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1.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(4)2021 Feb 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1069829

ABSTRACT

Alzheimer's disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder and represents the main cause of dementia globally. Currently, the world is suffering from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a virus that uses angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a receptor to enter the host cells. In COVID-19, neurological manifestations have been reported to occur. The present study demonstrates that the protein expression level of ACE2 is upregulated in the brain of patients with Alzheimer's disease. The increased ACE2 expression is not age-dependent, suggesting the direct relationship between Alzheimer's disease and ACE2 expression. Oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease, and brains with the disease examined in this study also exhibited higher carbonylated proteins, as well as an increased thiol oxidation state of peroxiredoxin 6 (Prx6). A moderate positive correlation was found between the increased ACE2 protein expression and oxidative stress in brains with Alzheimer's disease. In summary, the present study reveals the relationships between Alzheimer's disease and ACE2, the receptor for SARS-CoV-2. These results suggest the importance of carefully monitoring patients with both Alzheimer's disease and COVID-19 in order to identify higher viral loads in the brain and long-term adverse neurological consequences.


Subject(s)
Alzheimer Disease/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/metabolism , Hippocampus/metabolism , Pandemics , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Up-Regulation , Alzheimer Disease/complications , Alzheimer Disease/pathology , Amyloid beta-Peptides/metabolism , Autopsy , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Hippocampus/pathology , Humans , Oxidation-Reduction , Oxidative Stress , Peroxiredoxin VI/metabolism , Plaque, Amyloid/metabolism , Protein Carbonylation , Severity of Illness Index , Virus Internalization
2.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(4)2021 Feb 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1069828

ABSTRACT

The current pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). While this respiratory virus only causes mild symptoms in younger healthy individuals, elderly people and those with cardiovascular diseases such as systemic hypertension are susceptible to developing severe conditions that can be fatal. SARS-CoV-2 infection is also associated with an increased incidence of cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial injury, acute coronary syndrome, and thromboembolism. Understanding the mechanisms of the effects of this virus on the cardiovascular system should thus help develop therapeutic strategies to reduce the mortality and morbidity associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Since this virus causes severe and fatal conditions in older individuals with cardiovascular comorbidities, effective therapies targeting specific populations will likely contribute to ending this pandemic. In this review article, the effects of various viruses-including other coronaviruses, influenza, dengue, and human immunodeficiency virus-on the cardiovascular system are described to help provide molecular mechanisms of pathologies associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19. The goal is to provide mechanistic information from the biology of other viral infections in relation to cardiovascular pathologies for the purpose of developing improved vaccines and therapeutic agents effective in preventing and/or treating the acute and long-term consequences of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Cardiovascular Diseases/complications , Virus Diseases/complications , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/physiopathology , Cardiovascular Diseases/metabolism , Cardiovascular Diseases/physiopathology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Signal Transduction , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Diseases/metabolism , Virus Diseases/physiopathology
3.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(1)2021 Jan 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1022026

ABSTRACT

The world is suffering from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). SARS-CoV-2 uses its spike protein to enter the host cells. Vaccines that introduce the spike protein into our body to elicit virus-neutralizing antibodies are currently being developed. In this article, we note that human host cells sensitively respond to the spike protein to elicit cell signaling. Thus, it is important to be aware that the spike protein produced by the new COVID-19 vaccines may also affect the host cells. We should monitor the long-term consequences of these vaccines carefully, especially when they are administered to otherwise healthy individuals. Further investigations on the effects of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein on human cells and appropriate experimental animal models are warranted.

4.
Med Hypotheses ; 147: 110483, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1009755

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is causing the current pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that have killed over one million people worldwide so far. To date, over forty million people have officially been identified to be infected with this virus with less than 3% death rate. Since many more people are expected to have been infected with this virus without the official diagnosis, the number of people who have recovered from the SARS-CoV-2 infection should be substantial. Given the large number of people recovered from either the mild SARS-CoV-2 infection or more severe COVID-19 conditions, it is critical to understand the long-term consequences of the infection by this virus. Our histological evaluations revealed that patients died of COVID-19 exhibited thickened pulmonary vascular walls, one important hallmark of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). By contrast, such pulmonary vascular remodeling lesions were not found in patients died of SARS-CoV-1 during the 2002-2004 SARS outbreak or due to the infection by H1N1 influenza. The advancement in the treatment for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection has been remarkable that HIV-infected individuals now live for a long time, in turn revealing that these individuals become susceptible to developing PAH, a fatal condition. We herein hypothesize that SARS-CoV-2 is another virus that is capable to triggering the increased susceptibility of infected individuals to developing PAH in the future. Given the large number of people being infected with SARS-CoV-2 during this pandemic and that most people recover from severe, mild or asymptomatic conditions, it is imperative to generate scientific information on how the health of recovered individuals may be affected long-term. PAH is one lethal consequence that should be considered and needs to be monitored. This may also foster the research on developing therapeutic agents to prevent PAH, which has not so far been successful.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension/complications , Animals , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/virology , Comorbidity , Disease Outbreaks , Disease Susceptibility , Endothelium, Vascular/pathology , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Influenza, Human/complications , Lung/virology , Models, Theoretical , Ukraine/epidemiology
5.
Vascul Pharmacol ; 137: 106823, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-939340

ABSTRACT

Currently, the world is suffering from the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that uses angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a receptor to enter the host cells. So far, 60 million people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, and 1.4 million people have died because of COVID-19 worldwide, causing serious health, economical, and sociological problems. However, the mechanism of the effect of SARS-CoV-2 on human host cells has not been defined. The present study reports that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein alone without the rest of the viral components is sufficient to elicit cell signaling in lung vascular cells. The treatment of human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells or human pulmonary artery endothelial cells with recombinant SARS-CoV-2 spike protein S1 subunit (Val16 - Gln690) at 10 ng/ml (0.13 nM) caused an activation of MEK phosphorylation. The activation kinetics was transient with a peak at 10 min. The recombinant protein that contains only the ACE2 receptor-binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein S1 subunit (Arg319 - Phe541), on the other hand, did not cause this activation. Consistent with the activation of cell growth signaling in lung vascular cells by the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, pulmonary vascular walls were found to be thickened in COVID-19 patients. Thus, SARS-CoV-2 spike protein-mediated cell growth signaling may participate in adverse cardiovascular/pulmonary outcomes, and this mechanism may provide new therapeutic targets to combat COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Lung/blood supply , Muscle, Smooth, Vascular/metabolism , Myocytes, Smooth Muscle/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Endothelial Cells/pathology , Endothelial Cells/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Kinetics , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases/metabolism , Muscle, Smooth, Vascular/pathology , Muscle, Smooth, Vascular/virology , Myocytes, Smooth Muscle/pathology , Myocytes, Smooth Muscle/virology , Phosphorylation , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Pulmonary Artery/metabolism , Pulmonary Artery/pathology , Pulmonary Artery/virology , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Signal Transduction
6.
Med Hypotheses ; 144: 110267, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-753084

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is causing the current pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that has killed nearly one million people so far. While this is a respiratory virus, surprisingly, it has been recognized that patients with cardiovascular disease are likely to be affected severely and die of COVID-19. This phenomenon cannot be explained by the generally accepted logic that the SARS-CoV-2 infection/replication is the sole determinant of the actions of the virus to define the fate of host cells. I herein propose the viral protein fragment theory of COVID-19 pathogenesis based on my observations in cultured human vascular cells that SARS-CoV-2 spike protein can activate cell signaling events without the rest of the viral components. It is generally thought that SARS-CoV-2 and other single-stranded RNA viruses attach to the host cells through the interactions between surface proteins of the viral capsid and the host cell receptors; the fusion and the entry of the viral components, resulting in the replication of the viruses; and the host cell responses are the consequence of these events. I hypothesize that, as humans are infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus releases (a) fragment(s) of the spike protein that can target host cells for eliciting cell signaling without the rest of the viral components. Thus, COVID-19 patients are subjected to the intact virus infecting the host cells for the replication and amplification as well as the spike protein fragments that are capable of affecting the host cells. I propose that cell signaling elicited by the spike protein fragments that occur in cardiovascular cells would predispose infected individuals to develop complications that are seen in severe and fatal COVID-19 conditions. If this hypothesis is correct, then the strategies to treat COVID-19 should include, in addition to agents that inhibit the viral replication, therapeutics that inhibit the viral protein fragment-mediated cardiovascular cell signaling.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Capsid/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/physiology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/physiology , Disease Susceptibility , Endothelium, Vascular/virology , Humans , Models, Theoretical , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Signal Transduction , Virus Internalization , Virus Replication
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