9)2021 08 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376745


As viruses are obligatory intracellular parasites, any step during their life cycle strictly depends on successful interaction with their particular host cells. In particular, their interaction with cellular membranes is of crucial importance for most steps in the viral replication cycle. Such interactions are initiated by uptake of viral particles and subsequent trafficking to intracellular compartments to access their replication compartments which provide a spatially confined environment concentrating viral and cellular components, and subsequently, employ cellular membranes for assembly and exit of viral progeny. The ability of viruses to actively modulate lipid composition such as sphingolipids (SLs) is essential for successful completion of the viral life cycle. In addition to their structural and biophysical properties of cellular membranes, some sphingolipid (SL) species are bioactive and as such, take part in cellular signaling processes involved in regulating viral replication. It is especially due to the progress made in tools to study accumulation and dynamics of SLs, which visualize their compartmentalization and identify interaction partners at a cellular level, as well as the availability of genetic knockout systems, that the role of particular SL species in the viral replication process can be analyzed and, most importantly, be explored as targets for therapeutic intervention.

Sphingolipids/metabolism , Virus Diseases , Biological Transport , Cell Membrane/chemistry , Ceramides/metabolism , Drug Delivery Systems , HIV/growth & development , Host Microbial Interactions , Intracellular Membranes/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Virion , Virus Replication , Viruses/growth & development