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Sci Rep ; 11(1): 22913, 2021 11 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1537333


Inflammation is a physiological process whose deregulation causes some diseases including cancer. Nuclear Factor kB (NF-kB) is a family of ubiquitous and inducible transcription factors, in which the p65/p50 heterodimer is the most abundant complex, that play critical roles mainly in inflammation. Glucocorticoid Receptor (GR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and immunosuppressant. Thus, NF-kB and GR are physiological antagonists in the inflammation process. Here we show that in mice and humans there is a spliced variant of p65, named p65 iso5, which binds the corticosteroid hormone dexamethasone amplifying the effect of the glucocorticoid receptor and is expressed in the liver of patients with hepatic cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Furthermore, we have quantified the gene expression level of p65 and p65 iso5 in the PBMC of patients affected by SARS-CoV-2 disease. The results showed that in these patients the p65 and p65 iso5 mRNA levels are higher than in healthy subjects. The ability of p65 iso5 to bind dexamethasone and the regulation of the glucocorticoid (GC) response in the opposite way of the wild type improves our knowledge and understanding of the anti-inflammatory response and identifies it as a new therapeutic target to control inflammation and related diseases.

Inflammation/immunology , Receptors, Glucocorticoid/metabolism , Transcription Factor RelA/metabolism , Adrenal Cortex Hormones/metabolism , Adult , Alternative Splicing , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/metabolism , Dexamethasone/metabolism , Female , Gene Expression/genetics , Gene Expression Regulation/genetics , Glucocorticoids/metabolism , Hepatitis/metabolism , Humans , Inflammation/metabolism , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/metabolism , Liver/metabolism , Liver Diseases/immunology , Liver Neoplasms/metabolism , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Middle Aged , NF-kappa B/metabolism , Protein Isoforms , Receptors, Glucocorticoid/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Transcription Factor RelA/immunology , Transcription Factor RelA/physiology
Neurosci Lett ; 759: 136040, 2021 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322284


Despite a likely underestimation due to the many obstacles of the highly infectious, intensive care setting, increasing clinical reports about COVID-19 patients developing acute paralysis for polyradiculoneuritis or myelitis determine additional impact on the disease course and outcome. Different pathogenic mechanisms have been postulated basing on clinical, laboratory and neuroimaging features, and response to treatments. Here we provide an overview with insights built on the available reports. Besides direct viral pathogenicity, a crucial role seems to be represented by immune-mediated mechanisms, supporting and further characterizing the already hypothesized neurotropic potential of SARS-CoV-2 and implying specific treatments. Proper clinical and instrumental depiction of symptomatic cases, as well as screening for their early recognition is advocated.

COVID-19/complications , Guillain-Barre Syndrome/virology , Myelitis/epidemiology , Myelitis/virology , Guillain-Barre Syndrome/pathology , Humans , Myelitis/pathology , SARS-CoV-2
Front Neurol ; 12: 643713, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1156135


Background: The clinical spectrum of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), due to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, may be quite wide, including neurological symptoms. Among them, para-infectious or post-infectious neurological syndromes (PINS), caused by an inflammatory response against the central and/or peripheral nervous system, have been reported. The aim of this paper is to illustrate the functional and neurophysiological recovery in a series of subjects with COVID-19-related PINS who underwent intensive neurorehabilitation. Materials and Methods: Five patients with PINS associated with COVID-19 were evaluated at baseline and followed up for 6 months. Three of them had polyradiculoneuropathy and two patients had myelitis. The onset of the neurological syndromes was temporally associated with the SARS-CoV-2 infection. After completing the acute neurological treatments in the intensive care unit, patients underwent a personalized multidisciplinary rehabilitation program. An in-depth clinical, functional, and electrophysiological assessment was carried out at baseline and at 3- and 6-month follow-ups. Results: Among patients with polyradiculoneuropathy, the electrophysiological evaluation at baseline disclosed an acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (AIDP) in two patients and an acute motor and sensory axonal neuropathy (AMSAN) in the third patient. At follow-up, the electrophysiological features improved in one subject with AIDP and were stable in the remaining two cases. The functional assessment after neurorehabilitation showed global recovery and full independence in walking and in activities of daily life in one patient and mild improvement in the other two cases. Of the two subjects with myelitis, the baseline electrophysiological examination showed a prolonged central motor conduction time, which returned to normal in one patient, whereas it improved but remained pathological in the other patient at follow-up. The neurorehabilitation led to a substantial functional improvement in both subjects. Discussion and Conclusions: This is the first study to describe clinical and electrophysiological aspects along with medium-term outcome in patients with COVID-19-related neurological manifestations who underwent an intensive rehabilitation program. The functional outcome following neurorehabilitation in patients with PINS related to SARS-CoV-2 infection is variable. In our small case series, subjects with polyradiculoneuropathy had a poorer recovery compared to patients with myelitis. The clinical course largely paralleled the follow-up electrophysiological findings.