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J Clin Med ; 11(18)2022 Sep 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2010174


SARS-CoV-2 was first detected in 2019 in Wuhan, China. It has been found to be the most pathogenic virus among coronaviruses and is associated with endothelial damage resulting in respiratory failure. Determine whether heparanase and heparan sulfate fragments, biomarkers of endothelial function, can assist in the risk stratification and clinical management of critically ill COVID-19 patients admitted to the intensive care unit. We investigated 53 critically ill patients with severe COVID-19 admitted between March and April 2020 to the University Hospital RWTH Aachen. Heparanase activity and serum levels of both heparanase and heparan sulfate were measured on day one (day of diagnosis) and day three in patients with COVID-19. The patients were classified into four groups according to the severity of ARDS. When compared to baseline data (day one), heparanase activity increased and the heparan sulfate serum levels decreased with increasing severity of ARDS. The heparanase activity significantly correlated with the lactate concentration on day one (r = 0.34, p = 0.024) and on day three (r = 0.43, p = 0.006). Heparanase activity and heparan sulfate levels correlate with COVID-19 disease severity and outcome. Both biomarkers might be helpful in predicting clinical course and outcomes in COVID-19 patients.

Br J Pharmacol ; 177(21): 4921-4930, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-991237


COVID-19, the illness caused by SARS-CoV-2, has a wide-ranging clinical spectrum that, in the worst-case scenario, involves a rapid progression to severe acute respiratory syndrome and death. Epidemiological data show that obesity and diabetes are among the main risk factors associated with high morbidity and mortality. The increased susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection documented in obesity-related metabolic derangements argues for initial defects in defence mechanisms, most likely due to an elevated systemic metabolic inflammation ("metaflammation"). The NLRP3 inflammasome is a master regulator of metaflammation and has a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of either obesity or diabetes. Here, we discuss the most recent findings suggesting contribution of NLRP3 inflammasome to the increase in complications in COVID-19 patients with diabesity. We also review current pharmacological strategies for COVID-19, focusing on treatments whose efficacy could be due, at least in part, to interference with the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. LINKED ARTICLES: This article is part of a themed issue on The Pharmacology of COVID-19. To view the other articles in this section visit

Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Inflammasomes/immunology , Obesity/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Disease Progression , Drug Repositioning , Humans , Inflammation/drug therapy , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/virology , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/immunology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Drug Treatment