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Cardiovasc Res ; 117(9): 2045-2053, 2021 07 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526155


Although coronavirus disease 2019 seems to be the leading topic in research number of outstanding studies have been published in the field of aorta and peripheral vascular diseases likely affecting our clinical practice in the near future. This review article highlights key research on vascular diseases published in 2020. Some studies have shed light in the pathophysiology of aortic aneurysm and dissection suggesting a potential role for kinase inhibitors as new therapeutic options. A first proteogenomic study on fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) revealed a promising novel disease gene and provided proof-of-concept for a protein/lipid-based FMD blood test. The role of NADPH oxidases in vascular physiology, and particularly endothelial cell differentiation, is highlighted with potential for cell therapy development. Imaging of vulnerable plaque has been an intense field of research. Features of plaque vulnerability on magnetic resonance imaging as an under-recognized cause of stroke are discussed. Major clinical trials on lower extremity peripheral artery disease have shown added benefit of dual antithrombotic (aspirin plus rivaroxaban) treatment.

Aortic Diseases , Biomedical Research/trends , Peripheral Vascular Diseases , Animals , Aortic Diseases/diagnosis , Aortic Diseases/epidemiology , Aortic Diseases/genetics , Aortic Diseases/therapy , COVID-19 , Clinical Trials as Topic , Diffusion of Innovation , Humans , Peripheral Vascular Diseases/diagnosis , Peripheral Vascular Diseases/epidemiology , Peripheral Vascular Diseases/genetics , Peripheral Vascular Diseases/therapy , Prognosis
JCI Insight ; 6(19)2021 10 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376547


BACKGROUNDSARS-CoV-2 infection induces mucin overexpression, further promoting disease. Given that mucins are critical components of innate immunity, unraveling their expression profiles that dictate the course of disease could greatly enhance our understanding and management of COVID-19.METHODSUsing validated RT-PCR assays, we assessed mucin mRNA expression in the blood of patients with symptomatic COVID-19 compared with symptomatic patients without COVID-19 and healthy controls and correlated the data with clinical outcome parameters. Additionally, we analyzed mucin expression in mucus and lung tissue from patients with COVID-19 and investigated the effect of drugs for COVID-19 treatment on SARS-CoV-2-induced mucin expression in pulmonary epithelial cells.RESULTSWe identified a dynamic blood mucin mRNA signature that clearly distinguished patients with symptomatic COVID-19 from patients without COVID-19 based on expression of MUC1, MUC2, MUC4, MUC6, MUC13, MUC16, and MUC20 (AUCROC of 91.8%; sensitivity and specificity of 90.6% and 93.3%, respectively) and that discriminated between mild and critical COVID-19 based on the expression of MUC16, MUC20, and MUC21 (AUCROC of 89.1%; sensitivity and specificity of 90.0% and 85.7%, respectively). Differences in the transcriptional landscape of mucins in critical cases compared with mild cases identified associations with COVID-19 symptoms, respiratory support, organ failure, secondary infections, and mortality. Furthermore, we identified different mucins in the mucus and lung tissue of critically ill COVID-19 patients and showed the ability of baricitinib, tocilizumab, favipiravir, and remdesivir to suppress expression of SARS-CoV-2-induced mucins.CONCLUSIONThis multifaceted blood mucin mRNA signature showed the potential role of mucin profiling in diagnosing, estimating severity, and guiding treatment options in patients with COVID-19.FUNDINGThe Antwerp University Research and the Research Foundation Flanders COVID-19 funds.

COVID-19/genetics , Mucins/genetics , RNA, Messenger/genetics , Adult , Aged , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/pathology , Female , Humans , Lung/drug effects , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Transcriptome/drug effects