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1.
Sci Immunol ; 7(68): eabf2846, 2022 02 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1685480

ABSTRACT

Macrophages regulate protective immune responses to infectious microbes, but aberrant macrophage activation frequently drives pathological inflammation. To identify regulators of vigorous macrophage activation, we analyzed RNA-seq data from synovial macrophages and identified SLAMF7 as a receptor associated with a superactivated macrophage state in rheumatoid arthritis. We implicated IFN-γ as a key regulator of SLAMF7 expression and engaging SLAMF7 drove a strong wave of inflammatory cytokine expression. Induction of TNF-α after SLAMF7 engagement amplified inflammation through an autocrine signaling loop. We observed SLAMF7-induced gene programs not only in macrophages from rheumatoid arthritis patients but also in gut macrophages from patients with active Crohn's disease and in lung macrophages from patients with severe COVID-19. This suggests a central role for SLAMF7 in macrophage superactivation with broad implications in human disease pathology.


Subject(s)
Inflammation/immunology , Macrophage Activation/immunology , Signaling Lymphocytic Activation Molecule Family/immunology , Transcriptome/immunology , Acute Disease , Adult , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/genetics , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/metabolism , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Chronic Disease , Crohn Disease/genetics , Crohn Disease/immunology , Crohn Disease/metabolism , Female , Humans , Inflammation/genetics , Inflammation/metabolism , Macrophage Activation/genetics , RNA-Seq/methods , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Signaling Lymphocytic Activation Molecule Family/genetics , Signaling Lymphocytic Activation Molecule Family/metabolism , Single-Cell Analysis/methods , Synovial Membrane/immunology , Synovial Membrane/metabolism , Synovial Membrane/pathology , Transcriptome/genetics
2.
Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 44(8): 587-598, 2021 Oct.
Article in English, Spanish | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1626213

ABSTRACT

Patients with certain immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), have an increased risk of severe infectious diseases than the general population, which are mainly associated with the immunosuppressive treatments that they receive. These treatments act on the immune system through different mechanisms, causing different degrees of immunosuppression and a variable risk depending on whether the pathogen is a virus, bacteria or fungus. This article reviews the most relevant literature on the subject, which was selected and discussed by a panel of experts. The aim of this article is to review the risk of infections in patients with IBD and RA, and the potential preventive measures.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid/therapy , Bacterial Infections/prevention & control , Biological Therapy/adverse effects , Immunosuppressive Agents/adverse effects , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/therapy , Janus Kinase Inhibitors/adverse effects , Virus Diseases/prevention & control , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , COVID-19/etiology , Hepatitis A/prevention & control , Hepatitis B/prevention & control , Herpes Zoster/prevention & control , Humans , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/immunology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Pneumococcal Infections/prevention & control , Risk Factors , Tuberculosis, Pulmonary/prevention & control , Vaccination Coverage , Vaccines, Inactivated/administration & dosage
3.
Ann Rheum Dis ; 81(3): 416-421, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541856

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To assess the kinetics of humoral response after the first and second dose of messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines in patients with inflammatory joint diseases compared with healthy controls (HC). To analyse factors influencing the quantity of the immune response. METHODS: We enrolled patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and seronegative spondyloarthritis (SpA), excluding those receiving B-cell depleting therapies and assessed the humoral response to mRNA vaccines after the first and the second dose of the vaccine in terms of seroconversion rate and titre. We compared the results to a HC group and analysed the influence of therapies as well as other characteristics on the humoral response. RESULTS: Samples from 53 patients with RA, 46 patients with SpA and 169 healthy participants were analysed. Seroconversion rates after the first immunisation were only 54% in patients with inflammatory arthritis compared with 98% in the HC group. However, seroconversion rates were 100% in all groups after second immunisation. Patients developed reduced antibody titres after the first vaccination compared with HC, but there was no difference after the second dose. While disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) monotherapy did not affect antibody levels, seroconversion rates as well as titre levels were reduced in patients receiving a combination of DMARDs compared with HC. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with inflammatory joint diseases under DMARD therapy show impaired humoral responses to the first vaccine dose but excellent final responses to vaccination with mRNA vaccines. Therefore, the full course of two immunisations is necessary for efficient vaccination responses in patients with inflammatory arthritis under DMARD therapy.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spondylarthritis/immunology , Antirheumatic Agents/immunology , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , Case-Control Studies , Female , Humans , Immunity, Humoral/drug effects , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/drug effects , Male , Middle Aged , Seroconversion/drug effects , Spondylarthritis/drug therapy
4.
Eur J Clin Invest ; 52(2): e13713, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541727

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 and some anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines trigger a humoral autoimmune response against a broad range of endogenous components, which may affect recipients' prognosis in predisposed individuals. Autoantibodies directed against apolipoprotein A-1 (AAA1 IgG) the major protein fraction of High Density Lipoprotein have been shown to be raised in COVID-19 and in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and other populations where they have been associated with poorer outcomes. We wanted to assess the impact of anti-SARS-CoV-2 mRNA-based vaccination on AAA1 autoimmune biomarkers in RA patients. METHODS: 20 healthy controls and 77 RA mRNA-based vaccinated patients were collected at baseline, 3 weeks after the first vaccination, 2 and 8 weeks after the second vaccination. AAA1 and SARS-CoV-2 serologies were measured by immunoassays. Systemic and local symptoms occurring during the vaccination protocol were recorded. RESULTS: mRNA-based vaccination induced a significant increase in median AAA1 IgG levels in both healthy controls and RA patients overtime. However, in both populations, these medians trend did not translate into significant increase in AAA1 IgG seropositivity rates despite evolving from 5 to 10% in healthy controls, and from 9 to 12.9% in RA patients. No associations were retrieved between AAA1 IgG and symptoms of any kind during the vaccination protocol. CONCLUSIONS: mRNA-based vaccination seems to induce a light AAA1 IgG response in immunocompetent individuals within 2 months after the last injection. Although we did not observe any warning signs, the formal demonstration of the harmlessness of such biological warrants further studies.


Subject(s)
Apolipoprotein A-I/immunology , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , /adverse effects , /adverse effects , Adult , Aged , /therapeutic use , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Case-Control Studies , Female , Humans , Immunocompetence , Immunoglobulin G , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , /therapeutic use
5.
Mod Rheumatol Case Rep ; 5(2): 226-228, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493585

ABSTRACT

We report the case of a 61-year old female with a 20-year history of seropositive rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who developed acute hepatitis. Her arthritis had been treated with methotrexate (MTX) since 2003 and, following an increase in disease activity, Rituximab (RTX) was commenced in January 2017. In May 2020, routine blood tests showed a new elevation in her liver profile, although synthetic function was preserved. A standard liver screen found no cause for her acutely abnormal lab values. Upon additional serological testing, the patient was confirmed to have acute hepatitis E virus (HEV). Her primary complaint at the time was fatigue. Within a month, her liver blood tests spontaneously improved and her symptoms resolved with conservative management.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid , Hepatitis E , Immunocompromised Host , Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/complications , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/drug therapy , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , Female , Hepatitis E/diagnosis , Hepatitis E/immunology , Humans , Methotrexate/therapeutic use , Middle Aged , Rituximab/therapeutic use
6.
Front Immunol ; 12: 740249, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1448730

ABSTRACT

Objective: To assess in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, treated with different immunosuppressive therapies, the induction of SARS-CoV-2-specific immune response after vaccination in terms of anti-region-binding-domain (RBD)-antibody- and T-cell-specific responses against spike, and the vaccine safety in terms of clinical impact on disease activity. Methods: Health care workers (HCWs) and RA patients, having completed the BNT162b2-mRNA vaccination in the last 2 weeks, were enrolled. Serological response was evaluated by quantifying anti-RBD antibodies, while the cell-mediated response was evaluated by a whole-blood test quantifying the interferon (IFN)-γ-response to spike peptides. FACS analysis was performed to identify the cells responding to spike stimulation. RA disease activity was evaluated by clinical examination through the DAS28crp, and local and/or systemic clinical adverse events were registered. In RA patients, the ongoing therapeutic regimen was modified during the vaccination period according to the American College of Rheumatology indications. Results: We prospectively enrolled 167 HCWs and 35 RA patients. Anti-RBD-antibodies were detected in almost all patients (34/35, 97%), although the titer was significantly reduced in patients under CTLA-4-inhibitors (median: 465 BAU/mL, IQR: 103-1189, p<0.001) or IL-6-inhibitors (median: 492 BAU/mL, IQR: 161-1007, p<0.001) compared to HCWs (median: 2351 BAU/mL, IQR: 1389-3748). T-cell-specific response scored positive in most of RA patients [24/35, (69%)] with significantly lower IFN-γ levels in patients under biological therapy such as IL-6-inhibitors (median: 33.2 pg/mL, IQR: 6.1-73.9, p<0.001), CTLA-4-inhibitors (median: 10.9 pg/mL, IQR: 3.7-36.7, p<0.001), and TNF-α-inhibitors (median: 89.6 pg/mL, IQR: 17.8-224, p=0.002) compared to HCWs (median: 343 pg/mL, IQR: 188-756). A significant correlation between the anti-RBD-antibody titer and spike-IFN-γ-specific T-cell response was found in RA patients (rho=0.432, p=0.009). IFN-γ T-cell response was mediated by CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Finally, no significant increase in disease activity was found in RA patients following vaccination. Conclusion: This study showed for the first time that antibody-specific and whole-blood spike-specific T-cell responses induced by the COVID-19 mRNA-vaccine were present in the majority of RA patients, who underwent a strategy of temporary suspension of immunosuppressive treatment during vaccine administration. However, the magnitude of specific responses was dependent on the immunosuppressive therapy administered. In RA patients, BNT162b2 vaccine was safe and disease activity remained stable.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Immunotherapy/adverse effects , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Aged , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/cytology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/cytology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology
7.
Ann Rheum Dis ; 80(10): 1286-1298, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406632

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Despite growing interest, there is no guidance or consensus on how to conduct clinical trials and observational studies in populations at risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS: An European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) task force formulated four research questions to be addressed by systematic literature review (SLR). The SLR results informed consensus statements. One overarching principle, 10 points to consider (PTC) and a research agenda were proposed. Task force members rated their level of agreement (1-10) for each PTC. RESULTS: Epidemiological and demographic characteristics should be measured in all clinical trials and studies in at-risk individuals. Different at-risk populations, identified according to clinical presentation, were defined: asymptomatic, musculoskeletal symptoms without arthritis and early clinical arthritis. Study end-points should include the development of subclinical inflammation on imaging, clinical arthritis, RA and subsequent achievement of arthritis remission. Risk factors should be assessed at baseline and re-evaluated where appropriate; they include genetic markers and autoantibody profiling and additionally clinical symptoms and subclinical inflammation on imaging in those with symptoms and/or clinical arthritis. Trials should address the effect of the intervention on risk factors, as well as progression to clinical arthritis or RA. In patients with early clinical arthritis, pharmacological intervention has the potential to prevent RA development. Participants' knowledge of their RA risk may inform their decision to participate; information should be provided using an individually tailored approach. CONCLUSION: These consensus statements provide data-driven guidance for rheumatologists, health professionals and investigators conducting clinical trials and observational studies in individuals at risk of RA.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid/prevention & control , Asymptomatic Diseases , Clinical Trials as Topic/methods , Observational Studies as Topic/methods , Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/diagnostic imaging , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/therapy , Europe , Humans , Rheumatology , Risk Factors , Severity of Illness Index , Societies, Medical
8.
Rheumatol Int ; 41(11): 1925-1931, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1391850

ABSTRACT

Vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) were launched in December 2020. Vaccination of patients with rheumatic diseases is recommended, as they are considered at higher risk of severe COVID-19 than the general population. Patients with rheumatic disease have largely been excluded from vaccine phase 3 trials. This study explores the safety and reactogenicity of BNT162b2 among patients with rheumatic diseases. Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), median age 58.8 years, 285 subjects in total, were vaccinated twice with the BNT162b2 (Pfizer/BioNTech). Questionnaires on reactogenicity matching the original phase 3 study were answered seven days after completed vaccination. The majority of SLE and RA patients experienced either local (78.0%) or systemic reactions (80.1%). Only 1.8% experienced a grade-4 reaction. Compared to the original study, we found more frequent fatigue [Odds ratio (OR) 2.2 (1.7-2.8)], headache [OR 1.7 (1.3-2.2)], muscle pain [OR 1.8 (1.4-2.3)], and joint pain [OR 2.3 (1.7-3.0)] in patients. In contrast, the use of antipyretics was less frequent [OR 0.5 (0.3-0.6)]. Patients with SLE and RA experience reactogenicity to the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine. Reactogenicity was more frequent in patients, however, not more severe compared with healthy controls.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/immunology , Aged , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/complications , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Case-Control Studies , Female , Humans , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/complications , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Reported Outcome Measures , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination/adverse effects
9.
J Med Virol ; 93(2): 755-759, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1384219

ABSTRACT

Hydroxychloroquine sulfate (HCQ) is being scrutinized for repositioning in the treatment and prevention of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. This antimalarial drug is also chronically used to treat patients with autoimmune diseases. By analyzing the Portuguese anonymized data on private and public based medical prescriptions we have identified all cases chronically receiving HCQ for the management of diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases. Additionally, we have detected all laboratory confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection and all laboratory confirmed negative cases in the Portuguese population (mandatorily registered in a centrally managed database). Cross linking the two sets of data has allowed us to compare the proportion of HCQ chronic treatment (at least 2 grams per month) in laboratory confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection with laboratory confirmed negative cases. Out of 26 815 SARS-CoV-2 positive patients, 77 (0.29%) were chronically treated with HCQ, while 1215 (0.36%) out of 333 489 negative patients were receiving it chronically (P = .04). After adjustment for age, sex, and chronic treatment with corticosteroids and/or immunosuppressants, the odds ratio of SARS-CoV-2 infection for chronic treatment with HCQ has been 0.51 (0.37-0.70). Our data suggest that chronic treatment with HCQ confer protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/drug therapy , COVID-19/prevention & control , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/drug therapy , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis , Adult , Aged , Antimalarials/therapeutic use , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/pathology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Drug Administration Schedule , Drug Repositioning , Female , Humans , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/immunology , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Odds Ratio , Portugal , Registries , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
10.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(16)2021 Aug 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1367847

ABSTRACT

While first and foremost considered a respiratory infection, COVID-19 can result in complications affecting multiple organs. Immune responses in COVID-19 can both protect against the disease as well as drive it. Insights into these responses, and specifically the targets being recognised by the immune system, are of vital importance in understanding the side effects of COVID-19 and associated pathologies. The body's adaptive immunity recognises and responds against specific targets (antigens) expressed by foreign pathogens, but not usually to target self-antigens. However, if the immune system becomes dysfunctional, adaptive immune cells can react to self-antigens, which can result in autoimmune disease. Viral infections are well reported to be associated with, or exacerbate, autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In COVID-19 patients, both new onset MS and SLE, as well as the occurrence of other autoimmune-like pathologies, have been reported. Additionally, the presence of autoantibodies, both with and without known associations to autoimmune diseases, have been found. Herein we describe the mechanisms of virally induced autoimmunity and summarise some of the emerging reports on the autoimmune-like diseases and autoreactivity that is reported to be associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases/immunology , Autoimmune Diseases/virology , COVID-19/immunology , Adaptive Immunity , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , Autoantibodies/immunology , Autoantigens/immunology , Autoimmunity , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
11.
JCI Insight ; 6(13)2021 06 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1346128

ABSTRACT

We explored the potential link between chronic inflammatory arthritis and COVID-19 pathogenic and resolving macrophage pathways and their role in COVID-19 pathogenesis. We found that bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) macrophage clusters FCN1+ and FCN1+SPP1+ predominant in severe COVID-19 were transcriptionally related to synovial tissue macrophage (STM) clusters CD48hiS100A12+ and CD48+SPP1+ that drive rheumatoid arthritis (RA) synovitis. BALF macrophage cluster FABP4+ predominant in healthy lung was transcriptionally related to STM cluster TREM2+ that governs resolution of synovitis in RA remission. Plasma concentrations of SPP1 and S100A12 (key products of macrophage clusters shared with active RA) were high in severe COVID-19 and predicted the need for Intensive Care Unit transfer, and they remained high in the post-COVID-19 stage. High plasma levels of SPP1 were unique to severe COVID-19 when compared with other causes of severe pneumonia, and IHC localized SPP1+ macrophages in the alveoli of COVID-19 lung. Investigation into SPP1 mechanisms of action revealed that it drives proinflammatory activation of CD14+ monocytes and development of PD-L1+ neutrophils, both hallmarks of severe COVID-19. In summary, COVID-19 pneumonitis appears driven by similar pathogenic myeloid cell pathways as those in RA, and their mediators such as SPP1 might be an upstream activator of the aberrant innate response in severe COVID-19 and predictive of disease trajectory including post-COVID-19 pathology.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Monocytes/immunology , Neutrophils/immunology , Osteopontin/immunology , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/metabolism , B7-H1 Antigen/immunology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology , CD48 Antigen/immunology , COVID-19/chemically induced , COVID-19/metabolism , Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins/immunology , Humans , Lectins/immunology , Lipopolysaccharide Receptors/immunology , Lipopolysaccharide Receptors/metabolism , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Lung/immunology , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Macrophages/immunology , Macrophages/metabolism , Membrane Glycoproteins/immunology , Monocytes/metabolism , Neutrophils/metabolism , Osteopontin/blood , Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases/metabolism , Receptors, Immunologic/immunology , S100A12 Protein/immunology , S100A12 Protein/metabolism , Synovial Membrane/immunology , Tomography, X-Ray Computed
14.
J Autoimmun ; 122: 102682, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275428

ABSTRACT

The variability in resolution of SARS-CoV-2-infections between individuals neither is comprehended, nor are the long-term immunological consequences. To assess the long-term impact of a SARS-CoV-2-infection on the immune system, we conducted a prospective study of 80 acute and former SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals and 39 unexposed donors to evaluate autoantibody responses and immune composition. Autoantibody levels against cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP), a specific predictor for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), were significantly (p = 0.035) elevated in convalescents only, whereas both acute COVID-19 patients and long-term convalescents showed critically increased levels of anti-tissue transglutaminase (TG), a specific predictor of celiac disease (CD) (p = 0.002). Both, anti-CCP and anti-TG antibody levels were still detectable after 4-8 months post infection. Anti-TG antibodies occurred predominantly in aged patients in a context of a post-SARS-CoV-2-specific immune composition (R2 = 0.31; p = 0.044). This study shows that increased anti-CCP and anti-TG autoantibody levels can remain long-term after recovering even from mildly experienced COVID-19. The inter-relationship of the lung as viral entry side and RA- and CD-associated autoimmunity indicates that a SARS-CoV-2-infection could be a relevant environmental factor in their pathogenesis.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Peptides, Cyclic/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anti-Citrullinated Protein Antibodies/blood , Anti-Citrullinated Protein Antibodies/immunology , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , Autoantibodies/immunology , Autoantigens/immunology , Celiac Disease/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Transglutaminases/immunology , Young Adult
15.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 11462, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1253984

ABSTRACT

An excessive immune response known as cytokine storm is the hallmark of severe COVID-19. The cause of this cytokine rampage is yet not known. Based on recent epidemiological evidence, we hypothesized that CD80/86 signaling is essential for this hyperinflammation, and that blocking this proinflammatory axis could be an effective therapeutic approach to protect against severe COVID-19. Here we provide exploratory evidence that abatacept, a drug that blocks CD80/86 co-stimulation, produces changes at the systemic level that are highly antagonistic of the proinflammatory processes elicited by COVID-19. Using RNA-seq from blood samples from a longitudinal cohort of n = 38 rheumatic patients treated with abatacept, we determined the immunological processes that are significantly regulated by this treatment. We then analyzed available blood RNA-seq from two COVID19 patient cohorts, a very early cohort from the epicenter of the pandemic in China (n = 3 COVID-19 cases and n = 3 controls), and a recent and larger cohort from the USA (n = 49 severe and n = 51 mild COVD-19 patients). We found a highly significant antagonism between SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 severity with the systemic response to abatacept. Analysis of previous single-cell RNA-seq data from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from mild and severe COVID-19 patients and controls, reinforce the implication of the CD80/86 proinflammatory axis. Our functional results further support abatacept as a candidate therapeutic approach to prevent severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Abatacept/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/prevention & control , Immunosuppressive Agents/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Abatacept/therapeutic use , Aged , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/blood , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/drug therapy , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , B7-1 Antigen/metabolism , B7-2 Antigen/metabolism , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/cytology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , China , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/virology , Female , Humans , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Male , Middle Aged , Observational Studies as Topic , RNA-Seq , Severity of Illness Index , Signal Transduction/immunology , Single-Cell Analysis , Spain , United States , Up-Regulation/drug effects , Up-Regulation/immunology
16.
Genome Med ; 13(1): 64, 2021 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1195928

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Immunosuppressive and anti-cytokine treatment may have a protective effect for patients with COVID-19. Understanding the immune cell states shared between COVID-19 and other inflammatory diseases with established therapies may help nominate immunomodulatory therapies. METHODS: To identify cellular phenotypes that may be shared across tissues affected by disparate inflammatory diseases, we developed a meta-analysis and integration pipeline that models and removes the effects of technology, tissue of origin, and donor that confound cell-type identification. Using this approach, we integrated > 300,000 single-cell transcriptomic profiles from COVID-19-affected lungs and tissues from healthy subjects and patients with five inflammatory diseases: rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Crohn's disease (CD), ulcerative colitis (UC), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and interstitial lung disease. We tested the association of shared immune states with severe/inflamed status compared to healthy control using mixed-effects modeling. To define environmental factors within these tissues that shape shared macrophage phenotypes, we stimulated human blood-derived macrophages with defined combinations of inflammatory factors, emphasizing in particular antiviral interferons IFN-beta (IFN-ß) and IFN-gamma (IFN-γ), and pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF. RESULTS: We built an immune cell reference consisting of > 300,000 single-cell profiles from 125 healthy or disease-affected donors from COVID-19 and five inflammatory diseases. We observed a CXCL10+ CCL2+ inflammatory macrophage state that is shared and strikingly abundant in severe COVID-19 bronchoalveolar lavage samples, inflamed RA synovium, inflamed CD ileum, and UC colon. These cells exhibited a distinct arrangement of pro-inflammatory and interferon response genes, including elevated levels of CXCL10, CXCL9, CCL2, CCL3, GBP1, STAT1, and IL1B. Further, we found this macrophage phenotype is induced upon co-stimulation by IFN-γ and TNF-α. CONCLUSIONS: Our integrative analysis identified immune cell states shared across inflamed tissues affected by inflammatory diseases and COVID-19. Our study supports a key role for IFN-γ together with TNF-α in driving an abundant inflammatory macrophage phenotype in severe COVID-19-affected lungs, as well as inflamed RA synovium, CD ileum, and UC colon, which may be targeted by existing immunomodulatory therapies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/immunology , Macrophages/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/genetics , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/cytology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology , COVID-19/genetics , Colitis, Ulcerative/genetics , Colitis, Ulcerative/immunology , Colon/immunology , Crohn Disease/genetics , Crohn Disease/immunology , Humans , Inflammation/genetics , Inflammation/immunology , Lung/immunology , Lung Diseases, Interstitial/genetics , Lung Diseases, Interstitial/immunology , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/genetics , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/immunology , Phenotype , RNA-Seq
17.
Expert Rev Clin Immunol ; 17(6): 561-571, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1159477

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic raises a great challenge in the management of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which are generally more susceptible to infection events because of the autoimmune condition itself and the treatment with immunomodulatory drugs. The use of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), including biologics and targeted-synthetic DMARDs, has aroused particular interest because of both their immunosuppressive effects and their hypothetical potential in COVID-19 treatment.Areas covered: For this narrative review, a literature search was conducted between December 2019 and February 2021 on PubMed including epidemiological studies, gathering the main evidence available to date about the impact of COVID-19 on RA patients and the influence of anti-rheumatic drugs on patients' susceptibility to this infection. We also summarize the recommendations from the international guidelines on the management of rheumatic diseases and treatments in this pandemic context, especially focused on RA.Expert opinion: About a year after the outbreak of the pandemic, we are able to answer some of the most relevant questions regarding patients with RA and their management in this pandemic context. Our efforts must now be directed toward consolidating the currently available data with more rigorous studies and facing new issues and challenges including, foremost, vaccination.


Subject(s)
Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/drug therapy , COVID-19/therapy , Immunosuppressive Agents/therapeutic use , Antirheumatic Agents/adverse effects , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/epidemiology , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Immunosuppressive Agents/adverse effects , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Treatment Outcome
18.
Curr Med Res Opin ; 37(6): 929-938, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1146331

ABSTRACT

In March 2020, COVID-19 infection caused by SARS-CoV-2 has been declared to be a global pandemic, where its complications, severity and mortality are reported to be due to the released inflammatory cytokines or the so-called cytokine storm. This is quite similar to that observed in the autoimmune and chronic inflammatory rheumatic disease, rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It was hypothesized that RA patients are at a higher risk of acquiring COVID-19; however, recent studies reported that they are not when compared to the rest of the population. In this review, we aim to highlight the mutual pathological features, cytokine profiles and risk factors between COVID-19 and RA. Also, many researchers are currently working to explore therapeutic agents that could aid in the eradication of COVID-19 infection. Due to the similarity between the inflammation status in COVID-19 and RA, many anti-rheumatic drugs such as hydroxychloroquine, tocilizumab, baricitinib and anakinra were proposed to be therapeutic modalities for COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid , COVID-19 , Cytokine Release Syndrome , Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/complications , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/drug therapy , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/etiology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Cytokines/blood , Humans , Risk Factors
19.
Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 12(1): 321-333, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1118539

ABSTRACT

The Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Crohn's Disease (CD) are characterised by chronic non-resolving gut mucosal inflammation involving innate and adaptive immune responses. Neutrophils, usually regarded as first responders in inflammation, are a key presence in the gut mucosal inflammatory milieu in IBD. Here, we review the role of neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation as a potential effector disease mechanism. NETs are extracellular webs of chromatin, microbicidal proteins and oxidative enzymes that are released by neutrophils to contain pathogens. NETs contribute to the pathogenesis of several immune-mediated diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis; and recently, as a major tissue damaging process involved in the host response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection. NETs are pertinent as a defence mechanism at the gut mucosal interphase exposed to high levels of bacteria, viruses and fungi. On the other hand, NETs can also potentiate and perpetuate gut inflammation. In this review, we discuss the broad protective vs. pathogenic roles of NETs, explanatory factors that could lead to an increase in NET formation in IBD and how NETs may contribute to gut inflammation and IBD-related complications. Finally, we summarise therapeutic opportunities to target NETs in IBD.


Subject(s)
Extracellular Traps/immunology , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/immunology , Neutrophils/immunology , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/pathology , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/therapy , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/pathology , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/therapy , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/immunology , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/pathology , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/therapy , Neutrophils/pathology , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Rheumatol Int ; 41(5): 903-909, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1114295

ABSTRACT

To examine whether patients with inflammatory arthritis (IA) treated with conventional synthetic (cs) disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and/or biologic (b) DMARDs, could be affected from SARS-CoV-2 infection and to explore the COVID-19 disease course and outcome in this population. This is a prospective observational study. During the period February-December 2020, 443 patients with IA who were followed-up in the outpatient arthritis clinic were investigated. All patients were receiving cs and/or bDMARDs. During follow-up, the clinical, laboratory findings, comorbidities and drug side effects were all recorded and the treatment was adjusted or changed according to clinical manifestations and patient's needs. There were 251 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), 101 with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and 91 with ankylosing spondylitis (AS). We identified 32 patients who contracted COVID-19 (17 RA, 8 PsA, 7 AS). All were in remission and all drugs were discontinued. They presented mild COVID-19 symptoms, expressed mainly with systemic manifestations and sore throat, while six presented olfactory dysfunction and gastrointestinal disturbances, and all of them had a favorable disease course. However, three patients were admitted to the hospital, two of them with respiratory symptoms and pneumonia and were treated appropriately with excellent clinical response and outcome. Patients with IA treated with cs and/or bDMARDs have almost the same disease course with the general population when contract COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid/complications , COVID-19/complications , Adult , Antirheumatic Agents/immunology , Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/drug therapy , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , Biological Products/immunology , Biological Products/therapeutic use , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Treatment Outcome
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