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2.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-316601

ABSTRACT

Background: Increased inflammation is a hallmark of COVID-19, with pulmonary and systemic inflammation identified in multiple cohorts of patients. Definitive cellular and molecular pathways driving severe forms of this disease remain uncertain. Neutrophils, the most numerous leukocytes in blood circulation, can contribute to immunopathology in infections, inflammatory diseases and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a primary cause of morbidity and mortality in COVID-19. Neutrophilia, elevated neutrophil:lymphocyte ratios, and elevated neutrophil-associated cytokines are present in COVID-19, but changes in neutrophil functions have not been characterized. Here we analyzed the functional state of circulating neutrophils in COVID-19.Methods: Blood was obtained from critically ill COVID-19 patients over two weeks and healthy controls across multiple timepoints. Plasma cytokine profiles were assessed by bead array. Neutrophils were isolated and tested ex vivo for oxidative burst, neutrophil extracellular trap formation (NETosis) and phagocytosis. Lung tissue was obtained immediately post-mortem from COVID-19 patients for immunostaining.Results: Elevations in neutrophil-associated cytokines IL-8 and IL-6 were identified in COVID-19 plasma both at the first measurement and across their hospitalization (p < 0.0001). Elevations in cytokines IP-10, GM-CSF, IL-1b, IL-10 and TNF were also present at the first measurement and across hospital stays. Functionally, circulating neutrophils from COVID-19 patients had exaggerated oxidative burst (p < 0.0001), NETosis (p < 0.0001) and phagocytosis (p < 0.0001) relative to controls. Increased NETosis was found to be correlated with both leukocytosis and neutrophilia in COVID-19 patients. Neutrophils and NETs were identified within airways and alveoli in lung parenchyma. While elevations in IL-8 and ANC correlated to COVID-19 disease severity, plasma IL-8 levels alone correlated with death.Conclusions: Circulating neutrophils in COVID-19 exhibit an activated phenotype with increased oxidative burst, NETosis and phagocytosis. Readily accessible and dynamic, plasma IL-8 and circulating neutrophil function can be explored as potential COVID-19 disease biomarkers.Funding Statement: This work was supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs (salary support and VA Merit Award, PI Crotty Alexander) and NIH NHLBI (PI Crotty Alexander).Declaration of Interests: The authors report no conflicts of interest.Ethics Approval Statement: The research protocol was approved by the UCSD, VASDHS and Rady Children’s Hospital institutional review boards (IRBs) and all participants or designated family member gave written informed consent.

3.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(3): 479-489, 2022 02 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1684541

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Increased inflammation has been well defined in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), while definitive pathways driving severe forms of this disease remain uncertain. Neutrophils are known to contribute to immunopathology in infections, inflammatory diseases, and acute respiratory distress syndrome, a primary cause of morbidity and mortality in COVID-19. Changes in neutrophil function in COVID-19 may give insight into disease pathogenesis and identify therapeutic targets. METHODS: Blood was obtained serially from critically ill COVID-19 patients for 11 days. Neutrophil extracellular trap formation (NETosis), oxidative burst, phagocytosis, and cytokine levels were assessed. Lung tissue was obtained immediately postmortem for immunostaining. PubMed searches for neutrophils, lung, and COVID-19 yielded 10 peer-reviewed research articles in English. RESULTS: Elevations in neutrophil-associated cytokines interleukin 8 (IL-8) and interleukin 6, and general inflammatory cytokines IFN-inducible protien-19, granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), interleukin 1ß, interleukin 10, and tumor necrosis factor, were identified both at first measurement and across hospitalization (P < .0001). COVID-19 neutrophils had exaggerated oxidative burst (P < .0001), NETosis (P < .0001), and phagocytosis (P < .0001) relative to controls. Increased NETosis correlated with leukocytosis and neutrophilia, and neutrophils and NETs were identified within airways and alveoli in lung parenchyma of 40% of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-infected lungs available for examination (2 of 5). While elevations in IL-8 and absolute neutrophil count correlated with disease severity, plasma IL-8 levels alone correlated with death. CONCLUSIONS: Literature to date demonstrates compelling evidence of increased neutrophils in the circulation and lungs of COVID-19 patients. Importantly, neutrophil quantity and activation correlates with severity of disease. Similarly, our data show that circulating neutrophils in COVID-19 exhibit an activated phenotype with enhanced NETosis and oxidative burst.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Extracellular Traps , Critical Illness , Humans , Neutrophil Activation , Neutrophils , Phenotype , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Internet Interv ; 26: 100461, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1446738

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a detrimental effect on the mental health of older adults living in nursing homes. Very few studies have examined the effects of Internet-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (ICBT) on older adults living in nursing homes during the pandemic. We conducted a feasibility study using a single-group design, to explore the effectiveness of ICBT on psychological distress in 137 older adults (without cognitive impairment) from 8 nursing homes in 4 southeast cities in China, between January and March 2020. METHODS: Symptoms of depression, anxiety, general psychological distress, and functional disability were measured at baseline, post-treatment (5 weeks) and at a 1-month follow-up. Mixed-effects model was used to assess the effects of ICBT. RESULTS: Statistically significant changes with large effect sizes were observed from pre- to post-treatment on the PHQ-9 (p < .001, Cohen's d = 1.74), GAD-7 (p < .001, d = 1.71), GDS (p < .001, d = 1.30), K-10 (p < .001, d = 1.93), and SDS (p < .001, d = 2.03). Furthermore, improvements in treatment outcomes were sustained at 1-month follow-up, and high levels of adherence and satisfaction were indicated. CONCLUSION: ICBT was effective in reducing psychological distress in older adults without cognitive impairments living in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, it could be applied in improving the mental health of this vulnerable group during the pandemic.

5.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(10): 100421, 2021 10 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440413

ABSTRACT

Understanding viral tropism is an essential step toward reducing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission, decreasing mortality from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and limiting opportunities for mutant strains to arise. Currently, little is known about the extent to which distinct tissue sites in the human head and neck region and proximal respiratory tract selectively permit SARS-CoV-2 infection and replication. In this translational study, we discover key variabilities in expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2), essential SARS-CoV-2 entry factors, among the mucosal tissues of the human proximal airways. We show that SARS-CoV-2 infection is present in all examined head and neck tissues, with a notable tropism for the nasal cavity and tracheal mucosa. Finally, we uncover an association between smoking and higher SARS-CoV-2 viral infection in the human proximal airway, which may explain the increased susceptibility of smokers to developing severe COVID-19. This is at least partially explained by differences in interferon (IFN)-ß1 levels between smokers and non-smokers.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/transmission , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Smokers , Viral Tropism , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Female , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nasal Cavity/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Trachea/metabolism
6.
Sci Adv ; 7(34)2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1365115

ABSTRACT

Novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) severity is highly variable, with pediatric patients typically experiencing less severe infection than adults and especially the elderly. The basis for this difference is unclear. We find that mRNA and protein expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the cell entry receptor for the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19, increases with advancing age in distal lung epithelial cells. However, in humans, ACE2 expression exhibits high levels of intra- and interindividual heterogeneity. Further, cells infected with SARS-CoV-2 experience endoplasmic reticulum stress, triggering an unfolded protein response and caspase-mediated apoptosis, a natural host defense system that halts virion production. Apoptosis of infected cells can be selectively induced by treatment with apoptosis-modulating BH3 mimetic drugs. Notably, epithelial cells within young lungs and airways are more primed to undergo apoptosis than those in adults, which may naturally hinder virion production and support milder COVID-19 severity.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Apoptosis/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , Gene Expression Profiling/methods , Age Factors , Aged , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , Humans , Infant , Lung/cytology , Lung/metabolism , Lung/virology , Male , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Severity of Illness Index , Vero Cells , Virus Internalization
7.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(3): 479-489, 2022 02 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1228461

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Increased inflammation has been well defined in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), while definitive pathways driving severe forms of this disease remain uncertain. Neutrophils are known to contribute to immunopathology in infections, inflammatory diseases, and acute respiratory distress syndrome, a primary cause of morbidity and mortality in COVID-19. Changes in neutrophil function in COVID-19 may give insight into disease pathogenesis and identify therapeutic targets. METHODS: Blood was obtained serially from critically ill COVID-19 patients for 11 days. Neutrophil extracellular trap formation (NETosis), oxidative burst, phagocytosis, and cytokine levels were assessed. Lung tissue was obtained immediately postmortem for immunostaining. PubMed searches for neutrophils, lung, and COVID-19 yielded 10 peer-reviewed research articles in English. RESULTS: Elevations in neutrophil-associated cytokines interleukin 8 (IL-8) and interleukin 6, and general inflammatory cytokines IFN-inducible protien-19, granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), interleukin 1ß, interleukin 10, and tumor necrosis factor, were identified both at first measurement and across hospitalization (P < .0001). COVID-19 neutrophils had exaggerated oxidative burst (P < .0001), NETosis (P < .0001), and phagocytosis (P < .0001) relative to controls. Increased NETosis correlated with leukocytosis and neutrophilia, and neutrophils and NETs were identified within airways and alveoli in lung parenchyma of 40% of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-infected lungs available for examination (2 of 5). While elevations in IL-8 and absolute neutrophil count correlated with disease severity, plasma IL-8 levels alone correlated with death. CONCLUSIONS: Literature to date demonstrates compelling evidence of increased neutrophils in the circulation and lungs of COVID-19 patients. Importantly, neutrophil quantity and activation correlates with severity of disease. Similarly, our data show that circulating neutrophils in COVID-19 exhibit an activated phenotype with enhanced NETosis and oxidative burst.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Extracellular Traps , Critical Illness , Humans , Neutrophil Activation , Neutrophils , Phenotype , SARS-CoV-2
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