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1.
Front Immunol ; 12: 780804, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1648493

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Currently, cardiovascular risk associated with COVID-19 has been brought to people's attention, but the mechanism is not clear. The aim of this study is to elucidate the mechanisms based on multiple omics data. Methodology: Weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) was used to identify key pathways. Combination analysis with aneurysm and atherosclerosis related pathways, hypoxia induced factor-1 (HIF-1) signaling were identified as key pathways of the increased cardiovascular risk associated with COVID-19. ScMLnet algorithm based on scRNA-seq was used to explore the regulation of HIF-1 pathway by intercellular communication. Proteomic analysis was used to detect the regulatory mechanisms between IL18 and HIF-1 signaling pathway. Pseudo time locus analysis was used to study the regulation of HIF1 signaling pathway in macrophages and vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) phenotypic transformation. The Virtual Inference of protein-activity by Enriched Regulon (VIPER) analysis was used to study the activity of regulatory proteins. Epigenetic analysis based on methylation revealed epigenetic changes in PBMC after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Potential therapeutic compounds were explored by using Cmap algorithm. Results: HIF-1 signaling pathway is a common key pathway for aneurysms, atherosclerosis and SARS-CoV-2 infection. Intercellular communication analysis showed that macrophage-derived interleukin-18 (IL-18) activates the HIF-1 signaling pathway through IL18R1. Proteomic analysis showed that IL18/IL18R1 promote NF-κB entry into the nucleus, and activated the HIF-1 signaling pathway. Macrophage-derived IL18 promoted the M1 polarization of macrophages and the syntactic phenotype transformation of VSMCs. MAP2K1 mediates the functional regulation of HIF-1 signaling pathway in various cell types. Epigenetic changes in PBMC after COVID-19 infection are characterized by activation of the type I interferon pathway. MEK inhibitors are the promising compounds for the treatment of HIF-1 overactivation. Conclusions: The IL18/IL18R1/HIF1A axis is expected to be an therapeutic target for cardiovascular protection after SARS-CoV-2 infection. MEK inhibitors may be an choice for cardiovascular protection after SARS-COV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Aneurysm/etiology , Aneurysm/metabolism , Atherosclerosis/etiology , Atherosclerosis/metabolism , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/complications , Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit/metabolism , Interleukin-18 Receptor alpha Subunit/metabolism , Interleukin-18/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Signal Transduction , Aneurysm/pathology , Atherosclerosis/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Cells, Cultured , Epigenesis, Genetic , Humans , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/metabolism , Macrophages/metabolism , Myocytes, Smooth Muscle/metabolism , NF-kappa B/metabolism , Proteomics/methods , RNA-Seq/methods , Risk Factors , Single-Cell Analysis/methods
2.
Cell Metab ; 33(10): 1911-1925, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1588059

ABSTRACT

High levels of cholesterol are generally considered to be associated with atherosclerosis. In the past two decades, however, a number of studies have shown that excess cholesterol accumulation in various tissues and organs plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of multiple diseases. Here, we summarize the effects of excess cholesterol on disease pathogenesis, including liver diseases, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, Alzheimer's disease, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, pituitary-thyroid axis dysfunction, immune disorders, and COVID-19, while proposing that excess cholesterol-induced toxicity is ubiquitous. We believe this concept will help broaden the appreciation of the toxic effect of excess cholesterol, and thus potentially expand the therapeutic use of cholesterol-lowering medications.


Subject(s)
Atherosclerosis/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Cholesterol/metabolism , Hypercholesterolemia/metabolism , Animals , Anticholesteremic Agents/therapeutic use , Atherosclerosis/diagnosis , Atherosclerosis/drug therapy , Atherosclerosis/epidemiology , Biomarkers/metabolism , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Hypercholesterolemia/diagnosis , Hypercholesterolemia/drug therapy , Hypercholesterolemia/epidemiology , Prognosis , Risk Factors
3.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(20)2021 Oct 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470892

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases are characterized by a dysregulated inflammatory and thrombotic state, leading to devastating complications with increased morbidity and mortality rates. SUMMARY: In this review article, we present the available evidence regarding the impact of inflammation on platelet activation in atherosclerosis. Key messages: In the context of a dysfunctional vascular endothelium, structural alterations by means of endothelial glycocalyx thinning or functional modifications through impaired NO bioavailability and increased levels of von Willebrand factor result in platelet activation. Moreover, neutrophil-derived mediators, as well as neutrophil extracellular traps formation, have been implicated in the process of platelet activation and platelet-leukocyte aggregation. The role of pro-inflammatory cytokines is also critical since their receptors are also situated in platelets while TNF-α has also been found to induce inflammatory, metabolic, and bone marrow changes. Additionally, important progress has been made towards novel concepts of the interaction between inflammation and platelet activation, such as the toll-like receptors, myeloperoxidase, and platelet factor-4. The accumulating evidence is especially important in the era of the coronavirus disease-19 pandemic, characterized by an excessive inflammatory burden leading to thrombotic complications, partially mediated by platelet activation. Lastly, recent advances in anti-inflammatory therapies point towards an anti-thrombotic effect secondary to diminished platelet activation.


Subject(s)
Atherosclerosis/pathology , COVID-19/pathology , Inflammation Mediators/metabolism , Atherosclerosis/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Humans , Neutrophils/metabolism , Nitric Oxide/metabolism , Platelet Activation , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , von Willebrand Factor/metabolism
4.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(19)2021 Sep 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463705

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: Sepsis is one of the most common critical care illnesses with increasing survivorship. The quality of life in sepsis survivors is adversely affected by several co-morbidities, including increased incidence of dementia, stroke, cardiac disease and at least temporary deterioration in cognitive dysfunction. One of the potential explanations for their progression is the persistence of lipid profile abnormalities induced during acute sepsis into recovery, resulting in acceleration of atherosclerosis. (2) Methods: This is a targeted review of the abnormalities in the long-term lipid profile abnormalities after sepsis; (3) Results: There is a well-established body of evidence demonstrating acute alteration in lipid profile (HDL-c ↓↓, LDL-C -c ↓↓). In contrast, a limited number of studies demonstrated depression of HDL-c levels with a concomitant increase in LDL-C -c in the wake of sepsis. VLDL-C -c and Lp(a) remained unaltered in few studies as well. Apolipoprotein A1 was altered in survivors suggesting abnormalities in lipoprotein metabolism concomitant to overall lipoprotein abnormalities. However, most of the studies were limited to a four-month follow-up and patient groups were relatively small. Only one study looked at the atherosclerosis progression in sepsis survivors using clinical correlates, demonstrating an acceleration of plaque formation in the aorta, and a large metanalysis suggested an increase in the risk of stroke or acute coronary event between 3% to 9% in sepsis survivors. (4) Conclusions: The limited evidence suggests an emergence and persistence of the proatherogenic lipid profile in sepsis survivors that potentially contributes, along with other factors, to the clinical sequel of atherosclerosis.


Subject(s)
Atherosclerosis/metabolism , Cholesterol/metabolism , Lipoproteins/metabolism , Sepsis/metabolism , Apolipoproteins/metabolism , Atherosclerosis/complications , Cholesterol, HDL/metabolism , Cholesterol, LDL/metabolism , Disease Progression , Humans , Sepsis/complications , Triglycerides/metabolism
5.
Pharmacol Rev ; 73(3): 924-967, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1447969

ABSTRACT

The endothelium, a cellular monolayer lining the blood vessel wall, plays a critical role in maintaining multiorgan health and homeostasis. Endothelial functions in health include dynamic maintenance of vascular tone, angiogenesis, hemostasis, and the provision of an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antithrombotic interface. Dysfunction of the vascular endothelium presents with impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation, heightened oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, leukocyte adhesion and hyperpermeability, and endothelial cell senescence. Recent studies have implicated altered endothelial cell metabolism and endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition as new features of endothelial dysfunction. Endothelial dysfunction is regarded as a hallmark of many diverse human panvascular diseases, including atherosclerosis, hypertension, and diabetes. Endothelial dysfunction has also been implicated in severe coronavirus disease 2019. Many clinically used pharmacotherapies, ranging from traditional lipid-lowering drugs, antihypertensive drugs, and antidiabetic drugs to proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 inhibitors and interleukin 1ß monoclonal antibodies, counter endothelial dysfunction as part of their clinical benefits. The regulation of endothelial dysfunction by noncoding RNAs has provided novel insights into these newly described regulators of endothelial dysfunction, thus yielding potential new therapeutic approaches. Altogether, a better understanding of the versatile (dys)functions of endothelial cells will not only deepen our comprehension of human diseases but also accelerate effective therapeutic drug discovery. In this review, we provide a timely overview of the multiple layers of endothelial function, describe the consequences and mechanisms of endothelial dysfunction, and identify pathways to effective targeted therapies. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: The endothelium was initially considered to be a semipermeable biomechanical barrier and gatekeeper of vascular health. In recent decades, a deepened understanding of the biological functions of the endothelium has led to its recognition as a ubiquitous tissue regulating vascular tone, cell behavior, innate immunity, cell-cell interactions, and cell metabolism in the vessel wall. Endothelial dysfunction is the hallmark of cardiovascular, metabolic, and emerging infectious diseases. Pharmacotherapies targeting endothelial dysfunction have potential for treatment of cardiovascular and many other diseases.


Subject(s)
Atherosclerosis , COVID-19 , Cardiovascular Agents , Cardiovascular Diseases , Endothelium, Vascular , Atherosclerosis/drug therapy , Atherosclerosis/metabolism , Atherosclerosis/physiopathology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/physiopathology , Cardiovascular Agents/classification , Cardiovascular Agents/pharmacology , Cardiovascular Diseases/drug therapy , Cardiovascular Diseases/metabolism , Cardiovascular Diseases/physiopathology , Drug Discovery , Endothelium, Vascular/drug effects , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/physiopathology , Humans , Molecular Targeted Therapy/methods , Molecular Targeted Therapy/trends , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(15)2021 Jul 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1346497

ABSTRACT

Platelets are hematopoietic cells whose main function has for a long time been considered to be the maintenance of vascular integrity. They have an essential role in the hemostatic response, but they also have functional capabilities that go far beyond it. This review will provide an overview of platelet functions. Indeed, stress signals may induce platelet apoptosis through proapoptotis or hemostasis receptors, necrosis, and even autophagy. Platelets also interact with immune cells and modulate immune responses in terms of activation, maturation, recruitment and cytokine secretion. This review will also show that platelets, thanks to their wide range of innate immune receptors, and in particular toll-like receptors, and can be considered sentinels actively participating in the immuno-surveillance of the body. We will discuss the diversity of platelet responses following the engagement of these receptors as well as the signaling pathways involved. Finally, we will show that while platelets contribute significantly, via their TLRs, to immune response and inflammation, these receptors also participate in the pathophysiological processes associated with various pathogens and diseases, including cancer and atherosclerosis.


Subject(s)
Atherosclerosis/pathology , Blood Platelets/pathology , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Neoplasms/pathology , Platelet Activation , Receptors, Immunologic/metabolism , Toll-Like Receptors/metabolism , Animals , Atherosclerosis/immunology , Atherosclerosis/metabolism , Blood Platelets/immunology , Blood Platelets/metabolism , Humans , Neoplasms/immunology , Neoplasms/metabolism
8.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(12)2021 Jun 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1273455

ABSTRACT

Inflammation is an old concept that has started to be considered as an important factor in infection and chronic diseases. The role of leukocytes, the plasmatic components, then of the mediators such as prostaglandins, cytokines, and, in recent decades, of the endothelium has completed the concept of the inflammation process. The function of the endothelium appeared to be crucial as a regulator or the initiator of the inflammatory process. Culture of human endothelial cells and experimental systems made it possible to define the molecular basis of inflammation in vascular diseases, in diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis, vasculitis and thromboembolic complications. Advanced glycation end product receptor (RAGE), present on endothelial cells (ECs) and monocytes, participates in the activation of these cells in inflammatory conditions. Inflammasome is a cytosolic multiprotein that controls the response to diverse microorganisms. It is positively regulated by stimulator of interferon response CGAMP interactor-1 (STING1). Angiogenesis and thrombotic events are dysregulated during inflammation. ECs appear to be a protector, but also a possible initiator of thrombosis.


Subject(s)
Atherosclerosis/pathology , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Thrombosis/pathology , Atherosclerosis/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/cytology , Humans , Inflammasomes/metabolism , Membrane Proteins/metabolism , Neovascularization, Physiologic , Nitric Oxide/metabolism , Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products/metabolism , Thrombosis/metabolism
9.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 25(10): 3772-3790, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1264762

ABSTRACT

Multiple epidemiological studies have suggested that industrialization and progressive urbanization should be considered one of the main factors responsible for the rising of atherosclerosis in the developing world. In this scenario, the role of trace metals in the insurgence and progression of atherosclerosis has not been clarified yet. In this paper, the specific role of selected trace elements (magnesium, zinc, selenium, iron, copper, phosphorus, and calcium) is described by focusing on the atherosclerotic prevention and pathogenesis plaque. For each element, the following data are reported: daily intake, serum levels, intra/extracellular distribution, major roles in physiology, main effects of high and low levels, specific roles in atherosclerosis, possible interactions with other trace elements, and possible influences on plaque development. For each trace element, the correlations between its levels and clinical severity and outcome of COVID-19 are discussed. Moreover, the role of matrix metalloproteinases, a family of zinc-dependent endopeptidases, as a new medical therapeutical approach to atherosclerosis is discussed. Data suggest that trace element status may influence both atherosclerosis insurgence and plaque evolution toward a stable or an unstable status. However, significant variability in the action of these traces is evident: some - including magnesium, zinc, and selenium - may have a protective role, whereas others, including iron and copper, probably have a multi-faceted and more complex role in the pathogenesis of the atherosclerotic plaque. Finally, calcium and phosphorus are implicated in the calcification of atherosclerotic plaques and in the progression of the plaque toward rupture and severe clinical complications. In particular, the role of calcium is debated. Focusing on the COVID-19 pandemia, optimized magnesium and zinc levels are indicated as important protective tools against a severe clinical course of the disease, often related to the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to cause a systemic inflammatory response, able to transform a stable plaque into an unstable one, with severe clinical complications.


Subject(s)
Atherosclerosis/pathology , Trace Elements/metabolism , Atherosclerosis/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Calcium/blood , Calcium/metabolism , Copper/blood , Copper/metabolism , Humans , Iron/blood , Iron/metabolism , Magnesium/blood , Magnesium/metabolism , Matrix Metalloproteinases/metabolism , Phosphorus/blood , Phosphorus/metabolism , Risk , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Selenium/blood , Selenium/metabolism , Severity of Illness Index , Trace Elements/blood , Zinc/blood , Zinc/metabolism
10.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(11)2021 May 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1256566

ABSTRACT

Cells convey information among one another. One instrument employed to transmit data and constituents to specific (target) cells is extracellular vesicles (EVs). They originate from a variety of cells (endothelial, immune cells, platelets, mesenchymal stromal cells, etc.), and consequently, their surface characteristics and cargo vary according to the paternal cell. The cargo could be DNA, mRNA, microRNA, receptors, metabolites, cytoplasmic proteins, or pathological molecules, as a function of which EVs exert different effects upon endocytosis in recipient cells. Recently, EVs have become important participants in a variety of pathologies, including atherogenesis and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-associated thrombosis. Herein, we summarize recent advances and some of our own results on the role of EVs in atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases, and discuss their potential to function as signaling mediators, biomarkers and therapeutic agents. Since COVID-19 patients have a high rate of thrombotic events, a special section of the review is dedicated to the mechanism of thrombosis and the possible therapeutic potential of EVs in COVID-19-related thrombosis. Yet, EV mechanisms and their role in the transfer of information between cells in normal and pathological conditions remain to be explored.


Subject(s)
Atherosclerosis/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Extracellular Vesicles/metabolism , Thrombosis/metabolism , Atherosclerosis/physiopathology , Atherosclerosis/therapy , Atherosclerosis/virology , Biomarkers/metabolism , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/therapy , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/metabolism , Inflammation/virology , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/metabolism , Signal Transduction/immunology , Thrombosis/complications , Thrombosis/physiopathology , Thrombosis/virology
11.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(9)2021 Apr 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1215394

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is a highly contagious new infection caused by the single-stranded RNA Sars-CoV-2 virus. For the first time, this infection was recorded in December 2019 in the Chinese province of Wuhan. The virus presumably crossed the interspecies barrier and passed to humans from a bat. Initially, the disease was considered exclusively in the context of damage to the respiratory system, but it quickly became clear that the disease also entails serious consequences from various systems, including the cardiovascular system. Among these consequences are myocarditis, myocardial damage, subsequent heart failure, myocardial infarction, and Takotsubo syndrome. On the other hand, clinical data indicate that the presence of chronic diseases in a patient aggravates the course and outcome of coronavirus infection. In this context, the relationship between COVID-19 and atherosclerosis, a condition preceding cardiovascular disease and other disorders of the heart and blood vessels, is particularly interesting. The renin-angiotensin system is essential for the pathogenesis of both coronavirus disease and atherosclerosis. In particular, it has been shown that ACE2, an angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, plays a key role in Sars-CoV-2 infection due to its receptor activity. It is noteworthy that this enzyme is important for the normal functioning of the cardiovascular system. Disruptions in its production and functioning can lead to various disorders, including atherosclerosis.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Atherosclerosis/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Animals , Atherosclerosis/pathology , COVID-19/pathology , Humans , Renin-Angiotensin System , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
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