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Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology ; 127(5):S22, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1734155


Introduction: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) requires angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and the transmembrane protease, serine 2 (TMPRSS2) for cell entry. Prior studies have reported that allergen exposure can downregulate ACE2 expression. Here, we sought to determine if exposure to distinct combinations of allergens results in the differential expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 in the mouse lung. Methods: We utilized three established murine models of asthma: 1. Alum/Ovalbumin (OVA) model;2. House dust mite (HDM)/OVA model;3. Mixed-allergen (MA) model using OVA, HDM, Aspergillus fumigatus and Alternaria alternata. Phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) treated mice were used as controls. Lung RNA was extracted using the RNeasy Mini Kit (Qiagen) according to the manufacturer’s protocol, and complementary DNA was synthesized. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) was performed 24 hours after the last challenge utilizing validated primers for ACE2 and TMPRSS2. Analysis was performed using one-way ANOVA. Results: Here we report that ACE2 mRNA expression was lower in the MA and Alum/OVA-treated mice compared to the controls (p-value < 0.0001). No difference was seen in the ACE2 mRNA expression between HDM/OVA and PBS-treated mice. Furthermore, HDM/OVA-treated mice expressed higher levels of TMPRSS2 mRNA compared to controls (p-value < 0.01). No difference was seen in the TMPRSS2 mRNA expression between the MA or Alum/OVA, and the PBS-treated mice. Conclusion: The exposure to distinct combinations of allergens results in unique patterns of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 gene expression in the mouse lung. Further studies are required to evaluate the effects of allergen exposure with the susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Psychoneuroendocrinology ; 131, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1611981


Background: Strong genetic and epidemiological evidence supports an asthma-PTSD association, however, contributory immune mediators/mechanisms are unclear. Here, we examined a direct role of severe asthma associated Th17/ IL-17A in regulating PTSD-relevant behaviors using mouse aeroallergen house dust mite (HDM) models. Methods: 3 strategies were used: 1) BALBc-C5a receptor treatment that shifts Th2 mild asthma phenotype to Th17/IL17a expansion;2) IL-17a receptor knockout mice and 3) sufficiency testing with intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of recombinant IL17a effects on behavior. Fear conditioning and extinction, maze exploration and social behaviors were assessed. Results: Absence of IL-17 signaling attenuated HDM effects on fear extinction while induction of Th17/IL-17 in the BALBc/anti-C5aR1 treated mice resulted in compromised fear extinction. ICV IL-17a promoted an anxiogenic phenotype and impaired social behaviors. Preliminary evidence suggests a role of cortical mechanisms (under investigation). Conclusion: Overall, our work highlights severe asthma inflammatory mediator IL17a in regulating PTSD-relevant behaviors. Beyond asthma-PTSD, our findings have relevant implications for other pulmonary (e.g. COVID-19) and autoimmune inflammatory conditions and PTSD risk.

Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology ; 76(SUPPL 110):468-469, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1570395


In 2012 a 25-year-old man presented to our outpatient clinic for severe atopic dermatitis (AD) and severe allergic eosinophilic asthma in polisensitivity (house dust mite, cat, gramineous plants, birch, milk protein and, in particular, Alternaria). His clinical history was also characterized by gastro-esophageal reflux disease and chronic rhinitis without polyposis, with septal deviation and turbinate hypertrophy, worthy of surgical intervention. History taking revealed egg and cow milk protein allergy and severe asthma since the first months of life, with frequent hospital admissions due to exacerbations. AD was severe and diffuse, involving especially face, neck, back and superior limbs, often complicated by impetigo. The esthetic, social and psychological impact led him to quit his job as a barman. At presentation, the Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI) score was 72/72. Laboratory tests showed eosinophilic count ranging between 1.060 and 2.140/mm3, and high serum levels of total Immunoglobulin E (5.939 kUI/L). Tryptase levels were normal and autoantibody analysis was negative. Parasite stool examination was negative. Nasal swab tested positive for Staphylococcus aureus, which was treated with Sulfamethoxazole-Trimethoprim. Asthma Control Test was 15/25, pulmonary function tests (PFTs) showed mild obstruction (FEV1 4.43 L, 103%, FEV1/FVC 69%), with positive bronchodilator testing (FEV1 5.12 L, + 670 mL, + 16%). Firstly, he was treated with topical steroids and sometimes with oral corticosteroids, with poor response. Then, in July 2019, he initiated therapy with cyclosporine 3-5 mg/kg. Soon, the drug had to be discontinued due to adverse effects (gastrointestinal symptoms and infections). In November 2019, at the age of 32 years, he started therapy with monoclonal antibody anti-IL-5 receptor alpha (benralizumab 30 mg 1 subcutaneous vial every 4 weeks for the first three administrations and then every 8 weeks), with a terrific clinical improvement of AD since the first administrations and with benefit on asthma control (ACT after the first administration increased up to 25/25;PFTs could not be performed, due to SARS-CoV-2 pandemic). This therapy has always been well tolerated. The eosinophilic count decreased to 0/mm3 after the first administration. At the moment, after one year of therapy, AD is almost fully disappeared (EASI SCORE 4/72), despite being in free diet, and the quality of life of the patient has definitely improved.