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mBio ; 12(2)2021 04 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388457


Mammalian cells detect microbial molecules known as pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) as indicators of potential infection. Upon PAMP detection, diverse defensive responses are induced by the host, including those that promote inflammation and cell-intrinsic antimicrobial activities. Host-encoded molecules released from dying or damaged cells, known as damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), also induce defensive responses. Both DAMPs and PAMPs are recognized for their inflammatory potential, but only the latter are well established to stimulate cell-intrinsic host defense. Here, we report a class of DAMPs that engender an antiviral state in human epithelial cells. These DAMPs include oxPAPC (oxidized 1-palmitoyl-2-arachidonoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine), PGPC (1-palmitoyl-2-glutaryl phosphatidylcholine), and POVPC [1-palmitoyl-2-(5-oxovaleroyl)-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylcholine], oxidized lipids that are naturally released from dead or dying cells. Exposing cells to these DAMPs prior to vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) infection limits viral replication. Mechanistically, these DAMPs prevent viral entry, thereby limiting the percentage of cells that are productively infected and consequently restricting viral load. We found that the antiviral actions of oxidized lipids are distinct from those mediated by the PAMP Poly I:C, in that the former induces a more rapid antiviral response without the induction of the interferon response. These data support a model whereby interferon-independent defensive activities can be induced by DAMPs, which may limit viral replication before PAMP-mediated interferon responses are induced. This antiviral activity may impact viruses that disrupt interferon responses in the oxygenated environment of the lung, such as influenza virus and SARS-CoV-2.IMPORTANCE In this work, we explored how a class of oxidized lipids, spontaneously created during tissue damage and unprogrammed cell lysis, block the earliest events in RNA virus infection in the human epithelium. This gives us novel insight into the ways that we view infection models, unveiling a built-in mechanism to slow viral growth that neither engages the interferon response nor is subject to known viral antagonism. These oxidized phospholipids act prior to infection, allowing time for other, better-known innate immune mechanisms to take effect. This discovery broadens our understanding of host defenses, introducing a soluble factor that alters the cellular environment to protect from RNA virus infection.

Alarmins/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , RNA Viruses/drug effects , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , A549 Cells , Cell Death/drug effects , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Interferons/genetics , Interferons/metabolism , Kinetics , Pathogen-Associated Molecular Pattern Molecules/pharmacology , Phosphatidylcholines/pharmacology , RNA Viruses/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Vesiculovirus/drug effects , Vesiculovirus/physiology , Viral Load
Cell Host Microbe ; 29(2): 222-235.e4, 2021 02 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-987276


The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic poses an unprecedented public health crisis. Evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 infection causes dysregulation of the immune system. However, the unique signature of early immune responses remains elusive. We characterized the transcriptome of rhesus macaques and mice infected with SARS-CoV-2. Alarmin S100A8 was robustly induced in SARS-CoV-2-infected animal models as well as in COVID-19 patients. Paquinimod, a specific inhibitor of S100A8/A9, could rescue the pneumonia with substantial reduction of viral loads in SARS-CoV-2-infected mice. Remarkably, Paquinimod treatment resulted in almost 100% survival in a lethal model of mouse coronavirus infection using the mouse hepatitis virus (MHV). A group of neutrophils that contributes to the uncontrolled pathological damage and onset of COVID-19 was dramatically induced by coronavirus infection. Paquinimod treatment could reduce these neutrophils and regain anti-viral responses, unveiling key roles of S100A8/A9 and aberrant neutrophils in the pathogenesis of COVID-19, highlighting new opportunities for therapeutic intervention.

Alarmins/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19 Drug Treatment , Neutrophils/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Macaca mulatta , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , Neutrophils/metabolism , Transcriptome , Viral Load