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1.
Endocrines ; 3(4):703-725, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-2099419

ABSTRACT

Similar to previous pandemics, COVID-19 has been succeeded by well-documented post-infectious sequelae, including chronic fatigue, cough, shortness of breath, myalgia, and concentration difficulties, which may last 5 to 12 weeks or longer after the acute phase of illness. Both the psychological stress of SARS-CoV-2 infection and being diagnosed with COVID-19 can upregulate cortisol, a stress hormone that disrupts the efferocytosis effectors, macrophages, and natural killer cells, leading to the excessive accumulation of senescent cells and disruption of biological barriers. This has been well-established in cancer patients who often experience unrelenting fatigue as well as gut and blood–brain barrier dysfunction upon treatment with senescence-inducing radiation or chemotherapy. In our previous research from 2020 and 2021, we linked COVID-19 to myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) via angiotensin II upregulation, premature endothelial senescence, intestinal barrier dysfunction, and microbial translocation from the gastrointestinal tract into the systemic circulation. In 2021 and 2022, these hypotheses were validated and SARS-CoV-2-induced cellular senescence as well as microbial translocation were documented in both acute SARS-CoV-2 infection, long COVID, and ME/CFS, connecting intestinal barrier dysfunction to disabling fatigue and specific infectious events. The purpose of this narrative review is to summarize what is currently known about host immune responses to translocated gut microbes and how these responses relate to fatiguing illnesses, including long COVID. To accomplish this goal, we examine the role of intestinal and blood–brain barriers in long COVID and other illnesses typified by chronic fatigue, with a special emphasis on commensal microbes functioning as viral reservoirs. Furthermore, we discuss the role of SARS-CoV-2/Mycoplasma coinfection in dysfunctional efferocytosis, emphasizing some potential novel treatment strategies, including the use of senotherapeutic drugs, HMGB1 inhibitors, Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) blockers, and membrane lipid replacement.

2.
Front Pharmacol ; 13: 995481, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2043509

ABSTRACT

The messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines for COVID-19, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, were authorized in the US on an emergency basis in December of 2020. The rapid distribution of these therapeutics around the country and the world led to millions of people being vaccinated in a short time span, an action that decreased hospitalization and death but also heightened the concerns about adverse effects and drug-vaccine interactions. The COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are of particular interest as they form the vanguard of a range of other mRNA therapeutics that are currently in the development pipeline, focusing both on infectious diseases as well as oncological applications. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) has gained additional attention during the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically regarding the rollout of mRNA therapeutics. However, for VAERS, absence of a reporting platform for drug-vaccine interactions left these events poorly defined. For example, chemotherapy, anticonvulsants, and antimalarials were documented to interfere with the mRNA vaccines, but much less is known about the other drugs that could interact with these therapeutics, causing adverse events or decreased efficacy. In addition, SARS-CoV-2 exploitation of host cytochrome P450 enzymes, reported in COVID-19 critical illness, highlights viral interference with drug metabolism. For example, patients with severe psychiatric illness (SPI) in treatment with clozapine often displayed elevated drug levels, emphasizing drug-vaccine interaction.

3.
Reports ; 5(2):22, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1884315

ABSTRACT

Infection with SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic, originated in China and quickly spread across the globe. Despite tremendous economic and healthcare devastation, research on this virus has contributed to a better understanding of numerous molecular pathways, including those involving γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), that will positively impact medical science, including neuropsychiatry, in the post-pandemic era. SARS-CoV-2 primarily enters the host cells through the renin–angiotensin system's component named angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2). Among its many functions, this protein upregulates GABA, protecting not only the central nervous system but also the endothelia, the pancreas, and the gut microbiota. SARS-CoV-2 binding to ACE-2 usurps the neuronal and non-neuronal GABAergic systems, contributing to the high comorbidity of neuropsychiatric illness with gut dysbiosis and endothelial and metabolic dysfunctions. In this perspective article, we take a closer look at the pathology emerging from the viral hijacking of non-neuronal GABA and summarize potential interventions for restoring these systems.

4.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 12: 845580, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1798939

ABSTRACT

A growing body of epidemiological and research data has associated neurotropic viruses with accelerated brain aging and increased risk of neurodegenerative disorders. Many viruses replicate optimally in senescent cells, as they offer a hospitable microenvironment with persistently elevated cytosolic calcium, abundant intracellular iron, and low interferon type I. As cell-cell fusion is a major driver of cellular senescence, many viruses have developed the ability to promote this phenotype by forming syncytia. Cell-cell fusion is associated with immunosuppression mediated by phosphatidylserine externalization that enable viruses to evade host defenses. In hosts, virus-induced immune dysfunction and premature cellular senescence may predispose to neurodegenerative disorders. This concept is supported by novel studies that found postinfectious cognitive dysfunction in several viral illnesses, including human immunodeficiency virus-1, herpes simplex virus-1, and SARS-CoV-2. Virus-induced pathological syncytia may provide a unified framework for conceptualizing neuronal cell cycle reentry, aneuploidy, somatic mosaicism, viral spreading of pathological Tau and elimination of viable synapses and neurons by neurotoxic astrocytes and microglia. In this narrative review, we take a closer look at cell-cell fusion and vesicular merger in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders. We present a "decentralized" information processing model that conceptualizes neurodegeneration as a systemic illness, triggered by cytoskeletal pathology. We also discuss strategies for reversing cell-cell fusion, including, TMEM16F inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, senolytics, and tubulin stabilizing agents. Finally, going beyond neurodegeneration, we examine the potential benefit of harnessing fusion as a therapeutic strategy in regenerative medicine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neurodegenerative Diseases , Viruses , Cellular Senescence/physiology , Humans , Membrane Fusion , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Front Cell Neurosci ; 15: 770387, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1497103

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 virus, the etiologic agent of COVID-19, has affected almost every aspect of human life, precipitating stress-related pathology in vulnerable individuals. As the prevalence rate of posttraumatic stress disorder in pandemic survivors exceeds that of the general and special populations, the virus may predispose to this disorder by directly interfering with the stress-processing pathways. The SARS-CoV-2 interactome has identified several antigens that may disrupt the blood-brain-barrier by inducing premature senescence in many cell types, including the cerebral endothelial cells. This enables the stress molecules, including angiotensin II, endothelin-1 and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1, to aberrantly activate the amygdala, hippocampus, and medial prefrontal cortex, increasing the vulnerability to stress related disorders. This is supported by observing the beneficial effects of angiotensin receptor blockers and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors in both posttraumatic stress disorder and SARS-CoV-2 critical illness. In this narrative review, we take a closer look at the virus-host dialog and its impact on the renin-angiotensin system, mitochondrial fitness, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor. We discuss the role of furin cleaving site, the fibrinolytic system, and Sigma-1 receptor in the pathogenesis of psychological trauma. In other words, learning from the virus, clarify the molecular underpinnings of stress related disorders, and design better therapies for these conditions. In this context, we emphasize new potential treatments, including furin and bromodomains inhibitors.

6.
Front Cell Neurosci ; 15: 673217, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1282396

ABSTRACT

Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome is a serious illness of unknown etiology, characterized by debilitating exhaustion, memory impairment, pain and sleep abnormalities. Viral infections are believed to initiate the pathogenesis of this syndrome although the definite proof remains elusive. With the unfolding of COVID-19 pandemic, the interest in this condition has resurfaced as excessive tiredness, a major complaint of patients infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, often lingers for a long time, resulting in disability, and poor life quality. In a previous article, we hypothesized that COVID-19-upregulated angiotensin II triggered premature endothelial cell senescence, disrupting the intestinal and blood brain barriers. Here, we hypothesize further that post-viral sequelae, including myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, are promoted by the gut microbes or toxin translocation from the gastrointestinal tract into other tissues, including the brain. This model is supported by the SARS-CoV-2 interaction with host proteins and bacterial lipopolysaccharide. Conversely, targeting microbial translocation and cellular senescence may ameliorate the symptoms of this disabling illness.

7.
Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry ; 109: 110230, 2021 07 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-989032

ABSTRACT

Exacerbation of cognitive, motor and nonmotor symptoms have been described in critically ill COVID-19 patients, indicating that, like prior pandemics, neurodegenerative sequelae may mark the aftermath of this viral infection. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19 disease, was associated with hyperferritinemia and unfavorable prognosis in older individuals, suggesting virus-induced ferrosenescence. We have previously defined ferrosenescence as an iron-associated disruption of both the human genome and its repair mechanisms, leading to premature cellular senescence and neurodegeneration. As viruses replicate more efficiently in iron-rich senescent cells, they may have developed the ability to induce this phenotype in host tissues, predisposing to both immune dysfunction and neurodegenerative disorders. In this mini-review, we summarize what is known about the SARS-CoV-2-induced cellular senescence and iron dysmetabolism. We also take a closer look at immunotherapy with natural killer cells, angiotensin II receptor blockers ("sartans"), iron chelators and dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors ("gliptins") as adjunct treatments for both COVID-19 and its neurodegenerative complications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/physiopathology , Cellular Senescence , Iron Metabolism Disorders/etiology , Iron Metabolism Disorders/physiopathology , Neurodegenerative Diseases/etiology , Neurodegenerative Diseases/physiopathology , Humans , Iron/metabolism , Iron/physiology
8.
Front Immunol ; 11: 1472, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-643141

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 has spread rapidly around the globe. However, despite its high pathogenicity and transmissibility, the severity of the associated disease, COVID-19, varies widely. While the prognosis is favorable in most patients, critical illness, manifested by respiratory distress, thromboembolism, shock, and multi-organ failure, has been reported in about 5% of cases. Several studies have associated poor COVID-19 outcomes with the exhaustion of natural killer cells and cytotoxic T cells, lymphopenia, and elevated serum levels of D-dimer. In this article, we propose a common pathophysiological denominator for these negative prognostic markers, endogenous, angiotensin II toxicity. We hypothesize that, like in avian influenza, the outlook of COVID-19 is negatively correlated with the intracellular accumulation of angiotensin II promoted by the viral blockade of its degrading enzyme receptors. In this model, upregulated angiotensin II causes premature vascular senescence, leading to dysfunctional coagulation, and immunity. We further hypothesize that angiotensin II blockers and immune checkpoint inhibitors may be salutary for COVID-19 patients with critical illness by reversing both the clotting and immune defects (Graphical Abstract).


Subject(s)
Angiotensin II/blood , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Up-Regulation , Age Factors , Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists/therapeutic use , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Brain/immunology , Brain/metabolism , COVID-19 , Cellular Senescence/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Critical Illness , Cytokines/metabolism , Dopamine/metabolism , Down-Regulation , Humans , Immunotherapy/methods , Mitochondria/metabolism , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Prognosis , Renin-Angiotensin System/immunology , SARS-CoV-2
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