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1.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 6777, 2022 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2106404

ABSTRACT

Growing evidence links COVID-19 with acute and long-term neurological dysfunction. However, the pathophysiological mechanisms resulting in central nervous system involvement remain unclear, posing both diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. Here we show outcomes of a cross-sectional clinical study (NCT04472013) including clinical and imaging data and corresponding multidimensional characterization of immune mediators in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma of patients belonging to different Neuro-COVID severity classes. The most prominent signs of severe Neuro-COVID are blood-brain barrier (BBB) impairment, elevated microglia activation markers and a polyclonal B cell response targeting self-antigens and non-self-antigens. COVID-19 patients show decreased regional brain volumes associating with specific CSF parameters, however, COVID-19 patients characterized by plasma cytokine storm are presenting with a non-inflammatory CSF profile. Post-acute COVID-19 syndrome strongly associates with a distinctive set of CSF and plasma mediators. Collectively, we identify several potentially actionable targets to prevent or intervene with the neurological consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Cross-Sectional Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Autoimmunity , Prospective Studies
2.
Cells ; 11(21)2022 Nov 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2099367

ABSTRACT

The cGAS-STING pathway displays important functions in the regulation of innate and adaptive immunity following the detection of microbial and host-derived DNA. Here, we briefly summarize biological functions of STING and review recent literature highlighting its important contribution in the context of respiratory diseases. Over the last years, tremendous progress has been made in our understanding of STING activation, which has favored the development of STING agonists or antagonists with potential therapeutic benefits. Antagonists might alleviate STING-associated chronic inflammation and autoimmunity. Furthermore, pharmacological activation of STING displays strong antiviral properties, as recently shown in the context of SARS-CoV-2 infection. STING agonists also elicit potent stimulatory activities when used as an adjuvant promoting antitumor responses and vaccines efficacy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Membrane Proteins , Humans , Membrane Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Adaptive Immunity , Autoimmunity
3.
Adv Immunol ; 156: 25-54, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2085835

ABSTRACT

Autoimmune diseases (ADs) often arise from a combination of genetic and environmental triggers that disrupt the immune system's capability to properly tolerate body self-antigens. Familial studies provided the earliest insights into the risk loci of such diseases, while genome-wide association studies (GWAS) significantly broadened the horizons. A drug targeting a prominent pathological pathway can be applied to multiple indications sharing overlapping mechanisms. Advances in genomic technologies used in genetic studies provide critical insights into future research on gene-environment interactions in autoimmunity. This Review summarizes the history and recent advances in the understanding of genetic susceptibility to ADs and related immune disorders, including coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and their indications for the development of diagnostic or prognostic markers for translational applications.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases , COVID-19 , Humans , Animals , Autoimmunity/genetics , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Genome-Wide Association Study , COVID-19/genetics , Autoimmune Diseases/genetics
5.
JAMA ; 328(12): 1252-1255, 2022 09 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2058979

ABSTRACT

This study screens more than 50 000 youths in diverse populations of Colorado and Bavaria to assess whether previous SARS-CoV-2 infection was associated with autoimmunity, which predicts future type 1 diabetes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 , Adolescent , Asymptomatic Diseases/epidemiology , Autoimmunity , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Colorado/epidemiology , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/epidemiology , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/immunology , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Blood Rev ; 55: 100948, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2031169

ABSTRACT

Immunodeficiency syndromes represent a diverse group of inherited and acquired disorders, characterized by a spectrum of clinical manifestations, including recurrent infections, autoimmunity, lymphoproliferation and malignancy. Autoantibodies against various self-antigens reflect the immune dysregulation underlying these disorders, and could contribute to certain clinical findings, such as susceptibility to opportunistic infections, cytopenia of different hematopoietic lineages, and organ-specific autoimmune diseases. The mechanism of autoantibody production in the context of immunodeficiency remains largely unknown but is likely shaped by both intrinsic genetic aberrations and extrinsic exposures to possible infectious agents. These autoantibodies if harbor neutralizing activities and reach certain levels in the circulation, could disrupt the biological functions of their targets, resulting in specific clinical manifestations. Herein, we reviewed the prevalence of autoantibodies against cytokines, hematopoietic cells and organ-specific antigens in immunodeficiency syndromes and examined their associations with certain clinical findings. Moreover, the potential mechanism of autoantibody production was also discussed. These may shed light on the development of mechanism-based therapies to reset the dysregulated immune system in immunodeficient patients.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies , Autoimmune Diseases , Autoimmune Diseases/etiology , Autoimmunity , Cytokines , Humans , Syndrome
8.
Genes (Basel) ; 13(8)2022 07 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2023336

ABSTRACT

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune neurodegenerative disorder of the central nervous system that presents heterogeneous clinical manifestations and course. It has been shown that different immune checkpoints, including Cytotoxic T-Lymphocyte Antigen 4 (CTLA-4), can be involved in the pathogenesis of MS. CTLA-4 is a critical regulator of T-cell homeostasis and self-tolerance and represents a key inhibitor of autoimmunity. In this scopingreview, we resume the current preclinical and clinical studies investigating the role of CTLA-4 in MS with different approaches. While some of these studies assessed the expression levels of CTLA-4 on T cells by comparing MS patients with healthy controls, others focused on the evaluation of the effects of common MS therapies on CTLA-4 modulation or on the study of the CTLA-4 blockade or deficiency in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis models. Moreover, other studies in this field aimed to discover if the CTLA-4 gene might be involved in the predisposition to MS, whereas others evaluated the effects of treatment with CTLA4-Ig in MS. Although these results are of great interest, they are often conflicting. Therefore, further studies are needed to reveal the exact mechanisms underlying the action of a crucial immune checkpoint such as CTLA-4 in MS to identify novel immunotherapeutic strategies for MS patients.


Subject(s)
CTLA-4 Antigen , Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental , Multiple Sclerosis , Animals , Autoimmunity/genetics , CTLA-4 Antigen/genetics , Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental/genetics , Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental/pathology , Humans , Multiple Sclerosis/drug therapy , Multiple Sclerosis/genetics , T-Lymphocytes
9.
Autoimmun Rev ; 21(11): 103183, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1996025

ABSTRACT

Since the beginning of the pandemic, numerous risk factors have been associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 outcomes, such as older age, male sex, and the presence of comorbidities, such as hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. Preliminary data also suggest epidemiological association between SARS-CoV-2 infection and systemic autoimmune disease. For this reason, we investigated if patients affected by autoimmune thyroid disorders (AITD) are at risk of developing SARS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19 disease. From April to September 2020, we have conducted a telephone survey that included 515 consecutive unselected patients with known thyroid disorders, of which 350 were affected by AITD. All 11 definitive diagnosis of COVID-19 (def-sympt-COVID-19) belonged to the AITD group, while the rest 14 cases highly suspected for COVID-19 (suspect-sympt-COVID-19) were equally detected in both group (7 in AITD and 7 in not-AITD). The overall prevalence of symptomatic COVID-19 (def-sympt-COVID-19 + suspect-sympt-COVID-19), recorded in the 350 AITD population was statistically significant higher compared to that reported in the Italian and Tuscan general population at the same time period of the present survey (18/350 = 5.14% vs 516/100000 = 0.51% [p < 0.001; OR = 10.45, 95% CI 6.45-16.92] and vs 394/100000 = 0.39% [p < 0.001; OR = 13.70, 95% CI 8.44-22.25], respectively). Therefore, our results suggest a higher prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease in patients with AITD.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hashimoto Disease , Thyroiditis, Autoimmune , Humans , Male , Autoimmunity , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Thyroiditis, Autoimmune/complications , Thyroiditis, Autoimmune/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Autoimmun Rev ; 21(10): 103166, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1966363

ABSTRACT

While autoimmunity is a branch of medicine linked to every single organ system via direct and indirect pathways, meeting in person to discuss autoimmunity during the 13th international congress on autoimmunity (AUTO13) with participants from all over the world had a very good reason. The mechanisms involved in autoimmune diseases are of extreme importance and in fact critical in understanding the course of diseases as well as selecting proper therapies. COVID-19 has served as a great example of how autoimmunity is deeply involved in the disease and directly correlated to severity, morbidity, and mortality. For instance, initially the term cytokine storm dominated, then COVID-19 was addressed as the new member of the hyperferritinemic syndrome, and also the use of immunosuppressants in patients with COVID-19 throughout the pandemic, all shed light on the fundamental role of autoimmunity. Unsurprisingly, SARS-CoV-2 was called the "autoimmune virus" during AUTO13. Subsequently, the correlation between autoimmunity and COVID-19 vaccines and post-COVID, all were discussed from different autoimmune aspects during the congress. In addition, updates on the mechanisms of diseases, autoantibodies, novel diagnostics and therapies in regard to autoimmune diseases such as antiphospholipid syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis and others, were discussed in dedicated sessions. Due to the magnificence of the topics discussed, we aimed to bring in our article hereby, the pearls of AUTO13 in terms of updates, new aspects of autoimmunity, and interesting findings. While more than 500 abstract were presented, concluding all the topics was not in reach, hence major findings were summarized.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases , COVID-19 , Autoantibodies , Autoimmune Diseases/therapy , Autoimmunity , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Humans , Immunosuppressive Agents , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Thyroid ; 32(9): 1051-1058, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1956555

ABSTRACT

Background: The safety of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines is widely appreciated. However, there is limited knowledge regarding the potential impact of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines on the thyroid. Methods: We performed two prospective clinical trials between April and June, 2021, enrolling recipients of the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (BBIBP-CorV and CoronaVac). Thyroid function, antithyroid antibody levels, and SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody levels were detected for each participant before receiving the first vaccine dose and 28 days after receiving the second vaccine dose. Results: A total of 657 recipients participated in the study. The overall median thyroid function and levels of antithyroid antibodies before and after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination were within the normal range. Among the 564 participants with normal thyroid function at baseline, 36 (6.38% [confidence interval; CI 4.51-8.73]) developed thyroid dysfunction. Of the 545 recipients with negative antithyroid antibodies at baseline, none developed abnormal antibodies after vaccination. Notably, 75.27% (70/93 [CI 65.24-83.63]) of the 93 recipients with thyroid dysfunction returned to normal function after vaccination. The levels of antithyroid peroxidase antibody (96.20% [CI 89.30-99.21]) and antithyroglobulin antibody (TgAb; 88.31% [CI 78.97-94.51]) remained positive after vaccination in most patients with abnormal values at baseline. However, the TgAb levels in more than half of the patients (48/77) decreased. All of 11 abnormal thyrotropin receptor antibody levels at baseline decreased postvaccination. Conclusions: Vaccination with an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine had no significant adverse impact on thyroid function or antithyroid antibodies within the first 28 days after the second dose. Clinical Trial Registration: ChiCTR2100045109 and ChiCTR2100042222.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Autoimmunity , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Humans , Peroxidases , Prospective Studies , Receptors, Thyrotropin , SARS-CoV-2 , Thyroid Gland , Viral Vaccines/adverse effects
15.
Histochem Cell Biol ; 158(5): 415-434, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1955964

ABSTRACT

Recent evidence indicates that targeting IL-6 provides broad therapeutic approaches to several diseases. In patients with cancer, autoimmune diseases, severe respiratory infections [e.g. coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)] and wound healing, IL-6 plays a critical role in modulating the systemic and local microenvironment. Elevated serum levels of IL-6 interfere with the systemic immune response and are associated with disease progression and prognosis. As already noted, monoclonal antibodies blocking either IL-6 or binding of IL-6 to receptors have been used/tested successfully in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, many cancer types, and COVID-19. Therefore, in the present review, we compare the impact of IL-6 and anti-IL-6 therapy to demonstrate common (pathological) features of the studied diseases such as formation of granulation tissue with the presence of myofibroblasts and deposition of new extracellular matrix. We also discuss abnormal activation of other wound-healing-related pathways that have been implicated in autoimmune disorders, cancer or COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases , COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Humans , Autoimmunity , Inflammation , Autoimmune Diseases/drug therapy , Neoplasms/drug therapy , Wound Healing , Tumor Microenvironment
16.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(14)2022 Jul 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1938838

ABSTRACT

Celiac disease (CD) comprises over 1% of the world's population and is a chronic multisystem immune-mediated condition manifested by digestive and/or extradigestive symptoms caused by food intake of gluten. This review looked at the risk of children diagnosed with CD developing SARS-CoV-2 infection and possible severe forms of COVID-19. A better understanding of the interaction and effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection in CD is very important, as is the role of environmental and genetic factors, but especially the molecular mechanisms involved in modulating intestinal permeability with impact on autoimmunity. CD inspired the testing of a zonulin antagonist for the fulminant form of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) and paved the way for the discovery of new molecules to regulate the small intestine barrier function and immune responses. Original published works on COVID-19 and CD, new data and points of view have been analyzed because this dangerous virus SARS-CoV-2 is still here and yet influencing our lives. Medical science continues to focus on all uncertainties triggered by SARS-CoV-2 infection and its consequences, including in CD. Although the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be gradually extinguishing, there is a wealth of information and knowledge gained over the last two years and important life lessons to analyze, as well as relevant conclusions to be drawn to deal with future pandemics. Zonulin is being studied extensively in immunoengineering as an adjuvant to improving the absorption of new drugs and oral vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Celiac Disease , Autoimmunity , COVID-19/complications , Celiac Disease/epidemiology , Child , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome
17.
Front Immunol ; 13: 937667, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933702

ABSTRACT

Introduction: The SARS-CoV-2 infection has been advocated as an environmental trigger for autoimmune diseases, and a paradigmatic example comes from similarities between COVID-19 and the myositis-spectrum disease associated with antibodies against the melanoma differentiation antigen 5 (MDA5) in terms of clinical features, lung involvement, and immune mechanisms, particularly type I interferons (IFN). Case Report: We report a case of anti-MDA5 syndrome with skin manifestations, constitutional symptoms, and cardiomyopathy following a proven SARS-CoV-2 infection. Systematic Literature Review: We systematically searched for publications on inflammatory myositis associated with COVID-19. We describe the main clinical, immunological, and demographic features, focusing our attention on the anti-MDA5 syndrome. Discussion: MDA5 is a pattern recognition receptor essential in the immune response against viruses and this may contribute to explain the production of anti-MDA5 antibodies in some SARS-CoV-2 infected patients. The activation of MDA5 induces the synthesis of type I IFN with an antiviral role, inversely correlated with COVID-19 severity. Conversely, elevated type I IFN levels correlate with disease activity in anti-MDA5 syndrome. While recognizing this ia broad area of uncertainty, we speculate that the strong type I IFN response observed in patients with anti-MDA5 syndrome, might harbor protective effects against viral infections, including COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases , COVID-19 , Interferon Type I , Melanoma , Myositis , Antigens, Differentiation , Autoimmunity , Biomarkers , Humans , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1 , SARS-CoV-2
18.
J Endocrinol Invest ; 45(12): 2283-2289, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1930623

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: SARS-CoV-2 infection can be associated with destructive thyroiditis and triggers thyroid autoimmunity. More recent evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 vaccines may also be associated with permanent or transient thyroid dysfunction in susceptible individuals. METHODS: We observed three patients who developed/exacerbated autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITDs) shortly after receiving mRNA-based vaccines against SARS-CoV2. Clinical histories are reported, and relevant literature in the field is summarized. RESULTS: Our case series gives a description of the full spectrum of autoimmune disorders that may occur after SARS-CoV-2 vaccines administration, ranging from a case of new-onset Graves' disease to autoimmune hypothyroidism in two patients with pre-existing AITDs. Our three patients had a personal and/or family history of autoimmune disorders, suggesting that genetic predisposition is an important risk factor for the development of AITDs following vaccination. Moreover, our real-life experience demonstrates that persistent hypothyroidism may occur in the long run and should be overlooked; subjects with a previous AITDs are at risk of developing it. Reviewing the pertinent literature up to date Graves' disease is the most common vaccine-related AITDs with up to 51 cases reported in the literature, occurring mainly in female patients with no personal history of AIDTs, while only a case of autoimmune hypothyroidism has been reported so far. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 vaccines can trigger autoimmune reactions and the present case series contributes to make clinicians aware of full spectrum of AITDs that may occur following vaccination. Thyroid function monitoring is recommended, mainly in subjects with a personal/family history of AITDs.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Graves Disease , Hypothyroidism , Female , Humans , Autoimmunity , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Eur J Immunol ; 52(10): 1561-1571, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1929796

ABSTRACT

According to the World Health Organization, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has already infected more than 400 million people and caused over 5 million deaths globally. The infection is associated with a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations, ranging from no signs of illness to severe pathological complications that go beyond the typical respiratory symptoms. On this note, new-onset neurological and neuropsychiatric syndromes have been increasingly reported in a large fraction of COVID-19 patients, thus potentially representing a significant public health threat. Although the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms remain elusive, a growing body of evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 infection may trigger an autoimmune response, which could potentially contribute to the establishment and/or exacerbation of neurological disorders in COVID-19 patients. Shedding light on this aspect is urgently needed for the development of effective therapeutic intervention. This review highlights the current knowledge of the immune responses occurring in Neuro-COVID patients and discusses potential immune-mediated mechanisms by which SARS-CoV-2 infection may trigger neurological complications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nervous System Diseases , Autoimmunity , COVID-19/complications , Humans , Nervous System Diseases/etiology , SARS-CoV-2
20.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab ; 107(9): e3781-e3789, 2022 08 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1916990

ABSTRACT

CONTEXT: There are concerns for COVID-19 vaccination in triggering thyroid autoimmunity and causing thyroid dysfunction. Also, data on the effect of preexisting thyroid autoimmunity on the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination are limited. OBJECTIVES: We evaluated the effect of COVID-19 vaccination on thyroid function and antibodies, and the influence of preexisting thyroid autoimmunity on neutralizing antibody (NAb) responses. METHODS: Adults without a history of COVID-19/thyroid disorders who received the COVID-19 vaccination during June to August 2021 were recruited. All received 2 doses of vaccines. Thyrotropin (TSH), free thyroxine (fT4), free 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (fT3), antithyroid peroxidase (anti-TPO), and antithyroglobulin (anti-Tg) antibodies were measured at baseline and 8 weeks post vaccination. NAb against SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain was measured. RESULTS: A total of 215 individuals were included (129 [60%] BNT162b2; 86 [40%] CoronaVac recipients): mean age 49.6 years, 37.2% men, and 12.1% anti-TPO/Tg positive at baseline. After vaccination, TSH did not change (P = .225), but fT4 slightly increased (from 12.0 ±â€…1.1 to 12.2 ±â€…1.2 pmol/L [from 0.93 ±â€…0.09 to 0.95 ±â€…0.09 ng/dL], P < .001) and fT3 slightly decreased (from 4.1 ±â€…0.4 to 4.0 ±â€…0.4 pmol/L [from 2.67 ±â€…0.26 to 2.60 ±â€…0.26 pg/mL], P < .001). Only 3 patients (1.4%) had abnormal thyroid function post vaccination, none clinically overt. Anti-TPO and anti-Tg titers increased modestly after vaccination (P < .001), without statistically significant changes in anti-TPO/Tg positivity. Changes in thyroid function and antithyroid antibodies were consistent between BNT162b2 and CoronaVac recipients, except for greater anti-TPO titer increase post BNT162b2 (P < .001). NAb responses were similar between individuals with and without preexisting thyroid autoimmunity (P = .855). CONCLUSION: COVID-19 vaccination was associated with a modest increase in antithyroid antibody titers. Anti-TPO increase was greater among BNT162b2 recipients. However, there was no clinically significant thyroid dysfunction post vaccination. NAb responses were not influenced by preexisting thyroid autoimmunity. Our results provide important reassurance for people to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Thyroid Diseases , Adult , Antibody Formation , Autoimmunity , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Thyrotropin
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