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1.
Pharmacognosy Journal ; 14(4):344-351, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2033370

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Sungkai (Peronema canescens Jack.) plant had been used as an immune system enhancer. Aim: In this study, the effect of Sungkai leaf extracts from 4 different fractions, namely n-hexane, ethyl acetate, butanol and residual water with 3 variations in doses of 1,10 and 100 mg/kg bw on the activity of NK and CD8+T cells in male white mice that have been exposed to SARS-Cov-2 virus antigen was investigated. Methods: The experimental animals used were 60 animals divided into 12 groups with 14 days of treatment which had previously been induced with SARS-Cov-2 virus antigen (Moderna) and given with Sungkai leaf extracts for 14 days and evaluated on day 15. The evaluation results of NK cells concentrations sequentially were 2.96;4.66;5.38;5.43;4.05;2.89;3.56;4.21;2.88;1.99;2.07;4.40;3.21;3.40;and 6.93 ng/ml. On the other hand, the evaluation results of CD8+T cells concentrations sequentially were 27.47;28.96;29.19;27.90;21.85;25.79;27.98;23.50;23.39;26.56;22.62;25.19;23,55;26,75;and 29,69 ng/ml. One-way ANOVA and Duncan test were used for the data analysis. Results: The results showed significant increase of concentration (p<0.05) towards concentration of NK cells in the butanol fraction at a dose of 1 mg/kg BW and CD8+T cells in the residual water fraction at a dose of 100 mg/kg BW. Conclusion: It can be concluded that fraction from sungkai (Peronema canescens Jack.) at doses of 1,10 and 100 mg/kg bw shows immunostimulatory activity.

2.
Biomedical Optics Express ; 13(9):4592-4605, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2032644

ABSTRACT

Since the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), efficient real-time monitoring has become one of the challenges faced in SARS-CoV-2 virus detection. A compact all-fiber Mach-Zehnder interferometer optofluidic sensor based on a hollow eccentric core fiber (HECF) for the detection and real-time monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein (SARS-CoV-2 S2) is proposed, analyzed and demonstrated. The sensor is comprised of fusion splicing single mode fiber (SMF), hollow core fiber (HCF) and HECF. After the incident light passes through the HCF from the SMF, it uniformly enters the air hole and the suspended micrometer-scale fiber core of the HECF to form a compact all-fiber Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI). HECF is side polished to remove part of the cladding that the suspended fiber core can contact the external environment. Subsequently, the mouse anti SARS-CoV-2 S2 antibody is fixed on the surface of the suspended-core for the sake of achieving high sensitivity and specific sensing of SARS-CoV-2 S2. The limit of detection (LOD) of the sensor is 26.8 pM. The proposed sensor has high sensitivity, satisfactory selectivity, and can be fabricated at low cost making it highly suitable for point-of-care testing and high-throughput detection of early stage of COVID-19 infection.

3.
HemaSphere ; 6:2239-2240, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2032132

ABSTRACT

Background: Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a B-cell tumor which often relapses. BCR inhibitors (Ibrutinib, Acalabrutinib) and antiapoptotic BCL2-family members blockers BH3-mimetics (Venetoclax, ABT-199) are effective drugs to fight MCL. However, the disease remains incurable, due to therapy resistance, even to the promising Venetoclax and Ibrutinib combination. Therefore, there is a profound need to explore novel useful therapeutic targets. CK2 is a S/T kinase overexpressed in several solid and blood tumors. We demonstrated that CK2, operating through a 'non-oncogene addiction' mechanism promotes tumor cell survival, and counteracts apoptosis, by activating pro-survival signaling cascades, such as NF-κ B, STAT3 and AKT. CK2 could regulate also BCL2 family members. The CK2 chemical inhibitor CX-4945 (Silmitasertib, Sil) is already under scrutiny in clinical trials in relapsed multiple myeloma, solid tumors and COVID-19. Aims: In this work, we tested the effect of CK2 chemical inhibition or knock down on Venetoclax (Ven)-induced cytotoxicity in MCL pre-clinical models to effectively reduce MCL cell growth and clonal expansion. Methods: CK2 expression and BCR/BCL2 related signaling components were analyzed in MCL cells and control cells by Western blotting. CK2 and BCL2 inhibition was obtained with Sil and Ven, respectively and with CK2 gene silencing through the generation of anti-CK2 shRNA IPTG-inducible MCL cell clones. Survival, apoptosis, mitochondrial membrane depolarization and proliferation were investigated by FACS analysis of AnnexinV/PI and JC-10 staining. The synergic action of Ven and Sil was analyzed by the Chou-Talalay combination index (CI) method. CK2 knock down in vivo was obtained in xenograft NOD-SCID mouse models Results: CK2 inactivation (with Sil or CK2 silencing) determined a reduction in the activating phosphorylation of S529 p65/RelA and S473 and S129 AKT, important survival cascades for MCL. Sil or CK2 silencing caused BCL2 and related MCL1 protein reduction, causing cell death. Importantly, we confirmed these results also in an in vivo xenograft mouse model of CK2 knockdown in MCL. Sil +Ven combination increased MCL cell apoptosis, as judged by the augmented frequency of Annexin V positive cells and expression of cleaved PARP protein, and JC-10 mitochondrial membrane depolarization, with respect to the single treatments. Captivatingly, Sil or CK2 gene silencing led to a substantial reduction of the Ven-induced increase of MCL-1, potentially counteracting a deleterious Ven-induced drawback. Analysis of cell cycle distribution confirmed an increased frequency of apoptotic cells in the sub G1 phase in CK2-silenced cells and a modulation of the other phases of the cell cycle. Remarkably, the calculated CI less than 1 suggested a strong synergic cell-killing effect between Sil and Ven, on all the cell lines tested, including those less sensitive or resistant to Ven Summary/Conclusion: We demonstrated that the simultaneous inhibition/knock down of CK2 and BCL2 synergistically cooperates in inducing apoptosis and cell cycle arrest of MCL malignant B-lymphocytes and has the potential of reducing MCL clonal growth, also counterbalancing mechanism of resistance that may arise with Ven. Therefore, CK2 is a rational therapeutic target for the treatment of MCL to be tested in combination with Ibrutinib or Ven.

4.
Journal of the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology ; 4, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2030670

ABSTRACT

The proceedings contain 243 papers. The topics discussed include: KRT15+ tumor cells as putative cancer stem cells in esophageal cancer;the circadian timing of inflammatory bowel disease;GM-CSF autoantibodies: predictors of Crohn's disease development and a novel therapeutic approach;an INULIN-type Fructan enriched exclusive enteral nutrition formula modulates the gut microbiome and promotes expansion of anti-inflammatory T cell subsets to suppress colitis;dietary tryptophan modulates kynurenine and indole production in healthy individuals;dorsal root ganglia neuronal responses and substance p production are higher in male mice;food antigen-stress interaction leads to increase pain signaling in ileum and colon via STAT6 in an IBS model;risk perception and knowledge of COVID-19 in patients with celiac disease;pre-treatment HLADQA1-hladrb1 testing for the prevention of azathioprine-induced pancreatitis in inflammatory bowel disease: a prospective cohort study;and a high salt diet synergizes with UC microbiota to induce a proinflammatory immune tone in immunocompetent gnotobiotic mice.

5.
In Vivo ; 36(5):2116-2125, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2030531

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/AIM: Rapid spread of COVID-19 resulted in the revision of the value of ultraviolet C (UVC) sterilization in working spaces. This study aimed at investigating the UVC sensitivity of eighteen malignant and nonmalignant cell lines, the protective activity of sodium ascorbate against UVC, and whether Dectin-2 is involved in UVC sensitivity. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Various cell lines were exposed to UVC for 3 min, and cell viability was determined using the MTT assay. Anti-UV activity was determined as the ratio of 50% cytotoxic concentration (determined with unirradiated cells) to 50% effective concentration (that restored half of the UV-induced loss of viability). Dectin-2 expression was quantified using flow cytometry. RESULTS: The use of culture medium rather than phosphate-buffered saline is recommended as irradiation solution, since several cells are easily detached during irradiation in phosphate-buffered saline. Oral squamous cell carcinoma cell lines showed the highest UV sensitivity, followed by neuroblastoma, glioblastoma, leukemia, melanoma, lung carcinoma cells, and normal oral and dermal fibroblasts. Human dermal fibroblasts were more resistant than melanoma cell lines;however, both expressed Dectin-2. Sodium ascorbate at micromolar concentrations eliminated the cytotoxicity of UVC in these cell lines. CONCLUSION: Normal cells are generally UVC-resistant compared to corresponding malignant cells, which have higher growth potential. Dectin-2 protein expression itself may not be determinant of UVC sensitivity.

6.
Anim Biosci ; 2022.
Article in English | PubMed | ID: covidwho-2030269

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to examine the influence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection on pregnancy in cytokeratin-18 (K18)-hACE2 transgenic mice. METHODS: To determine the expression of hACE2 mRNA in the female reproductive tract of K18-hACE2 mice, RT-PCR was performed using the ovary, oviduct, uterus, umbilical cord, and placenta. SARS-CoV-2 was inoculated intranasally (30 μl/mouse, 1×104 TCID50/ml) to plug-checked K18-hACE2 homozygous female mice at the pre-and post-implantation stages at 2.5 days post-coitum (dpc) and 15.5 dpc, respectively. The number of implantation sites was checked at 7.5 dpc, and the number of normally born pups was investigated at 20.5 dpc. Pregnancy outcomes, including implantation and childbirth, were confirmed by comparison with the non-infected group. Tissues of infected mice were collected at 7.5 dpc and 19.5 dpc to confirm the SARS-CoV-2 infection. The infection was identified by performing RT-PCR on the infected tissues and comparing them to the non-infected tissues. RESULTS: hACE2 mRNA expression was confirmed in the female reproductive tract of the K18-hACE2 mice. Compared to the non-infected group, no significant difference in the number of implantation sites or normally born pups was found in the infected group. SARS-CoV-2 infection was detected in the lungs but not in the female reproductive system of infected K18-hACE2 mice. CONCLUSION: In K18-hACE2 mice, intranasal infection with SARS-CoV-2 did not induce implantation failure, preterm labor, or miscarriage. Although the viral infection was not detected in the uterus, placenta, or fetus, the infection of the lungs could induce problems in the reproductive system. However, lung infections were not related to pregnancy outcomes.

7.
Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy ; 7(1):318, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2028663

ABSTRACT

Excessive inflammatory responses contribute to the pathogenesis and lethality of highly pathogenic human coronaviruses, but the underlying mechanism remains unclear. In this study, the N proteins of highly pathogenic human coronaviruses, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), middle east respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), were found to bind MASP-2, a key serine protease in the lectin pathway of complement activation, resulting in excessive complement activation by potentiating MBL-dependent MASP-2 activation, and the deposition of MASP-2, C4b, activated C3 and C5b-9. Aggravated inflammatory lung injury was observed in mice infected with adenovirus expressing the N protein. Complement hyperactivation was also observed in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. Either blocking the N protein:MASP-2 interaction, MASP-2 depletion or suppressing complement activation can significantly alleviate N protein-induced complement hyperactivation and lung injury in vitro and in vivo. Altogether, these data suggested that complement suppression may represent a novel therapeutic approach for pneumonia induced by these highly pathogenic coronaviruses.

8.
Frontiers in Pharmacology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2022834

ABSTRACT

Background: The Janus kinase (JAK) 1/2 inhibitor ruxolitinib has been approved in an indication of myelofibrosis and is a candidate for the treatment of a number of inflammatory or autoimmune diseases. We assessed the effects of ruxolitinib on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)- and poly (I:C)-induced cytokine production by human lung macrophages (LMs) and on the LMs' phagocytic activity. Methods: Human LMs were isolated from patients operated on for lung carcinoma. The LMs were cultured with ruxolitinib (0.5 x 10(-7) M to 10(-5) M) or budesonide (10(-11) to 10(-8) M) and then stimulated with LPS (10 ng.ml(-1)) or poly (I:C) (10 mu g & BULL;ml(-1)) for 24 h. Cytokines released by the LMs into the supernatants were measured using ELISAs. The phagocytosis of labelled bioparticles was assessed using flow cytometry. Results: Ruxolitinib inhibited both the LPS- and poly (I:C)-stimulated production of tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, chemokines CCL2, and CXCL10 in a concentration-dependent manner. Ruxolitinib also inhibited the poly (I:C)- induced (but not the LPS-induced) production of IL-1ss. Budesonide inhibited cytokine production more strongly than ruxolitinib but failed to mitigate the production of CXCL10. The LMs' phagocytic activity was not impaired by the highest tested concentration (10(-5) M) of ruxolitinib. Conclusion: Clinically relevant concentrations of ruxolitinib inhibited the LPS- and poly (I:C)-stimulated production of cytokines by human LMs but did not impair their phagocytic activity. Overall, ruxolitinib's anti-inflammatory activities are less intense than (but somewhat different from) those of budesonide-particularly with regard to the production of the corticosteroid-resistant chemokine CXCL-10. Our results indicate that treatment with a JAK inhibitor might be a valuable anti-inflammatory strategy in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Th1-high asthma, and both viral and non-viral acute respiratory distress syndromes (including coronavirus disease 2019).

9.
Frontiers in Immunology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2022745

ABSTRACT

Influenza vaccines remain the most effective tools to prevent flu and its complications. Trivalent or quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccines primarily elicit antibodies towards haemagglutinin and neuraminidase. These vaccines fail to induce high protective efficacy, in particular in older adults and immunocompromised individuals and require annual updates to keep up with evolving influenza strains (antigenic drift). Vaccine efficacy declines when there is a mismatch between its content and circulating strains. Current correlates of protection are merely based on serological parameters determined by haemagglutination inhibition or single radial haemolysis assays. However, there is ample evidence showing that these serological correlates of protection can both over- or underestimate the protective efficacy of influenza vaccines. Next-generation universal influenza vaccines that induce cross-reactive cellular immune responses (CD4+ and/or CD8+ T-cell responses) against conserved epitopes may overcome some of the shortcomings of the current inactivated vaccines by eliciting broader protection that lasts for several influenza seasons and potentially enhances pandemic preparedness. Assessment of cellular immune responses in clinical trials that evaluate the immunogenicity of these new generation vaccines is thus of utmost importance. Moreover, studies are needed to examine whether these cross-reactive cellular immune responses can be considered as new or complementary correlates of protection in the evaluation of traditional and next-generation influenza vaccines. An overview of the assays that can be applied to measure cell-mediated immune responses to influenza with their strengths and weaknesses is provided here. Copyright © 2022 Janssens, Joye, Waerlop, Clement, Leroux-Roels and Leroux-Roels.

10.
Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology ; 10, 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2022647

ABSTRACT

Drug addiction is a serious problem globally, recently exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is considered a potentially effective strategy for the treatment of addiction. Previous animal experiments have proven that GDNF has a good therapeutic effect on drug addiction, but its clinical application is limited due to its poor blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability. Low-frequency focused ultrasound, combined with microbubbles, is a non-invasive and reversible technique for locally-targeted BBB opening. In the present study, magnetic resonance imaging-guided low-frequency focused ultrasound, combined with GDNF microbubbles, was used to target BBB opening in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) region. The effects of GDNF on morphine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) and acute withdrawal symptoms in rats after a partially opened BBB were evaluated by behavioral observation. Western blot was used to detect changes in tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) expression levels in the VTA region after different treatments, and high performance liquid chromatography was used to detect the changes in monoamine neurotransmitter content. The results showed that ultrasound combined with GDNF microbubbles targeted and opened the BBB in the VTA region, and significantly increased GDNF content, destroyed morphine-induced CPP, and reduced the withdrawal symptoms of morphine addiction in rats. Furthermore, the up-regulation of TH expression and the increase of norepinephrine and dopamine content induced by morphine were significantly reversed, and the increase of 5-hydroxytryptamine content was partially reversed. Therefore, ultrasound combined with GDNF microbubbles to target and open the BBB can effectively increase the content of central GDNF, thus playing a therapeutic role in morphine addiction. Our study provides a new approach to locally open the BBB and target delivery of neurotrophic factors, such as GDNF, to treat brain diseases like addiction.

11.
Frontiers in Pharmacology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2009894

ABSTRACT

Preclinical pharmacokinetics (PK) and In Vitro ADME properties of GS-441524, a potential oral agent for the treatment of Covid-19, were studied. GS-441524 was stable in vitro in liver microsomes, cytosols, and hepatocytes of mice, rats, monkeys, dogs, and humans. The plasma free fractions of GS-441524 were 62–78% across all studied species. The in vitro transporter study results showed that GS-441524 was a substrate of MDR1, BCRP, CNT3, ENT1, and ENT2;but not a substrate of CNT1, CNT2, and ENT4. GS-441524 had a low to moderate plasma clearance (CLp), ranging from 4.1 mL/min/kg in dogs to 26 mL/min/kg in mice;the steady state volume distribution (Vdss) ranged from 0.9 L/kg in dogs to 2.4 L/kg in mice after IV administration. Urinary excretion appeared to be the major elimination process for GS-441524. Following oral administration, the oral bioavailability was 8.3% in monkeys, 33% in rats, 39% in mice, and 85% in dogs. The PK and ADME properties of GS-441524 support its further development as an oral drug candidate.

12.
Frontiers in Immunology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2009863

ABSTRACT

Background: Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) highly occurs in patients with severe COVID-19 and probably accounted for their high mortality. DVT formation is a time-dependent inflammatory process in which NETosis plays an important role. However, whether ginsenoside Rg5 from species of Panax genus could alleviate DVT and its underlying mechanism has not been elucidated. Methods: The interaction between Rg5 and P2RY12 was studied by molecular docking, molecular dynamics, surface plasmon resonance (SPR), and molecular biology assays. The preventive effect of Rg5 on DVT was evaluated in inferior vena cava stasis–induced mice, and immunocytochemistry, Western blot, and calcium flux assay were performed in neutrophils from bone marrow to explore the mechanism of Rg5 in NETosis via P2RY12. Results: Rg5 allosterically interacted with P2RY12, formed stable complex, and antagonized its activity via residue E188 and R265. Rg5 ameliorated the formation of thrombus in DVT mice;accompanied by decreased release of Interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1β, and tumor necrosis factor-α in plasma;and suppressed neutrophil infiltration and neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) release. In lipopolysaccharide- and platelet-activating factor–induced neutrophils, Rg5 reduced inflammatory responses via inhibiting the activation of ERK/NF-κB signaling pathway while decreasing cellular Ca2+ concentration, thus reducing the activity and expression of peptidyl arginine deiminase 4 to prevent NETosis. The inhibitory effect on neutrophil activity was dependent on P2RY12. Conclusions: Rg5 could attenuate experimental DVT by counteracting NETosis and inflammatory response in neutrophils via P2RY12, which may pave the road for its clinical application in the prevention of DVT-related disorders.

13.
Future microbiology ; 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2009815

ABSTRACT

Aim: Our main objectives were to compare the effects of Rejuveinix (RJX), dexamethasone (DEX) and their combination on the severity of sepsis and survival outcome in an animal model of fatal sepsis. Methods: We used the LPS plus D-galactosamine mouse model of sepsis to compare the anti-inflammatory activities of RJX, dexamethasone and a combination of RJX plus DEX. Additionally, we examined the clinical feasibility and tolerability of combining RJX with DEX in COVID-19 patients in a clinical phase I study. Data were analyzed using standard methods. Results & conclusion: RJX exhibited potent anti-inflammatory activity in the murine sepsis model. The combination of RJX plus DEX was more effective than either agent alone, decreased the inflammatory cytokine responses and associated organ damage, and improved the survival outcome in mice. In the phase I clinical study, RJX plus DEX was well tolerated by COVID-19 patients.

14.
PLoS pathogens ; 18(9):e1010830, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2009724

ABSTRACT

Hundreds of millions of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA-LNP vaccine doses have already been administered to humans. However, we lack a comprehensive understanding of the immune effects of this platform. The mRNA-LNP-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is highly inflammatory, and its synthetic ionizable lipid component responsible for the induction of inflammation has a long in vivo half-life. Since chronic inflammation can lead to immune exhaustion and non-responsiveness, we sought to determine the effects of pre-exposure to the mRNA-LNP on adaptive immune responses and innate immune fitness. We found that pre-exposure to mRNA-LNPs or LNP alone led to long-term inhibition of the adaptive immune response, which could be overcome using standard adjuvants. On the other hand, we report that after pre-exposure to mRNA-LNPs, the resistance of mice to heterologous infections with influenza virus increased while resistance to Candida albicans decreased. The diminished resistance to Candida albicans correlated with a general decrease in blood neutrophil percentages. Interestingly, mice pre-exposed to the mRNA-LNP platform can pass down the acquired immune traits to their offspring, providing better protection against influenza. In summary, the mRNA-LNP vaccine platform induces long-term unexpected immunological changes affecting both adaptive immune responses and heterologous protection against infections. Thus, our studies highlight the need for more research to determine this platform's true impact on human health.

15.
PLoS pathogens ; 18(9):e1010809, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2009723

ABSTRACT

Acinetobacter baumannii is an opportunistic pathogen and an emerging global health threat. Within healthcare settings, major presentations of A. baumannii include bloodstream infections and ventilator-associated pneumonia. The increased prevalence of ventilated patients during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a rise in secondary bacterial pneumonia caused by multidrug resistant (MDR) A. baumannii. Additionally, due to its MDR status and the lack of antimicrobial drugs in the development pipeline, the World Health Organization has designated carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii to be its priority critical pathogen for the development of novel therapeutics. To better inform the design of new treatment options, a comprehensive understanding of how the host contains A. baumannii infection is required. Here, we investigate the innate immune response to A. baumannii by assessing the impact of infection on host gene expression using NanoString technology. The transcriptional profile observed in the A. baumannii infected host is characteristic of Gram-negative bacteremia and reveals expression patterns consistent with the induction of nutritional immunity, a process by which the host exploits the availability of essential nutrient metals to curtail bacterial proliferation. The gene encoding for lipocalin-2 (Lcn2), a siderophore sequestering protein, was the most highly upregulated during A. baumannii bacteremia, of the targets assessed, and corresponds to robust LCN2 expression in tissues. Lcn2-/- mice exhibited distinct organ-specific gene expression changes including increased transcription of genes involved in metal sequestration, such as S100A8 and S100A9, suggesting a potential compensatory mechanism to perturbed metal homeostasis. In vitro, LCN2 inhibits the iron-dependent growth of A. baumannii and induces iron-regulated gene expression. To elucidate the role of LCN2 in infection, WT and Lcn2-/- mice were infected with A. baumannii using both bacteremia and pneumonia models. LCN2 was not required to control bacterial growth during bacteremia but was protective against mortality. In contrast, during pneumonia Lcn2-/- mice had increased bacterial burdens in all organs evaluated, suggesting that LCN2 plays an important role in inhibiting the survival and dissemination of A. baumannii. The control of A. baumannii infection by LCN2 is likely multifactorial, and our results suggest that impairment of iron acquisition by the pathogen is a contributing factor. Modulation of LCN2 expression or modifying the structure of LCN2 to expand upon its ability to sequester siderophores may thus represent feasible avenues for therapeutic development against this pathogen.

16.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases ; 81:971-972, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2009130

ABSTRACT

Background: Enpatoran is a selective and potent dual toll-like receptor (TLR) 7/8 inhibitor in development for the treatment of cutaneous and systemic lupus erythematosus (CLE/SLE). Enpatoran inhibits TLR7/8 activation in vitro and suppresses disease activity in lupus mouse models.1 Enpatoran was well tolerated and had linear pharmacokinetic (PK) parameters in healthy volunteers.2 As TLR7/8 mediate immune responses to single-stranded RNA viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, it was postulated that enpatoran may prevent hyperinfammation and cytokine storm in COVID-19. Objectives: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we conducted an exploratory Phase II trial to assess safety and determine whether enpatoran prevents clinical deterioration in patients (pts) hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia. PK and pharmacodynamics (PD) of enpatoran were also evaluated. Methods: ANEMONE was a randomized, double-blind, placebo (PBO)-con-trolled study conducted in Brazil, the Philippines, and the USA (NCT04448756). Pts aged 18-75 years, hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia (WHO 9-point scale score =4) but not mechanically ventilated, with SpO2 <94% and PaO2/FiO2 ≥150 (FiO2 maximum 0.4) were eligible. Those with a history of uncontrolled illness, active/unstable cardiovascular disease and SARS-CoV-2 vaccination were excluded. Pts received PBO or enpatoran (50 or 100 mg twice daily [BID]) for 14 days, with monitoring to Day 28 and safety follow-up to Day 60. Primary outcomes were safety and time to recovery (WHO 9-point scale ≤3). Clinical deterioration (time to clinical status >4, WHO 9-point scale) was a secondary outcome. Exploratory endpoints were enpatoran and biomarker concentrations (cytokines, C-reactive protein [CRP], D-dimer and interferon gene signature [IFN-GS] scores) assessed over time. Results: 149 pts received either PBO (n=49), or enpatoran 50 mg (n=54) or 100 mg (n=46) BID;88% completed treatment and 86% received concomitant steroids. Median age was 50 years (77% <60 years old), 66% were male, and 50% had ≥1 comorbidity (40% hypertension, 24% diabetes). Overall, 59% pts reported a treatment-emergent adverse event (TEAE) with three non-treatment-related deaths;11% reported a treatment-related TEAE. The proportion of pts in the enpatoran group reporting serious TEAEs was low (50 mg BID 9%;100 mg BID 2%) vs PBO (18%). Gastrointestinal disorders were most common (PBO 8%;50 mg BID 28%;100 mg BID 9%). The primary outcome of time to recovery with enpatoran vs PBO was not met;medians were 3.4-3.9 days. A positive signal in time to clinical deterioration from Day 1 through Day 28 was observed;hazard ratios [95% CI] for enpatoran vs PBO were 0.39 [0.13, 1.15] (50 mg BID) and 0.30 [0.08, 1.08] (100 mg BID). Mean enpatoran exposure was dose-proportional, and PK properties were within expectations. The median (quartile [Q]1-Q3) interleukin 6 (IL-6), CRP and D-dimer baseline concentration across the groups were 5.7 (4.0-13.5) pg/mL, 30.04 (11.40-98.02) and 0.62 (0.39-1.01) mg/L, respectively. Baseline IFN-GS scores were similar across groups. Conclusion: The ANEMONE trial was the frst to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a TLR7/8 inhibitor in an infectious disease for preventing cytokine storm. Enpa-toran up to 100 mg BID for 14 days was well tolerated by patients acutely ill with COVID-19 pneumonia. Time to recovery was not improved with enpatoran, perhaps due to the younger age of patients who had fewer comorbidities compared to those in similar COVID-19 trials. However, there was less likelihood for clinical deterioration with enpatoran than placebo. This trial provides important safety, tolerability, PK and PD data supporting continued development of enpatoran in SLE and CLE (NCT04647708, NCT05162586).

17.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases ; 81:331-332, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2008925

ABSTRACT

Background: Thrombosis is a unique complication in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We have reported that elevated ferritin and D-dimer on admission were the risk factors of thromboses by analyzing the patients sequentially admitted to our hospital due to COVID-19 (1). However, we have not analyzed throm-botic complications in the view of the antiphospholipid antibodies (aPLs), which are frequently detected in the COVID-19 patients. Objectives: To elucidate the thrombogenic effects of aPLs in COVID-19, we analyzed the development of thrombosis in three lupus models after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Additionally, we evaluated the association of thrombotic events and the serum profile of aPLs in Japanese patients with COVID-19. Methods: Three animal models of lupus (MRL-lpr/lpr, NZBxNZW F1 and NZW×BXSB F1) were evaluated in this study. NZW×BXSB F1 was also considered as a model of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) since aPLs were detected with a high titer (2). Experimental SARS-CoV-2 infection was induced using mouse-passaged virus strain (3). The incidence of thromboses in the lungs and kidneys were identifed by evaluating H&E staining and PTAH staining of paraf-fn-embedded sections. We have experienced 44 thrombotic events in 34 out of 594 patients admitted to our institute. As a non-thrombotic COVID-19, 68 patients were selected to make a 1 to 2 matched-pair based on the propensity score. In total 102 patients, seven types of aPLs (anti-cardiolipin (CL) IgG/IgM, anti-β2GP1 IgG/IgA/IgM, and anti-phosphatidyl serine/prothrombin complex (PS/PT) IgG/IgM) were measured using specifc ELISA kits. The patients' clinical characteristics and serological profile of aPLs were further evaluated. Results: We identifed the development of thromboses in the lungs or kidneys in 6 out of 12 (50%) NZW×BXSB F1 mice after the SARS-CoV-2 infection, whereas no thrombosis was observed in non-infected mice. Further, there was no thrombosis in the other lupus models (0%) after the infection. These fndings might suggest the pathogenic role of aPLs under the SARS-CoV-2 infection. Among our COVID-19 patients, 39 out of 102 (38%) were tested positive for one or more aPLs. The positive ratios of any aPLs were statistically indifferent between the patients with or without thrombosis;anti-CL IgG (8.8% vs 5.9%)/IgM (0% vs 5.9%), anti-β2GP1 IgG (21% vs 12%)/IgA (8.8% vs 15%)/IgM (0% vs 1.5%), and anti-PS/PT IgG (0% vs 2.9%)/IgM (12% vs 13%), respectively. In addition, their titers were relatively lower than those observed in APS patients. The patients' characteristics and the prognosis of COVID-19 were comparable regardless of the detection of any aPLs. These fndings suggested that COVID-19 associated aPLs were irrelevant to thrombotic complications. Conclusion: Thromboses were induced after the infection of SARS-CoV-2 only in the APS model. However, aPLs detected in COVID-19 patients have little impact on the development of thrombosis. SARS-CoV-2 infection might have a high risk of thrombosis, especially in APS patients, as shown in the case report (4). The discrepancy of its thrombogenic effects of aPLs might be explained by the low titer of the antibody or the diversity of antibody epitope. Further analyses are required to clarify the mechanisms of aPLs production and the development of thrombosis in COVID-19.

18.
Microbiology spectrum ; : e0237122, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2008768

ABSTRACT

Diverse severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants have emerged since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. We investigated the immunological and pathological peculiarity of the SARS-CoV-2 beta variant of concern (VoC) compared to the ancestral strain. Comparative analysis of phenotype and pathology revealed that the beta VoC induces slower disease progression and a prolonged presymptomatic period in the early stages of SARS-CoV-2 infection but ultimately causes sudden death in the late stages of infection in the K18-hACE2 mouse model. The beta VoC induced enhanced activation of CXCL1/2-CXCR2-NLRP3-IL-1β signal cascade accelerating neutrophil recruitment and lung pathology in beta variant-infected mice, as evidenced by multiple analyses of SARS-CoV-2-induced inflammatory cytokines and transcriptomes. CCL2 was one of the most highly secreted cytokines in the early stages of infection. Its blockade reduced virus-induced weight loss and delayed mortality. Our study provides a better understanding of the variant characteristics and need for treatment. IMPORTANCE Since the outbreak of COVID-19, diverse SARS-CoV-2 variants have been identified. These variants have different infectivity and transmissibility from the ancestral strains. However, underlying molecular mechanisms have not yet been fully elucidated. In our study, the beta variant showed distinct pathological conditions and cytokine release kinetics from an ancestral strain in a mouse model. It was associated with higher neutrophil recruitment by increased levels of CXCL1/2, CXCR2, and interleukin 1β (IL-1β) at a later stage of viral infection. Our study will provide a better understanding of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis.

19.
iScience ; : 105038, 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-2007777

ABSTRACT

Severe outcomes from SARS-CoV-2 infection are highly associated with preexisting comorbid conditions like hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. We utilized the diet-induced obesity (DIO) model of metabolic dysfunction in K18-hACE2 transgenic mice to model obesity as a COVID-19 comorbidity. Female DIO, but not male DIO mice challenged with SARS-CoV-2 were observed to have shortened time to morbidity compared to controls. Increased susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 in female DIO was associated with increased viral RNA burden and interferon production compared to males. Transcriptomic analysis of the lungs from all mouse cohorts revealed sex- and DIO-associated differential gene expression profiles. Male DIO mice after challenge had decreased expression of antibody-related genes compared to controls, suggesting antibody producing cell localization in the lung. Collectively this study establishes a preclinical co-morbidity model of COVID-19 in mice where we observed sex- and diet-specific responses that begin explaining the effects of obesity and metabolic disease on COVID-19 pathology.

20.
Journal of medical virology ; 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2007103

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is the illness caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Over 500 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been recorded, with 6 million deaths. Thus, reducing the COVID-19-related medical burden is an unmet need. Despite a vaccine that is successful in preventing COVID-19-caused death, effective medication to relieve COVID-19-associated symptoms and alleviate disease progression is still in high demand. In particular, one in three COVID-19 patients have signs of long COVID syndrome and are termed long haulers. At present, there are no effective ways to treat long haulers. In this study, we determine the effectiveness of inhibiting mitogen-activated protein kinase (MEK) signaling in preventing SARS-CoV-2-induced lung damage in mice. We showed that phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), a marker for MEK activation, is high in SARS-CoV-2-infected lung tissues of mice and humans. We show that selumetinib, a specific inhibitor of the upstream MEK kinases, reduces cell proliferation, reduces lung damage following SARS-CoV-2 infection, and prolongs the survival of the infected mice. Selumetinib has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat cancer. Further analysis indicates that amphiregulin (AREG), an essential upstream molecule, was upregulated following SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our data suggest that MEK signaling activation represents a target for therapeutic intervention strategies against SARS-CoV-2-induced lung damage and that selumetinib may be repurposed to treat COVID-19. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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