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1.
Front Immunol ; 12: 754127, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518487

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 presentations range from mild to moderate through severe disease but also manifest with persistent illness or viral recrudescence. We hypothesized that the spectrum of COVID-19 disease manifestations was a consequence of SARS-CoV-2-mediated delay in the pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) response, including dampened type I interferon signaling, thereby shifting the balance of the immune response to be dominated by damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP) signaling. To test the hypothesis, we constructed a parsimonious mechanistic mathematical model. After calibration of the model for initial viral load and then by varying a few key parameters, we show that the core model generates four distinct viral load, immune response and associated disease trajectories termed "patient archetypes", whose temporal dynamics are reflected in clinical data from hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The model also accounts for responses to corticosteroid therapy and predicts that vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies and cellular memory will be protective, including from severe COVID-19 disease. This generalizable modeling framework could be used to analyze protective and pathogenic immune responses to diverse viral infections.


Subject(s)
Alarmins/immunology , COVID-19 , Models, Biological , SARS-CoV-2 , Adrenal Cortex Hormones/therapeutic use , Adult , Aged , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Middle Aged , Reproducibility of Results , Viral Load
2.
Front Immunol ; 12: 720192, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1378190

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 might lead to multi-organ failure and, in some cases, to death. The COVID-19 severity is associated with a "cytokine storm." Danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) are proinflammatory molecules that can activate pattern recognition receptors, such as toll-like receptors (TLRs). DAMPs and TLRs have not received much attention in COVID-19 but can explain some of the gender-, weight- and age-dependent effects. In females and males, TLRs are differentially expressed, likely contributing to higher COVID-19 severity in males. DAMPs and cytokines associated with COVID-19 mortality are elevated in obese and elderly individuals, which might explain the higher risk for severer COVID-19 in these groups. Adenosine signaling inhibits the TLR/NF-κB pathway and, through this, decreases inflammation and DAMPs' effects. As vaccines will not be effective in all susceptible individuals and as new vaccine-resistant SARS-CoV-2 mutants might develop, it remains mandatory to find means to dampen COVID-19 disease severity, especially in high-risk groups. We propose that the regulation of DAMPs via adenosine signaling enhancement might be an effective way to lower the severity of COVID-19 and prevent multiple organ failure in the absence of severe side effects.


Subject(s)
Alarmins/immunology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Inflammation Mediators/immunology , Adenosine/metabolism , Alarmins/antagonists & inhibitors , Animals , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Inflammation/prevention & control , Inflammation Mediators/antagonists & inhibitors , Multiple Organ Failure/etiology , Multiple Organ Failure/prevention & control , Patient Acuity , Signal Transduction , Toll-Like Receptors/antagonists & inhibitors , Toll-Like Receptors/immunology
3.
PLoS One ; 16(7): e0254374, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1320545

ABSTRACT

While establishing worldwide collective immunity with anti SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, COVID-19 remains a major health issue with dramatic ensuing economic consequences. In the transition, repurposing existing drugs remains the fastest cost-effective approach to alleviate the burden on health services, most particularly by reducing the incidence of the acute respiratory distress syndrome associated with severe COVID-19. We undertook a computational repurposing approach to identify candidate therapeutic drugs to control progression towards severe airways inflammation during COVID-19. Molecular profiling data were obtained from public sources regarding SARS-CoV-2 infected epithelial or endothelial cells, immune dysregulations associated with severe COVID-19 and lung inflammation induced by other respiratory viruses. From these data, we generated a protein-protein interactome modeling the evolution of lung inflammation during COVID-19 from inception to an established cytokine release syndrome. This predictive model assembling severe COVID-19-related proteins supports a role for known contributors to the cytokine storm such as IL1ß, IL6, TNFα, JAK2, but also less prominent actors such as IL17, IL23 and C5a. Importantly our analysis points out to alarmins such as TSLP, IL33, members of the S100 family and their receptors (ST2, RAGE) as targets of major therapeutic interest. By evaluating the network-based distances between severe COVID-19-related proteins and known drug targets, network computing identified drugs which could be repurposed to prevent or slow down progression towards severe airways inflammation. This analysis confirmed the interest of dexamethasone, JAK2 inhibitors, estrogens and further identified various drugs either available or in development interacting with the aforementioned targets. We most particularly recommend considering various inhibitors of alarmins or their receptors, currently receiving little attention in this indication, as candidate treatments for severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Alarmins/immunology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/complications , Drug Repositioning , Pneumonia/complications , Pneumonia/drug therapy , Antiviral Agents/immunology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Humans , Pneumonia/immunology
4.
Front Immunol ; 12: 653110, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1305643

ABSTRACT

To characterize transcriptomic changes in endothelial cells (ECs) infected by coronaviruses, and stimulated by DAMPs, the expressions of 1311 innate immune regulatomic genes (IGs) were examined in 28 EC microarray datasets with 7 monocyte datasets as controls. We made the following findings: The majority of IGs are upregulated in the first 12 hours post-infection (PI), and maintained until 48 hours PI in human microvascular EC infected by middle east respiratory syndrome-coronavirus (MERS-CoV) (an EC model for COVID-19). The expressions of IGs are modulated in 21 human EC transcriptomic datasets by various PAMPs/DAMPs, including LPS, LPC, shear stress, hyperlipidemia and oxLDL. Upregulation of many IGs such as nucleic acid sensors are shared between ECs infected by MERS-CoV and those stimulated by PAMPs and DAMPs. Human heart EC and mouse aortic EC express all four types of coronavirus receptors such as ANPEP, CEACAM1, ACE2, DPP4 and virus entry facilitator TMPRSS2 (heart EC); most of coronavirus replication-transcription protein complexes are expressed in HMEC, which contribute to viremia, thromboembolism, and cardiovascular comorbidities of COVID-19. ECs have novel trained immunity (TI), in which subsequent inflammation is enhanced. Upregulated proinflammatory cytokines such as TNFα, IL6, CSF1 and CSF3 and TI marker IL-32 as well as TI metabolic enzymes and epigenetic enzymes indicate TI function in HMEC infected by MERS-CoV, which may drive cytokine storms. Upregulated CSF1 and CSF3 demonstrate a novel function of ECs in promoting myelopoiesis. Mechanistically, the ER stress and ROS, together with decreased mitochondrial OXPHOS complexes, facilitate a proinflammatory response and TI. Additionally, an increase of the regulators of mitotic catastrophe cell death, apoptosis, ferroptosis, inflammasomes-driven pyroptosis in ECs infected with MERS-CoV and the upregulation of pro-thrombogenic factors increase thromboembolism potential. Finally, NRF2-suppressed ROS regulate innate immune responses, TI, thrombosis, EC inflammation and death. These transcriptomic results provide novel insights on the roles of ECs in coronavirus infections such as COVID-19, cardiovascular diseases (CVD), inflammation, transplantation, autoimmune disease and cancers.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Endothelial Cells/physiology , Inflammation/immunology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , NF-E2-Related Factor 2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Alarmins/immunology , Animals , Datasets as Topic , Endothelial Cells/virology , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Immunization , Mice , Myelopoiesis , Oxidative Stress , Thromboembolism
5.
Genes Immun ; 22(3): 141-160, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275909

ABSTRACT

When surveying the current literature on COVID-19, the "cytokine storm" is considered to be pathogenetically involved in its severe outcomes such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, and eventually multiple organ failure. In this review, the similar role of DAMPs is addressed, that is, of those molecules, which operate upstream of the inflammatory pathway by activating those cells, which ultimately release the cytokines. Given the still limited reports on their role in COVID-19, the emerging topic is extended to respiratory viral infections with focus on influenza. At first, a brief introduction is given on the function of various classes of activating DAMPs and counterbalancing suppressing DAMPs (SAMPs) in initiating controlled inflammation-promoting and inflammation-resolving defense responses upon infectious and sterile insults. It is stressed that the excessive emission of DAMPs upon severe injury uncovers their fateful property in triggering dysregulated life-threatening hyperinflammatory responses. Such a scenario may happen when the viral load is too high, for example, in the respiratory tract, "forcing" many virus-infected host cells to decide to commit "suicidal" regulated cell death (e.g., necroptosis, pyroptosis) associated with release of large amounts of DAMPs: an important topic of this review. Ironically, although the aim of this "suicidal" cell death is to save and restore organismal homeostasis, the intrinsic release of excessive amounts of DAMPs leads to those dysregulated hyperinflammatory responses-as typically involved in the pathogenesis of acute respiratory distress syndrome and systemic inflammatory response syndrome in respiratory viral infections. Consequently, as briefly outlined in this review, these molecules can be considered valuable diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers to monitor and evaluate the course of the viral disorder, in particular, to grasp the eventual transition precociously from a controlled defense response as observed in mild/moderate cases to a dysregulated life-threatening hyperinflammatory response as seen, for example, in severe/fatal COVID-19. Moreover, the pathogenetic involvement of these molecules qualifies them as relevant future therapeutic targets to prevent severe/ fatal outcomes. Finally, a theory is presented proposing that the superimposition of coronavirus-induced DAMPs with non-virus-induced DAMPs from other origins such as air pollution or high age may contribute to severe and fatal courses of coronavirus pneumonia.


Subject(s)
Alarmins/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Virus Diseases/immunology , Alarmins/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/metabolism , Cytokines/immunology , Cytokines/metabolism , Humans , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/metabolism , Models, Immunological , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Diseases/complications , Virus Diseases/metabolism
6.
Ann Med ; 53(1): 777-785, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1246573

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the aetiological agent of COVID-19 disease, is representing a worldwide threat for the medical community and the society at large so that it is being defined as "the twenty-first-century disease". Often associated with a severe cytokine storm, leading to more severe cases, it is mandatory to block such occurrence early in the disease course, to prevent the patients from having more severe, sometimes fatal, outcomes. In this framework, early detection of "danger signals", possibly represented by alarmins, can represent one of the most promising strategies to effectively tailor the disease and to better understand the underlying mechanisms eventually leading to death or severe consequences. In light of such considerations, the present article aims at evaluating the role of alarmins in patients affected by COVID-19 disease and the relationship of such compounds with the most commonly reported comorbidities. The conducted researches demonstrated yet poor literature on this specific topic, however preliminarily confirming a role for danger signals in the amplification of the inflammatory reaction associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. As such, a number of chronic conditions, including metabolic syndrome, gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases, in turn, associated with higher levels of alarmins, both foster the infection and predispose to a worse prognosis. According to these preliminary data, prompt detection of high levels of alarmins in patients with COVID-19 and co-morbidities could suggest an immediate intense anti-inflammatory treatment.Key messageAlarmins have a role in the amplification of the inflammatory reaction associated with SARS-CoV-2 infectiona prompt detection of high levels of alarmins in patients with COVID-19 could suggest an immediate intense anti-inflammatory treatment.


Subject(s)
Alarmins/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Comorbidity , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/virology , Humans , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/virology , Prognosis , Severity of Illness Index
7.
Immunity ; 54(5): 1083-1095.e7, 2021 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1179682

ABSTRACT

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a life-threatening post-infectious complication occurring unpredictably weeks after mild or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. We profiled MIS-C, adult COVID-19, and healthy pediatric and adult individuals using single-cell RNA sequencing, flow cytometry, antigen receptor repertoire analysis, and unbiased serum proteomics, which collectively identified a signature in MIS-C patients that correlated with disease severity. Despite having no evidence of active infection, MIS-C patients had elevated S100A-family alarmins and decreased antigen presentation signatures, indicative of myeloid dysfunction. MIS-C patients showed elevated expression of cytotoxicity genes in NK and CD8+ T cells and expansion of specific IgG-expressing plasmablasts. Clinically severe MIS-C patients displayed skewed memory T cell TCR repertoires and autoimmunity characterized by endothelium-reactive IgG. The alarmin, cytotoxicity, TCR repertoire, and plasmablast signatures we defined have potential for application in the clinic to better diagnose and potentially predict disease severity early in the course of MIS-C.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/immunology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/pathology , Adolescent , Alarmins/immunology , Autoantibodies/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cytotoxicity, Immunologic/genetics , Endothelium/immunology , Endothelium/pathology , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Myeloid Cells/immunology , Plasma Cells/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , Severity of Illness Index
8.
Neuroimmunomodulation ; 27(2): 80-86, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-992127

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected millions of people worldwide. The pathophysiology of this virus is not very clearly known, thus, enormous efforts are being made by the scientific community to delineate its evading mechanism. In this review, we have summarized the hyperinflammation and humoral and cell-mediated immune response generated in human body after infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The inflammatory response generated after infection by increased proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, and complement proteins activation may likely contribute to disease severity. We also discussed the other factors that may affect immunity and could be important comorbidities in the disease severity and outcome.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Cellular/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Inflammation/immunology , Adaptive Immunity/immunology , Alarmins/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Complement Activation/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
9.
Dig Liver Dis ; 52(12): 1383-1389, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-834313

ABSTRACT

The microbiota-gut-liver-lung axis plays a bidirectional role in the pathophysiology of a number of infectious diseases. During the course of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 1 (SARS-CoV-1) and 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, this pathway is unbalanced due to intestinal involvement and systemic inflammatory response. Moreover, there is convincing preliminary evidence linking microbiota-gut-liver axis perturbations, proinflammatory status, and endothelial damage in noncommunicable preventable diseases with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) severity. Intestinal damage due to SARS-CoV-2 infection, systemic inflammation-induced dysfunction, and IL-6-mediated diffuse vascular damage may increase intestinal permeability and precipitate bacterial translocation. The systemic release of damage- and pathogen-associated molecular patterns (e.g. lipopolysaccharides) and consequent immune-activation may in turn auto-fuel vicious cycles of systemic inflammation and tissue damage. Thus, intestinal bacterial translocation may play an additive/synergistic role in the cytokine release syndrome in Covid-19. This review provides evidence on gut-liver axis involvement in Covid-19 as well as insights into the hypothesis that intestinal endotheliitis and permeability changes with bacterial translocation are key pathophysiologic events modulating systemic inflammatory response. Moreover, it presents an overview of readily applicable measures for the modulation of the gut-liver axis and microbiota in clinical practice.


Subject(s)
Bacterial Translocation/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/immunology , Intestinal Mucosa/metabolism , Lipopolysaccharides/metabolism , Liver/metabolism , Permeability , Alarmins/immunology , Alarmins/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Cytokine Release Syndrome/metabolism , Disease Progression , Humans , Immunity/immunology , Inflammation , Interleukin-6/immunology , Lipopolysaccharides/immunology , Liver/immunology , Lung/immunology , Lung/metabolism , Microbiota/immunology , Pathogen-Associated Molecular Pattern Molecules/immunology , Pathogen-Associated Molecular Pattern Molecules/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism
11.
Mediators Inflamm ; 2020: 7527953, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-656906

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is a pandemic disease caused by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that mostly affects the respiratory system. The consequent inflammation is not able to clear viruses. The persistent excessive inflammatory response can build up a clinical picture that is very difficult to manage and potentially fatal. Modulating the immune response plays a key role in fighting the disease. One of the main defence systems is the activation of neutrophils that release neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) under the stimulus of autophagy. Various molecules can induce NETosis and autophagy; some potent activators are damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) and, in particular, the high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1). This molecule is released by damaged lung cells and can induce a robust innate immunity response. The increase in HMGB1 and NETosis could lead to sustained inflammation due to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Therefore, blocking these molecules might be useful in COVID-19 treatment and should be further studied in the context of targeted therapy.


Subject(s)
Alarmins/immunology , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Extracellular Traps/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Alarmins/antagonists & inhibitors , Autophagy/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Extracellular Traps/drug effects , HMGB1 Protein/antagonists & inhibitors , HMGB1 Protein/immunology , Host Microbial Interactions/immunology , Humans , Interleukin-6/antagonists & inhibitors , Interleukin-6/immunology , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , SARS-CoV-2
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