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1.
Front Immunol ; 12: 743890, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581344

ABSTRACT

Background: Both anti-viral and anti-inflammatory bronchial effects are warranted to treat viral infections in asthma. We sought to investigate if imiquimod, a TLR7 agonist, exhibits such dual actions in ex vivo cultured human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs), targets for SARS-CoV-2 infectivity. Objective: To investigate bronchial epithelial effects of imiquimod of potential importance for anti-viral treatment in asthmatic patients. Methods: Effects of imiquimod alone were examined in HBECs from healthy (N=4) and asthmatic (N=18) donors. Mimicking SARS-CoV-2 infection, HBECs were stimulated with poly(I:C), a dsRNA analogue, or SARS-CoV-2 spike-protein 1 (SP1; receptor binding) with and without imiquimod treatment. Expression of SARS-CoV-2 receptor (ACE2), pro-inflammatory and anti-viral cytokines were analyzed by RT-qPCR, multiplex ELISA, western blot, and Nanostring and proteomic analyses. Results: Imiquimod reduced ACE2 expression at baseline and after poly(I:C) stimulation. Imiquimod also reduced poly(I:C)-induced pro-inflammatory cytokines including IL-1ß, IL-6, IL-8, and IL-33. Furthermore, imiquimod increased IFN-ß expression, an effect potentiated in presence of poly(I:C) or SP1. Multiplex mRNA analysis verified enrichment in type-I IFN signaling concomitant with suppression of cytokine signaling pathways induced by imiquimod in presence of poly(I:C). Exploratory proteomic analyses revealed potentially protective effects of imiquimod on infections. Conclusion: Imiquimod triggers viral resistance mechanisms in HBECs by decreasing ACE2 and increasing IFN-ß expression. Additionally, imiquimod improves viral infection tolerance by reducing viral stimulus-induced epithelial cytokines involved in severe COVID-19 infection. Our imiquimod data highlight feasibility of producing pluripotent drugs potentially suited for anti-viral treatment in asthmatic subjects.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Asthma , COVID-19 , Imiquimod/pharmacology , Interferon-beta/drug effects , Respiratory Mucosa/drug effects , Adjuvants, Immunologic/pharmacology , Adult , Aged , Bronchi/drug effects , Bronchi/immunology , Bronchi/virology , Cells, Cultured , Female , Humans , Interferon-beta/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2
2.
J Infect Dis ; 224(8): 1357-1361, 2021 10 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493824

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 ) initiates entry into airway epithelia by binding its receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). METHODS: To explore whether interindividual variation in ACE2 abundance contributes to variability in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outcomes, we measured ACE2 protein abundance in primary airway epithelial cultures derived from 58 human donor lungs. RESULTS: We found no evidence for sex- or age-dependent differences in ACE2 protein expression. Furthermore, we found that variations in ACE2 abundance had minimal effects on viral replication and induction of the interferon response in airway epithelia infected with SARS-CoV-2. CONCLUSIONS: Our results highlight the relative importance of additional host factors, beyond viral receptor expression, in determining COVID-19 lung disease outcomes.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Receptors, Coronavirus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/analysis , Biological Variation, Population , Bronchi/cytology , Bronchi/pathology , Bronchi/virology , COVID-19/virology , Epithelial Cells , Female , Humans , Male , Primary Cell Culture , Receptors, Coronavirus/analysis , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/pathology , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , Sex Factors , Virus Internalization
3.
Nature ; 583(7818): 834-838, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387423

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a novel coronavirus with high nucleotide identity to SARS-CoV and to SARS-related coronaviruses that have been detected in horseshoe bats, has spread across the world and had a global effect on healthcare systems and economies1,2. A suitable small animal model is needed to support the development of vaccines and therapies. Here we report the pathogenesis and transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 in golden (Syrian) hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus). Immunohistochemistry assay demonstrated the presence of viral antigens in nasal mucosa, bronchial epithelial cells and areas of lung consolidation on days 2 and 5 after inoculation with SARS-CoV-2, followed by rapid viral clearance and pneumocyte hyperplasia at 7 days after inoculation. We also found viral antigens in epithelial cells of the duodenum, and detected viral RNA in faeces. Notably, SARS-CoV-2 was transmitted efficiently from inoculated hamsters to naive hamsters by direct contact and via aerosols. Transmission via fomites in soiled cages was not as efficient. Although viral RNA was continuously detected in the nasal washes of inoculated hamsters for 14 days, the communicable period was short and correlated with the detection of infectious virus but not viral RNA. Inoculated and naturally infected hamsters showed apparent weight loss on days 6-7 post-inoculation or post-contact; all hamsters returned to their original weight within 14 days and developed neutralizing antibodies. Our results suggest that features associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in golden hamsters resemble those found in humans with mild SARS-CoV-2 infections.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mesocricetus/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Aerosols , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/pathology , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/isolation & purification , Antigens, Viral/metabolism , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Bronchi/pathology , Bronchi/virology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Duodenum/virology , Fomites/virology , Housing, Animal , Kidney/virology , Male , Mesocricetus/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/virology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load , Weight Loss
4.
Viruses ; 13(8)2021 08 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1355052

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a global pandemic characterized by an exaggerated immune response and respiratory illness. Age (>60 years) is a significant risk factor for developing severe COVID-19. To better understand the host response of the aged airway epithelium to SARS-CoV-2 infection, we performed an in vitro study using primary human bronchial epithelial cells from donors >67 years of age differentiated on an air-liquid interface culture. We demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 infection leads to early induction of a proinflammatory response and a delayed interferon response. In addition, we observed changes in the genes and pathways associated with cell death and senescence throughout infection. In summary, our study provides new and important insights into the temporal kinetics of the airway epithelial innate immune response to SARS-CoV-2 in older individuals.


Subject(s)
Bronchi/immunology , Bronchi/virology , Immunity, Innate , Respiratory Mucosa/immunology , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Aged , Aging/immunology , Bronchi/cytology , Bronchi/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Death/genetics , Cells, Cultured , Cellular Senescence/genetics , Cytokines/biosynthesis , Cytokines/genetics , Epithelial Cells/immunology , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Humans , Inflammation , Interferons/biosynthesis , Interferons/genetics , Male , RNA-Seq , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Signal Transduction/genetics
5.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 14961, 2021 07 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322501

ABSTRACT

Influenza and other respiratory viruses present a significant threat to public health, national security, and the world economy, and can lead to the emergence of global pandemics such as from COVID-19. A barrier to the development of effective therapeutics is the absence of a robust and predictive preclinical model, with most studies relying on a combination of in vitro screening with immortalized cell lines and low-throughput animal models. Here, we integrate human primary airway epithelial cells into a custom-engineered 96-device platform (PREDICT96-ALI) in which tissues are cultured in an array of microchannel-based culture chambers at an air-liquid interface, in a configuration compatible with high resolution in-situ imaging and real-time sensing. We apply this platform to influenza A virus and coronavirus infections, evaluating viral infection kinetics and antiviral agent dosing across multiple strains and donor populations of human primary cells. Human coronaviruses HCoV-NL63 and SARS-CoV-2 enter host cells via ACE2 and utilize the protease TMPRSS2 for spike protein priming, and we confirm their expression, demonstrate infection across a range of multiplicities of infection, and evaluate the efficacy of camostat mesylate, a known inhibitor of HCoV-NL63 infection. This new capability can be used to address a major gap in the rapid assessment of therapeutic efficacy of small molecules and antiviral agents against influenza and other respiratory viruses including coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Influenza, Human/virology , Microbial Sensitivity Tests/instrumentation , Microfluidic Analytical Techniques/instrumentation , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Bronchi/cytology , Bronchi/virology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Cell Culture Techniques/instrumentation , Cell Line , Coronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Equipment Design , High-Throughput Screening Assays/instrumentation , Humans , Influenza A virus/drug effects , Influenza, Human/drug therapy , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , Respiratory Tract Infections/drug therapy , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
6.
Viruses ; 13(7)2021 07 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1308453

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and has an enormous impact on human health and economy. In search for therapeutic options, researchers have proposed resveratrol, a food supplement with known antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties as an advantageous antiviral therapy for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here, we provide evidence that both resveratrol and its metabolically more stable structural analog, pterostilbene, exhibit potent antiviral properties against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. First, we show that resveratrol and pterostilbene antiviral activity in African green monkey kidney cells. Both compounds actively inhibit virus replication within infected cells as reduced virus progeny production was observed when the compound was added at post-inoculation conditions. Without replenishment of the compound, antiviral activity was observed up to roughly five rounds of replication, demonstrating the long-lasting effect of these compounds. Second, as the upper respiratory tract represents the initial site of SARS-CoV-2 replication, we also assessed antiviral activity in air-liquid interface (ALI) cultured human primary bronchial epithelial cells, isolated from healthy volunteers. Resveratrol and pterostilbene showed a strong antiviral effect in these cells up to 48 h post-infection. Collectively, our data indicate that resveratrol and pterostilbene are promising antiviral compounds to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection. Because these results represent laboratory findings in cells, we advocate evaluation of these compounds in clinical trials before statements are made whether these drugs are advantageous for COVID-19 treatment.


Subject(s)
Bronchi/virology , COVID-19/virology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Resveratrol/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Stilbenes/pharmacology , Virus Replication/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cell Line , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Vero Cells
7.
Immunol Lett ; 237: 33-41, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1293862

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: In this study, we focused on the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and host Type I Interferon (IFN) response, so as to identify whether IFN effects could be influenced by the products of SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: All the structural and non-structural proteins of SARS-CoV-2 were transfected and overexpressed in the bronchial epithelial cell line BEAS-2B respectively, and typical antiviral IFN-stimulated gene (ISG) ISG15 expression was detected by qRT-PCR. RNA-seq based transcriptome analysis was performed between control and Spike (S) protein-overexpressed BEAS-2B cells. The expression of ACE2 and IFN effector JAK-STAT signaling activation were detected in control and S protein-overexpressed BEAS-2B cells by qRT-PCR or/and Western blot respectively. The interaction between S protein with STAT1 and STAT2, and the association between JAK1 with downstream STAT1 and STAT2 were measured in BEAS-2B cells by co-immunoprecipitation (co-IP). RESULTS: S protein could activate IFN effects and downstream ISGs expression. By transcriptome analysis, overexpression of S protein induced a set of genes expression, including series of ISGs and the SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2. Mechanistically, S protein enhanced the association between the upstream JAK1 and downstream STAT1 and STAT2, so as to promote STAT1 and STAT2 phosphorylation and ACE2 expression. CONCLUSION: SARS-CoV-2 S protein enhances ACE2 expression via facilitating IFN effects, which may help its infection.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Bronchi/drug effects , COVID-19/virology , Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Interferon alpha-2/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Bronchi/enzymology , Bronchi/virology , COVID-19/enzymology , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/enzymology , Epithelial Cells/virology , HEK293 Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Janus Kinase 1/metabolism , Phosphorylation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , STAT1 Transcription Factor/metabolism , STAT2 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Signal Transduction , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Ubiquitins/genetics , Ubiquitins/metabolism , Up-Regulation
8.
Viruses ; 13(7)2021 06 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1289021

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need to develop effective therapeutic strategies. We evaluated the in vitro antiviral effect against SARS-CoV-2 of a hepatitis B virus (HBV) hexamer peptide, Poly6, which is capable of eliciting an antiviral effect against human immunodeficiency virus -1 (HIV-1), as a novel HIV-1 integrase inhibitor, and a strong anticancer immune response in an IFN-I-dependent manner, as a novel potential adjuvant in anticancer immunotherapy. Here, we report that Poly6 exerts an anti-SARS-CoV-2 effect, with an estimated 50% inhibitory concentration of 2.617 µM, in the human bronchial epithelial cell line, Calu-3 but not in Vero-E6 cells, which are deficient in type 1 interferon (IFN-I) signaling. We proved via assays based on mRNA profiles, inhibitors, or blocking antibodies that Poly6 can exert an anti-SARS-CoV-2 effect in an IFN-I-dependent manner. We also found that Poly6 inhibits IL-6 production enhanced by SARS-CoV-2 in infected Calu-3 cells at both the transcription and the translation levels, mediated via IL-10 induction in an IFN-I-dependent manner. These results indicate the feasibility of Poly6 as an IFN-I-inducing COVID-19 drug with potent antiviral and anti-inflammatory activities.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Hepatitis B virus/chemistry , Interferon Type I/immunology , Peptides/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , Animals , Bronchi/cytology , Bronchi/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Epithelial Cells/immunology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Hepatitis B virus/genetics , Humans , Lung/cytology , Lung/virology , Peptides/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vero Cells
9.
J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 147(6): 2083-2097.e6, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1272498

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Excessive inflammation triggered by a hitherto undescribed mechanism is a hallmark of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections and is associated with enhanced pathogenicity and mortality. OBJECTIVE: Complement hyperactivation promotes lung injury and was observed in patients suffering from Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus, SARS-CoV-1, and SARS-CoV-2 infections. Therefore, we investigated the very first interactions of primary human airway epithelial cells on exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in terms of complement component 3 (C3)-mediated effects. METHODS: For this, we used highly differentiated primary human 3-dimensional tissue models infected with SARS-CoV-2 patient isolates. On infection, viral load, viral infectivity, intracellular complement activation, inflammatory mechanisms, and tissue destruction were analyzed by real-time RT-PCR, high content screening, plaque assays, luminex analyses, and transepithelial electrical resistance measurements. RESULTS: Here, we show that primary normal human bronchial and small airway epithelial cells respond to SARS-CoV-2 infection by an inflated local C3 mobilization. SARS-CoV-2 infection resulted in exaggerated intracellular complement activation and destruction of the epithelial integrity in monolayer cultures of primary human airway cells and highly differentiated, pseudostratified, mucus-producing, ciliated respiratory tissue models. SARS-CoV-2-infected 3-dimensional cultures secreted significantly higher levels of C3a and the proinflammatory cytokines IL-6, monocyte chemoattractant protein 1, IL-1α, and RANTES. CONCLUSIONS: Crucially, we illustrate here for the first time that targeting the anaphylotoxin receptors C3a receptor and C5a receptor in nonimmune respiratory cells can prevent intrinsic lung inflammation and tissue damage. This opens up the exciting possibility in the treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Bronchi/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Complement Activation , Epithelial Cells/immunology , Receptor, Anaphylatoxin C5a/immunology , Respiratory Mucosa/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Bronchi/pathology , Bronchi/virology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Complement C3/immunology , Cytokines/immunology , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Humans , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/pathology , Respiratory Mucosa/pathology , Respiratory Mucosa/virology
10.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(10)2021 May 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1244036

ABSTRACT

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) found locus 3p21.31 associated with severe COVID-19. CCR5 resides at the same locus and, given its known biological role in other infection diseases, we investigated if common noncoding and rare coding variants, affecting CCR5, can predispose to severe COVID-19. We combined single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that met the suggestive significance level (P ≤ 1 × 10-5) at the 3p21.31 locus in public GWAS datasets (6406 COVID-19 hospitalized patients and 902,088 controls) with gene expression data from 208 lung tissues, Hi-C, and Chip-seq data. Through whole exome sequencing (WES), we explored rare coding variants in 147 severe COVID-19 patients. We identified three SNPs (rs9845542, rs12639314, and rs35951367) associated with severe COVID-19 whose risk alleles correlated with low CCR5 expression in lung tissues. The rs35951367 resided in a CTFC binding site that interacts with CCR5 gene in lung tissues and was confirmed to be associated with severe COVID-19 in two independent datasets. We also identified a rare coding variant (rs34418657) associated with the risk of developing severe COVID-19. Our results suggest a biological role of CCR5 in the progression of COVID-19 as common and rare genetic variants can increase the risk of developing severe COVID-19 by affecting the functions of CCR5.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Receptors, CCR5/genetics , Receptors, CCR5/metabolism , Alleles , Bronchi/metabolism , Bronchi/pathology , Bronchi/virology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Chromosomes, Human/genetics , Cohort Studies , Computational Biology , Databases, Genetic , Genome-Wide Association Study , Genotype , Humans , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , Whole Exome Sequencing
11.
mBio ; 12(3)2021 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225698

ABSTRACT

The spike (S) polypeptide of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) consists of the S1 and S2 subunits and is processed by cellular proteases at the S1/S2 boundary that contains a furin cleavage site (FCS), 682RRAR↓S686 Various deletions surrounding the FCS have been identified in patients. When SARS-CoV-2 propagated in Vero cells, it acquired deletions surrounding the FCS. We studied the viral transcriptome in Vero cell-derived SARS-CoV-2-infected primary human airway epithelia (HAE) cultured at an air-liquid interface (ALI) with an emphasis on the viral genome stability of the FCS. While we found overall the viral transcriptome is similar to that generated from infected Vero cells, we identified a high percentage of mutated viral genome and transcripts in HAE-ALI. Two highly frequent deletions were found at the FCS region: a 12 amino acid deletion (678TNSPRRAR↓SVAS689) that contains the underlined FCS and a 5 amino acid deletion (675QTQTN679) that is two amino acids upstream of the FCS. Further studies on the dynamics of the FCS deletions in apically released virions from 11 infected HAE-ALI cultures of both healthy and lung disease donors revealed that the selective pressure for the FCS maintains the FCS stably in 9 HAE-ALI cultures but with 2 exceptions, in which the FCS deletions are retained at a high rate of >40% after infection of ≥13 days. Our study presents evidence for the role of unique properties of human airway epithelia in the dynamics of the FCS region during infection of human airways, which is likely donor dependent.IMPORTANCE Polarized human airway epithelia at an air-liquid interface (HAE-ALI) are an in vitro model that supports efficient infection of SARS-CoV-2. The spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 contains a furin cleavage site (FCS) at the boundary of the S1 and S2 domains which distinguishes it from SARS-CoV. However, FCS deletion mutants have been identified in patients and in vitro cell cultures, and how the airway epithelial cells maintain the unique FCS remains unknown. We found that HAE-ALI cultures were capable of suppressing two prevalent FCS deletion mutants (Δ678TNSPRRAR↓SVAS689 and Δ675QTQTN679) that were selected during propagation in Vero cells. While such suppression was observed in 9 out of 11 of the tested HAE-ALI cultures derived from independent donors, 2 exceptions that retained a high rate of FCS deletions were also found. Our results present evidence of the donor-dependent properties of human airway epithelia in the evolution of the FCS during infection.


Subject(s)
Bronchi/virology , Furin/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Transcriptome , Animals , Bronchi/cytology , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Epithelial Cells/virology , Humans , RNA-Seq , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Sequence Deletion , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vero Cells
12.
Phytomedicine ; 87: 153583, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1213465

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A key clinical feature of COVID-19 is a deep inflammatory state known as "cytokine storm" and characterized by high expression of several cytokines, chemokines and growth factors, including IL-6 and IL-8. A direct consequence of this inflammatory state in the lungs is the Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), frequently observed in severe COVID-19 patients. The "cytokine storm" is associated with severe forms of COVID-19 and poor prognosis for COVID-19 patients. Sulforaphane (SFN), one of the main components of Brassica oleraceae L. (Brassicaceae or Cruciferae), is known to possess anti-inflammatory effects in tissues from several organs, among which joints, kidneys and lungs. PURPOSE: The objective of the present study was to determine whether SFN is able to inhibit IL-6 and IL-8, two key molecules involved in the COVID-19 "cytokine storm". METHODS: The effects of SFN were studied in vitro on bronchial epithelial IB3-1 cells exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein (S-protein). The anti-inflammatory activity of SFN on IL-6 and IL-8 expression has been evaluated by RT-qPCR and Bio-Plex analysis. RESULTS: In our study SFN inhibits, in cultured IB3-1 bronchial cells, the gene expression of IL-6 and IL-8 induced by the S-protein of SARS-CoV-2. This represents the proof-of-principle that SFN may modulate the release of some key proteins of the COVID-19 "cytokine storm". CONCLUSION: The control of the cytokine storm is one of the major issues in the management of COVID-19 patients. Our study suggests that SFN can be employed in protocols useful to control hyperinflammatory state associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Bronchi/virology , Interleukin-6/genetics , Interleukin-8/genetics , Isothiocyanates/pharmacology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/toxicity , Sulfoxides/pharmacology , Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal/pharmacology , Apoptosis/drug effects , Bronchi/cytology , Bronchi/drug effects , COVID-19/physiopathology , Cell Line , Chemokines/genetics , Chemokines/metabolism , Cytokine Release Syndrome/drug therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/metabolism , Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Up-Regulation/drug effects
13.
J Med Virol ; 93(3): 1443-1448, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196454

ABSTRACT

Our study intended to longitudinally explore the prediction effect of immunoglobulin A (IgA) on pulmonary exudation progression in COVID-19 patients. The serum IgA was tested with chemiluminescence method. Autoregressive moving average model was used to extrapolate the IgA levels before hospital admission. The positive rate of IgA and IgG in our cohort was 97% and 79.0%, respectively. In this study, the IgA levels peaks within 10-15 days after admission, while the IgG levels peaks at admission. We found that the time difference between their peaks was about 10 days. Viral RNA detection results showed that the positive rate in sputum and feces were the highest. Blood gas analysis showed that deterioration of hypoxia with the enlargement of pulmonary exudation area. And alveolar-arterial oxygen difference and oxygenation index were correlated with IgA and IgG. The results of biopsy showed that the epithelium of lung was exfoliated and the mucosa was edematous. In severe COVID-19 patients, the combination of IgA and IgG can predict the progress of pulmonary lesions and is closely related to hypoxemia and both also play an important defense role in invasion and destruction of bronchial and alveolar epithelium by SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Sputum/virology , Aged , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Bronchi/metabolism , Bronchi/virology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/metabolism , Female , Humans , Hypoxia/blood , Hypoxia/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Mucous Membrane/metabolism , Mucous Membrane/virology , Oxygen/metabolism , Pulmonary Alveoli/metabolism , Pulmonary Alveoli/virology , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
14.
PLoS Comput Biol ; 17(4): e1008860, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1175370

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is posing an unprecedented threat to the whole world. In this regard, it is absolutely imperative to understand the mechanism of metabolic reprogramming of host human cells by SARS-CoV-2. A better understanding of the metabolic alterations would aid in design of better therapeutics to deal with COVID-19 pandemic. We developed an integrated genome-scale metabolic model of normal human bronchial epithelial cells (NHBE) infected with SARS-CoV-2 using gene-expression and macromolecular make-up of the virus. The reconstructed model predicts growth rates of the virus in high agreement with the experimental measured values. Furthermore, we report a method for conducting genome-scale differential flux analysis (GS-DFA) in context-specific metabolic models. We apply the method to the context-specific model and identify severely affected metabolic modules predominantly comprising of lipid metabolism. We conduct an integrated analysis of the flux-altered reactions, host-virus protein-protein interaction network and phospho-proteomics data to understand the mechanism of flux alteration in host cells. We show that several enzymes driving the altered reactions inferred by our method to be directly interacting with viral proteins and also undergoing differential phosphorylation under diseased state. In case of SARS-CoV-2 infection, lipid metabolism particularly fatty acid oxidation, cholesterol biosynthesis and beta-oxidation cycle along with arachidonic acid metabolism are predicted to be most affected which confirms with clinical metabolomics studies. GS-DFA can be applied to existing repertoire of high-throughput proteomic or transcriptomic data in diseased condition to understand metabolic deregulation at the level of flux.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Lung/metabolism , Models, Biological , SARS-CoV-2 , Algorithms , Biomass , Bronchi/metabolism , Bronchi/virology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Computational Biology , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/virology , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Metabolic Flux Analysis/statistics & numerical data , Metabolic Networks and Pathways/genetics , Metabolomics , Pandemics , Phosphorylation , Protein Interaction Maps , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Transcriptome
16.
PLoS Biol ; 19(3): e3001143, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1138557

ABSTRACT

There are currently limited Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs and vaccines for the treatment or prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Enhanced understanding of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and pathogenesis is critical for the development of therapeutics. To provide insight into viral replication, cell tropism, and host-viral interactions of SARS-CoV-2, we performed single-cell (sc) RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) of experimentally infected human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs) in air-liquid interface (ALI) cultures over a time course. This revealed novel polyadenylated viral transcripts and highlighted ciliated cells as a major target at the onset of infection, which we confirmed by electron and immunofluorescence microscopy. Over the course of infection, the cell tropism of SARS-CoV-2 expands to other epithelial cell types including basal and club cells. Infection induces cell-intrinsic expression of type I and type III interferons (IFNs) and interleukin (IL)-6 but not IL-1. This results in expression of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) in both infected and bystander cells. This provides a detailed characterization of genes, cell types, and cell state changes associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in the human airway.


Subject(s)
Bronchi/pathology , COVID-19/diagnosis , Gene Expression , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Single-Cell Analysis/methods , Adult , Bronchi/virology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Epithelium/pathology , Epithelium/virology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Longitudinal Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Transcriptome , Viral Tropism
17.
Hum Genomics ; 15(1): 18, 2021 03 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1136250

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the novel coronavirus pandemic, the high infection rate and high mortality have seriously affected people's health and social order. To better explore the infection mechanism and treatment, the three-dimensional structure of human bronchus has been employed in a better in-depth study on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). METHODS: We downloaded a separate microarray from the Integrated Gene Expression System (GEO) on a human bronchial organoids sample to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGS) and analyzed it with R software. After processing with R software, Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto PBMCs of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) were analyzed, while a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network was constructed to show the interactions and influence relationships between these differential genes. Finally, the selected highly connected genes, which are called hub genes, were verified in CytoHubba plug-in. RESULTS: In this study, a total of 966 differentially expressed genes, including 490 upregulated genes and 476 downregulated genes were used. Analysis of GO and KEGG revealed that these differentially expressed genes were significantly enriched in pathways related to immune response and cytokines. We construct protein-protein interaction network and identify 10 hub genes, including IL6, MMP9, IL1B, CXCL8, ICAM1, FGF2, EGF, CXCL10, CCL2, CCL5, CXCL1, and FN1. Finally, with the help of GSE150728, we verified that CXCl1, CXCL8, CXCL10, CCL5, EGF differently expressed before and after SARS-CoV-2 infection in clinical patients. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we used mRNA expression data from GSE150819 to preliminarily confirm the feasibility of hBO as an in vitro model to further study the pathogenesis and potential treatment of COVID-19. Moreover, based on the mRNA differentiated expression of this model, we found that CXCL8, CXCL10, and EGF are hub genes in the process of SARS-COV-2 infection, and we emphasized their key roles in SARS-CoV-2 infection. And we also suggested that further study of these hub genes may be beneficial to treatment, prognostic prediction of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Bronchi/virology , COVID-19/genetics , Gene Expression Regulation , Bronchi/physiology , Chemokine CXCL10/genetics , Epidermal Growth Factor/genetics , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Interleukin-8/genetics , Organoids , Protein Interaction Maps/genetics , Software
18.
Nature ; 592(7852): 122-127, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1104508

ABSTRACT

During the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in humans, a D614G substitution in the spike glycoprotein (S) has emerged; virus containing this substitution has become the predominant circulating variant in the COVID-19 pandemic1. However, whether the increasing prevalence of this variant reflects a fitness advantage that improves replication and/or transmission in humans or is merely due to founder effects remains unknown. Here we use isogenic SARS-CoV-2 variants to demonstrate that the variant that contains S(D614G) has enhanced binding to the human cell-surface receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), increased replication in primary human bronchial and nasal airway epithelial cultures as well as in a human ACE2 knock-in mouse model, and markedly increased replication and transmissibility in hamster and ferret models of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our data show that the D614G substitution in S results in subtle increases in binding and replication in vitro, and provides a real competitive advantage in vivo-particularly during the transmission bottleneck. Our data therefore provide an explanation for the global predominance of the variant that contains S(D614G) among the SARS-CoV-2 viruses that are currently circulating.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Virus Replication/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Bronchi/cytology , Bronchi/virology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cell Line , Cells, Cultured , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Ferrets/virology , Founder Effect , Gene Knock-In Techniques , Genetic Fitness , Humans , Male , Mesocricetus , Mice , Nasal Mucosa/cytology , Nasal Mucosa/virology , Protein Binding , RNA, Viral/analysis , Receptors, Coronavirus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
19.
J Cell Physiol ; 236(9): 6597-6606, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1098899

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) binds to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) to gain cellular entry. Akt inhibitor triciribine (TCBN) has demonstrated promising results in promoting recovery from advanced-stage acute lung injury in preclinical studies. In the current study, we tested the direct effect of TCBN on ACE2 expression in human bronchial (H441) and lung alveolar (A549) epithelial cells. Treatment with TCBN resulted in the downregulation of both messenger RNA and protein levels of ACE2 in A549 cells. Since HMGB1 plays a vital role in the inflammatory response in COVID-19, and because hyperglycemia has been linked to increased COVID-19 infections, we determined if HMGB1 and hyperglycemia have any effect on ACE2 expression in lung epithelial cells and whether TCBN has any effect on reversing HMGB1- and hyperglycemia-induced ACE2 expression. We observed increased ACE2 expression with both HMGB1 and hyperglycemia treatment in A549 as well as H441 cells, which were blunted by TCBN treatment. Our findings from this study, combined with our previous reports on the potential benefits of TCBN in the treatment of acute lung injury, generate reasonable optimism on the potential utility of TCBN in the therapeutic management of patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/drug therapy , HMGB1 Protein/genetics , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/genetics , A549 Cells , Bronchi/metabolism , Bronchi/pathology , Bronchi/virology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Epithelial Cells/virology , Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects , Humans , Lung/drug effects , Lung/pathology , RNA, Viral/genetics , Ribonucleosides/administration & dosage , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
20.
BMC Infect Dis ; 20(1): 536, 2020 Jul 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1072981

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, early, ideally real-time, identification of SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals is pivotal in interrupting infection chains. Volatile organic compounds produced during respiratory infections can cause specific scent imprints, which can be detected by trained dogs with a high rate of precision. METHODS: Eight detection dogs were trained for 1 week to detect saliva or tracheobronchial secretions of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients in a randomised, double-blinded and controlled study. RESULTS: The dogs were able to discriminate between samples of infected (positive) and non-infected (negative) individuals with average diagnostic sensitivity of 82.63% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 82.02-83.24%) and specificity of 96.35% (95% CI: 96.31-96.39%). During the presentation of 1012 randomised samples, the dogs achieved an overall average detection rate of 94% (±3.4%) with 157 correct indications of positive, 792 correct rejections of negative, 33 incorrect indications of negative or incorrect rejections of 30 positive sample presentations. CONCLUSIONS: These preliminary findings indicate that trained detection dogs can identify respiratory secretion samples from hospitalised and clinically diseased SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals by discriminating between samples from SARS-CoV-2 infected patients and negative controls. This data may form the basis for the reliable screening method of SARS-CoV-2 infected people.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Mass Screening/methods , Odorants/analysis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Animals , Bronchi/chemistry , Bronchi/virology , COVID-19 , Case-Control Studies , Dogs , Double-Blind Method , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pilot Projects , SARS-CoV-2 , Saliva/chemistry , Saliva/virology , Sensitivity and Specificity
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