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1.
Cells ; 11(12)2022 06 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1963750

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is a highly infectious respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2. COVID-19 is characterized by progressive respiratory failure resulting from diffuse alveolar damage, inflammatory infiltrates, endotheliitis, and pulmonary and systemic coagulopathy forming obstructive microthrombi with multi-organ dysfunction, indicating that endothelial cells (ECs) play a central role in the pathogenesis of COVID-19. The glycocalyx is defined as a complex gel-like layer of glycosylated lipid-protein mixtures, which surrounds all living cells and acts as a buffer between the cell and the extracellular matrix. The endothelial glycocalyx layer (EGL) plays an important role in vascular homeostasis via regulating vascular permeability, cell adhesion, mechanosensing for hemodynamic shear stresses, and antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory functions. Here, we review the new findings that described EGL damage in ARDS, coagulopathy, and the multisystem inflammatory disease associated with COVID-19. Mechanistically, the inflammatory mediators, reactive oxygen species (ROS), matrix metalloproteases (MMPs), the glycocalyx fragments, and the viral proteins may contribute to endothelial glycocalyx damage in COVID-19. In addition, the potential therapeutic strategies targeting the EGL for the treatment of severe COVID-19 are summarized and discussed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Glycocalyx , COVID-19/drug therapy , Capillary Permeability , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Glycocalyx/metabolism , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Methods Mol Biol ; 2475: 339-350, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1802606

ABSTRACT

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) stimulates vascular permeability in a variety of human pathologies, such as cancer, ischemic stroke, cardiovascular disease, retinal conditions, and COVID-19-associated pulmonary edema, sepsis, acute lung injury, and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Comprehensive investigation of the molecular mechanisms of VEGF-induced vascular permeability has been hindered by the lack of in vivo models that easily facilitate genetic manipulation studies in real time. To address this need, we generated a heat-inducible VEGF transgenic zebrafish model of vascular permeability. Here, we describe how this zebrafish model can be used to monitor VEGF-induced vascular permeability through live in vivo imaging to identify genetic regulators that play key roles in vascular barrier integrity in physiological conditions and human disease processes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Capillary Permeability , Animals , Capillary Permeability/physiology , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A/metabolism , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors/metabolism , Zebrafish/genetics , Zebrafish/metabolism
4.
EBioMedicine ; 78: 103982, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1783293

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Endothelial cell (EC) activation, endotheliitis, vascular permeability, and thrombosis have been observed in patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), indicating that the vasculature is affected during the acute stages of SARS-CoV-2 infection. It remains unknown whether circulating vascular markers are sufficient to predict clinical outcomes, are unique to COVID-19, and if vascular permeability can be therapeutically targeted. METHODS: Prospectively evaluating the prevalence of circulating inflammatory, cardiac, and EC activation markers as well as developing a microRNA atlas in 241 unvaccinated patients with suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection allowed for prognostic value assessment using a Random Forest model machine learning approach. Subsequent ex vivo experiments assessed EC permeability responses to patient plasma and were used to uncover modulated gene regulatory networks from which rational therapeutic design was inferred. FINDINGS: Multiple inflammatory and EC activation biomarkers were associated with mortality in COVID-19 patients and in severity-matched SARS-CoV-2-negative patients, while dysregulation of specific microRNAs at presentation was specific for poor COVID-19-related outcomes and revealed disease-relevant pathways. Integrating the datasets using a machine learning approach further enhanced clinical risk prediction for in-hospital mortality. Exposure of ECs to COVID-19 patient plasma resulted in severity-specific gene expression responses and EC barrier dysfunction, which was ameliorated using angiopoietin-1 mimetic or recombinant Slit2-N. INTERPRETATION: Integration of multi-omics data identified microRNA and vascular biomarkers prognostic of in-hospital mortality in COVID-19 patients and revealed that vascular stabilizing therapies should be explored as a treatment for endothelial dysfunction in COVID-19, and other severe diseases where endothelial dysfunction has a central role in pathogenesis. FUNDING: This work was directly supported by grant funding from the Ted Rogers Center for Heart Research, Toronto, Ontario, Canada and the Peter Munk Cardiac Center, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , MicroRNAs , Vascular Diseases , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/mortality , Capillary Permeability , Humans , MicroRNAs/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Vascular Diseases/virology
5.
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(1): e0167121, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1691404

ABSTRACT

The vascular endothelial injury occurs in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections, but the mechanisms are poorly understood. We sought to determine the frequency and type of cytokine elevations and their relationship to endothelial injury induced by plasma from patients with SARS-CoV-2 versus controls. Plasma from eight consecutively enrolled patients hospitalized with acute SARS-CoV-2 infection was compared to controls. Endothelial cell (EC) barrier integrity was evaluated using ECIS (electric cell-substrate impedance sensing) on human lung microvascular EC. Plasma from all SARS-CoV-2 but none from controls decreased transendothelial resistance to a greater degree than that produced by tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), the positive control for the assay. Thrombin, angiopoietin 2 (Ang2), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), complement factor C3a and C5a, and spike protein increased endothelial permeability, but to a lesser extent and a shorter duration when compared to SARS-CoV-2 plasma. Analysis of Ang2, VEGF, and 15 cytokines measured in plasma revealed striking patient-to-patient variability within the SARS-CoV-2 patients. Pretreatment with thrombin inhibitors, single, or combinations of neutralizing antibodies against cytokines, Ca3 and C5a receptor antagonists, or with ACE2 antibody failed to lessen the SARS-CoV-2 plasma-induced EC permeability. The EC barrier destructive effects of plasma from patients with SARS-CoV-2 were susceptible to heat inactivation. Plasma from patients hospitalized with acute SARS-CoV-2 infection uniformly disrupts lung microvascular integrity. No predicted single, or set of, cytokine(s) accounted for the enhanced vascular permeability, although the factor(s) were heat-labile. A still unidentified but potent circulating factor(s) appears to cause the EC disruption in SARS-CoV-2 infected patients. IMPORTANCE Lung vascular endothelial injury in SARS-CoV-2 patients is one of the most important causes of morbidity and mortality and has been linked to more severe complications including acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and subsequent death due to multiorgan failure. We have demonstrated that in eight consecutive patients with SARS-CoV-2, who were not selected for evidence of endothelial injury, the diluted plasma-induced intense lung microvascular damage, in vitro. Known endothelial barrier-disruptive agents and proposed mediators of increased endothelial permeability in SARS-CoV-2, induced changes in permeability that were smaller in magnitude and shorter in duration than plasma from patients with SARS-CoV-2. The effect on endothelial cell permeability of plasma from patients with SARS-CoV-2 was heat-labile. The main plasma factor that causes the increased endothelial permeability remains to be identified. Our study provides a possible approach for future studies to understand the underlying mechanisms leading to vascular injury in SARS-CoV-2 infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Capillary Permeability , Cytokines/blood , Lung/blood supply , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/virology , Endothelial Cells/virology , Female , Humans , Lung/virology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/blood , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A , Young Adult
6.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(3)2022 Feb 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674667

ABSTRACT

Mast cells (MCs) have relevant participation in inflammatory and vascular hyperpermeability events, responsible for the action of the kallikrein-kinin system (KKS), that affect patients inflicted by the severe form of COVID-19. Given a higher number of activated MCs present in COVID-19 patients and their association with vascular hyperpermeability events, we investigated the factors that lead to the activation and degranulation of these cells and their harmful effects on the alveolar septum environment provided by the action of its mediators. Therefore, the pyroptotic processes throughout caspase-1 (CASP-1) and alarmin interleukin-33 (IL-33) secretion were investigated, along with the immunoexpression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), bradykinin receptor B1 (B1R) and bradykinin receptor B2 (B2R) on post-mortem lung samples from 24 patients affected by COVID-19. The results were compared to 10 patients affected by H1N1pdm09 and 11 control patients. As a result of the inflammatory processes induced by SARS-CoV-2, the activation by immunoglobulin E (IgE) and degranulation of tryptase, as well as Toluidine Blue metachromatic (TB)-stained MCs of the interstitial and perivascular regions of the same groups were also counted. An increased immunoexpression of the tissue biomarkers CASP-1, IL-33, ACE2, B1R and B2R was observed in the alveolar septum of the COVID-19 patients, associated with a higher density of IgE+ MCs, tryptase+ MCs and TB-stained MCs, in addition to the presence of intra-alveolar edema. These findings suggest the direct correlation of MCs with vascular hyperpermeability, edema and diffuse alveolar damage (DAD) events that affect patients with a severe form of this disease. The role of KKS activation in events involving the exacerbated increase in vascular permeability and its direct link with the conditions that precede intra-alveolar edema, and the consequent DAD, is evidenced. Therapy with drugs that inhibit the activation/degranulation of MCs can prevent the worsening of the prognosis and provide a better outcome for the patient.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Capillary Permeability , Kallikrein-Kinin System/physiology , Lung/pathology , Mast Cells/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Autopsy , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Caspase 1/metabolism , Female , Humans , Interleukin-33/metabolism , Lung/immunology , Lung/metabolism , Lung/virology , Male , Mast Cells/metabolism , Mast Cells/virology , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
7.
Drug Discov Today ; 27(5): 1448-1456, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1654303

ABSTRACT

The endothelial vascular permeability barrier has an important role throughout the body's extensive vasculature, and its disruption leads to vascular hyperpermeability (leakage), which is associated with numerous medical conditions. In the lung, vascular hyperpermeability can lead to pulmonary edema and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), the most severe and deadly complication of viral and bacterial infections, trauma and radiation exposure. There is currently no pharmacological treatment for ARDS with the only approved options being focused on supportive care. The development of effective treatments for ARDS has a potential to turn infectious diseases such as bacterial and viral pneumonia (including COVID-19) into manageable conditions, saving lives and providing a new tool to combat future epidemics. Strategies that aim to protect and augment the vascular endothelial barrier are important avenues to consider as potential treatments for ARDS and other conditions underlined by vascular hyperpermeability. We propose the activation of the MAPKAPK2 (MK2) kinase pathway as a new approach to augment the endothelial barrier and prevent or reverse ARDS and other conditions characterized by vascular barrier dysfunction.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , COVID-19/drug therapy , Capillary Permeability , Humans , Lung/metabolism , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/drug therapy , Signal Transduction
8.
Microvasc Res ; 140: 104310, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1586954

ABSTRACT

Evidence suggests severe coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) infection is characterised by pulmonary and systemic microvasculature dysfunction, specifically, acute endothelial injury, hypercoagulation and increased capillary permeability. Diabetes, which is also characterised by vascular injury in itself, confers an increased risk of adverse COVID-19 outcomes. It has been suggested that pre-existing endothelial dysfunction and microvascular disease in diabetes will exacerbate the vascular insults associated with COVID-19 and thus lead to increased severity of COVID-19 infection. In this article, we evaluate the current evidence exploring the impact of microvascular complications, in the form of diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy, in individuals with COVID-19 and diabetes. Future insights gained from exploring the microvascular injury patterns and clinical outcomes may come to influence care delivery algorithms for either of these conditions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/physiopathology , Diabetic Angiopathies/physiopathology , Endothelium, Vascular/pathology , Microcirculation , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombophilia/etiology , Albuminuria/etiology , COVID-19/complications , Capillary Permeability , Delivery of Health Care , Diabetic Angiopathies/complications , Diabetic Nephropathies/complications , Diabetic Nephropathies/physiopathology , Diabetic Neuropathies/complications , Diabetic Neuropathies/physiopathology , Diabetic Retinopathy/complications , Diabetic Retinopathy/physiopathology , Endothelium, Vascular/injuries , Humans , Obesity/complications , Obesity/physiopathology , Pulmonary Circulation , Pulmonary Edema/etiology , Pulmonary Edema/physiopathology , Severity of Illness Index , Thrombophilia/physiopathology , Treatment Outcome
9.
Elife ; 102021 10 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1485451

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV-2 infection leads to severe disease associated with cytokine storm, vascular dysfunction, coagulation, and progressive lung damage. It affects several vital organs, seemingly through a pathological effect on endothelial cells. The SARS-CoV-2 genome encodes 29 proteins, whose contribution to the disease manifestations, and especially endothelial complications, is unknown. We cloned and expressed 26 of these proteins in human cells and characterized the endothelial response to overexpression of each, individually. Whereas most proteins induced significant changes in endothelial permeability, nsp2, nsp5_c145a (catalytic dead mutant of nsp5), and nsp7 also reduced CD31, and increased von Willebrand factor expression and IL-6, suggesting endothelial dysfunction. Using propagation-based analysis of a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network, we predicted the endothelial proteins affected by the viral proteins that potentially mediate these effects. We further applied our PPI model to identify the role of each SARS-CoV-2 protein in other tissues affected by coronavirus disease (COVID-19). While validating the PPI network model, we found that the tight junction (TJ) proteins cadherin-5, ZO-1, and ß-catenin are affected by nsp2, nsp5_c145a, and nsp7 consistent with the model prediction. Overall, this work identifies the SARS-CoV-2 proteins that might be most detrimental in terms of endothelial dysfunction, thereby shedding light on vascular aspects of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Capillary Permeability , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Host-Pathogen Interactions , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells , Humans , Protein Interaction Maps , Tight Junction Proteins/metabolism
10.
Biol Pharm Bull ; 44(10): 1371-1379, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1445700

ABSTRACT

The vascular permeability of the endothelium is finely controlled by vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin-mediated endothelial cell-cell junctions. In the majority of normal adult tissues, endothelial cells in blood vessels maintain vascular permeability at a relatively low level, while in response to inflammation, they limit vascular barrier function to induce plasma leakage and extravasation of immune cells as a defense mechanism. Thus, the dynamic but also simultaneously tight regulation of vascular permeability by endothelial cells is responsible for maintaining homeostasis and, as such, impairments of its underlying mechanisms result in hyperpermeability, leading to the development and progression of various diseases including coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a newly emerging infectious disease. Recently, increasing numbers of studies have been unveiling the important role of Rap1, a small guanosine 5'-triphosphatase (GTPase) belonging to the Ras superfamily, in the regulation of vascular permeability. Rap1 enhances VE-cadherin-mediated endothelial cell-cell junctions to potentiate vascular barrier functions via dynamic reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton. Importantly, Rap1 signaling activation reportedly improves vascular barrier function in animal models of various diseases associated with vascular hyperpermeability, suggesting that Rap1 might be an ideal target for drugs intended to prevent vascular barrier dysfunction. Here, we describe recent progress in understanding the mechanisms by which Rap1 potentiates VE-cadherin-mediated endothelial cell-cell adhesions and vascular barrier function. We also discuss how alterations in Rap1 signaling are related to vascular barrier dysfunction in diseases such as acute pulmonary injury and malignancies. In addition, we examine the possibility of Rap1 signaling as a target of drugs for treating diseases associated with vascular hyperpermeability.


Subject(s)
Antigens, CD/metabolism , Cadherins/metabolism , Capillary Permeability , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Intercellular Junctions/metabolism , rap1 GTP-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Animals , Humans
11.
Dis Model Mech ; 14(11)2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430507

ABSTRACT

Vascular permeability triggered by inflammation or ischemia promotes edema, exacerbates disease progression and impairs tissue recovery. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent inducer of vascular permeability. VEGF plays an integral role in regulating vascular barrier function physiologically and in pathologies, including cancer, stroke, cardiovascular disease, retinal conditions and COVID-19-associated pulmonary edema, sepsis and acute lung injury. Understanding temporal molecular regulation of VEGF-induced vascular permeability will facilitate developing therapeutics to inhibit vascular permeability, while preserving tissue-restorative angiogenesis. Here, we demonstrate that VEGF signals through signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) to promote vascular permeability. We show that genetic STAT3 ablation reduces vascular permeability in STAT3-deficient endothelium of mice and VEGF-inducible zebrafish crossed with CRISPR/Cas9-generated Stat3 knockout zebrafish. Intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) expression is transcriptionally regulated by STAT3, and VEGF-dependent STAT3 activation is regulated by JAK2. Pyrimethamine, an FDA-approved antimicrobial agent that inhibits STAT3-dependent transcription, substantially reduces VEGF-induced vascular permeability in zebrafish, mouse and human endothelium. Collectively, our findings suggest that VEGF/VEGFR-2/JAK2/STAT3 signaling regulates vascular barrier integrity, and inhibition of STAT3-dependent activity reduces VEGF-induced vascular permeability. This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.


Subject(s)
Capillary Permeability , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , STAT3 Transcription Factor/genetics , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A/metabolism , Animals , CRISPR-Cas Systems , Humans , Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1/metabolism , Janus Kinase 2/metabolism , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , Phosphorylation , STAT3 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Signal Transduction , Zebrafish
13.
JCI Insight ; 6(14)2021 07 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1341362

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUNDThe fungal cell wall constituent 1,3-ß-d-glucan (BDG) is a pathogen-associated molecular pattern that can stimulate innate immunity. We hypothesized that BDG from colonizing fungi in critically ill patients may translocate into the systemic circulation and be associated with host inflammation and outcomes.METHODSWe enrolled 453 mechanically ventilated patients with acute respiratory failure (ARF) without invasive fungal infection and measured BDG, innate immunity, and epithelial permeability biomarkers in serially collected plasma samples.RESULTSCompared with healthy controls, patients with ARF had significantly higher BDG levels (median [IQR], 26 pg/mL [15-49 pg/mL], P < 0.001), whereas patients with ARF with high BDG levels (≥40 pg/mL, 31%) had higher odds for assignment to the prognostically adverse hyperinflammatory subphenotype (OR [CI], 2.88 [1.83-4.54], P < 0.001). Baseline BDG levels were predictive of fewer ventilator-free days and worse 30-day survival (adjusted P < 0.05). Integrative analyses of fungal colonization and epithelial barrier disruption suggested that BDG may translocate from either the lung or gut compartment. We validated the associations between plasma BDG and host inflammatory responses in 97 hospitalized patients with COVID-19.CONCLUSIONBDG measurements offered prognostic information in critically ill patients without fungal infections. Further research in the mechanisms of translocation and innate immunity recognition and stimulation may offer new therapeutic opportunities in critical illness.FUNDINGUniversity of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Institute, COVID-19 Pilot Award and NIH grants (K23 HL139987, U01 HL098962, P01 HL114453, R01 HL097376, K24 HL123342, U01 HL137159, R01 LM012087, K08HK144820, F32 HL142172, K23 GM122069).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Candida , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Respiration, Artificial , beta-Glucans/blood , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Candida/immunology , Candida/isolation & purification , Capillary Permeability/immunology , Critical Illness/therapy , Female , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/immunology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Predictive Value of Tests , Prognosis , Respiration, Artificial/adverse effects , Respiration, Artificial/methods , Respiratory Insufficiency/etiology , Respiratory Insufficiency/therapy , Respiratory System/immunology , Respiratory System/microbiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Survival Analysis
14.
Biomolecules ; 11(5)2021 04 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1334991

ABSTRACT

The vascular endothelium acts as a selective barrier to regulate macromolecule exchange between the blood and tissues. However, the integrity of the endothelium barrier is compromised in an array of pathological settings, including ischemic disease and cancer, which are the leading causes of death worldwide. The resulting vascular hyperpermeability to plasma molecules as well as leukocytes then leads to tissue damaging edema formation and inflammation. The vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) is a potent permeability factor, and therefore a desirable target for impeding vascular hyperpermeability. However, VEGFA also promotes angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels, which is required for reperfusion of ischemic tissues. Moreover, edema increases interstitial pressure in poorly perfused tumors, thereby affecting the delivery of therapeutics, which could be counteracted by stimulating the growth of new functional blood vessels. Thus, targets must be identified to accurately modulate the barrier function of blood vessels without affecting angiogenesis, as well as to develop more effective pro- or anti-angiogenic therapies. Recent studies have shown that the VEGFA co-receptor neuropilin 1 (NRP1) could be playing a fundamental role in steering VEGFA-induced responses of vascular endothelial cells towards angiogenesis or vascular permeability. Moreover, NRP1 is involved in mediating permeability signals induced by ligands other than VEGFA. This review therefore focuses on current knowledge on the role of NRP1 in the regulation of vascular permeability signaling in the endothelium to provide an up-to-date landscape of the current knowledge in this field.


Subject(s)
Capillary Permeability , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Neuropilin-1/metabolism , Animals , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Signal Transduction , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A/metabolism
15.
Lancet Respir Med ; 9(9): 957-968, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275790

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The major complication of COVID-19 is hypoxaemic respiratory failure from capillary leak and alveolar oedema. Experimental and early clinical data suggest that the tyrosine-kinase inhibitor imatinib reverses pulmonary capillary leak. METHODS: This randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial was done at 13 academic and non-academic teaching hospitals in the Netherlands. Hospitalised patients (aged ≥18 years) with COVID-19, as confirmed by an RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2, requiring supplemental oxygen to maintain a peripheral oxygen saturation of greater than 94% were eligible. Patients were excluded if they had severe pre-existing pulmonary disease, had pre-existing heart failure, had undergone active treatment of a haematological or non-haematological malignancy in the previous 12 months, had cytopenia, or were receiving concomitant treatment with medication known to strongly interact with imatinib. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive either oral imatinib, given as a loading dose of 800 mg on day 0 followed by 400 mg daily on days 1-9, or placebo. Randomisation was done with a computer-based clinical data management platform with variable block sizes (containing two, four, or six patients), stratified by study site. The primary outcome was time to discontinuation of mechanical ventilation and supplemental oxygen for more than 48 consecutive hours, while being alive during a 28-day period. Secondary outcomes included safety, mortality at 28 days, and the need for invasive mechanical ventilation. All efficacy and safety analyses were done in all randomised patients who had received at least one dose of study medication (modified intention-to-treat population). This study is registered with the EU Clinical Trials Register (EudraCT 2020-001236-10). FINDINGS: Between March 31, 2020, and Jan 4, 2021, 805 patients were screened, of whom 400 were eligible and randomly assigned to the imatinib group (n=204) or the placebo group (n=196). A total of 385 (96%) patients (median age 64 years [IQR 56-73]) received at least one dose of study medication and were included in the modified intention-to-treat population. Time to discontinuation of ventilation and supplemental oxygen for more than 48 h was not significantly different between the two groups (unadjusted hazard ratio [HR] 0·95 [95% CI 0·76-1·20]). At day 28, 15 (8%) of 197 patients had died in the imatinib group compared with 27 (14%) of 188 patients in the placebo group (unadjusted HR 0·51 [0·27-0·95]). After adjusting for baseline imbalances between the two groups (sex, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease) the HR for mortality was 0·52 (95% CI 0·26-1·05). The HR for mechanical ventilation in the imatinib group compared with the placebo group was 1·07 (0·63-1·80; p=0·81). The median duration of invasive mechanical ventilation was 7 days (IQR 3-13) in the imatinib group compared with 12 days (6-20) in the placebo group (p=0·0080). 91 (46%) of 197 patients in the imatinib group and 82 (44%) of 188 patients in the placebo group had at least one grade 3 or higher adverse event. The safety evaluation revealed no imatinib-associated adverse events. INTERPRETATION: The study failed to meet its primary outcome, as imatinib did not reduce the time to discontinuation of ventilation and supplemental oxygen for more than 48 consecutive hours in patients with COVID-19 requiring supplemental oxygen. The observed effects on survival (although attenuated after adjustment for baseline imbalances) and duration of mechanical ventilation suggest that imatinib might confer clinical benefit in hospitalised patients with COVID-19, but further studies are required to validate these findings. FUNDING: Amsterdam Medical Center Foundation, Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek/ZonMW, and the European Union Innovative Medicines Initiative 2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Imatinib Mesylate/administration & dosage , Protein Kinase Inhibitors/administration & dosage , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , Respiratory Insufficiency/therapy , Aged , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Capillary Permeability/drug effects , Combined Modality Therapy/adverse effects , Combined Modality Therapy/methods , Double-Blind Method , Female , Humans , Imatinib Mesylate/adverse effects , Male , Middle Aged , Netherlands , Oxygen/administration & dosage , Placebos/administration & dosage , Placebos/adverse effects , Protein Kinase Inhibitors/adverse effects , Respiratory Insufficiency/diagnosis , Respiratory Insufficiency/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome
16.
Crit Care ; 25(1): 186, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1255959

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), extravascular lung water index (EVLWi) and pulmonary vascular permeability index (PVPI) measured by transpulmonary thermodilution reflect the degree of lung injury. Whether EVLWi and PVPI are different between non-COVID-19 ARDS and the ARDS due to COVID-19 has never been reported. We aimed at comparing EVLWi, PVPI, respiratory mechanics and hemodynamics in patients with COVID-19 ARDS vs. ARDS of other origin. METHODS: Between March and October 2020, in an observational study conducted in intensive care units from three university hospitals, 60 patients with COVID-19-related ARDS monitored by transpulmonary thermodilution were compared to the 60 consecutive non-COVID-19 ARDS admitted immediately before the COVID-19 outbreak between December 2018 and February 2020. RESULTS: Driving pressure was similar between patients with COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 ARDS, at baseline as well as during the study period. Compared to patients without COVID-19, those with COVID-19 exhibited higher EVLWi, both at the baseline (17 (14-21) vs. 15 (11-19) mL/kg, respectively, p = 0.03) and at the time of its maximal value (24 (18-27) vs. 21 (15-24) mL/kg, respectively, p = 0.01). Similar results were observed for PVPI. In COVID-19 patients, the worst ratio between arterial oxygen partial pressure over oxygen inspired fraction was lower (81 (70-109) vs. 100 (80-124) mmHg, respectively, p = 0.02) and prone positioning and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) were more frequently used than in patients without COVID-19. COVID-19 patients had lower maximal lactate level and maximal norepinephrine dose than patients without COVID-19. Day-60 mortality was similar between groups (57% vs. 65%, respectively, p = 0.45). The maximal value of EVLWi and PVPI remained independently associated with outcome in the whole cohort. CONCLUSION: Compared to ARDS patients without COVID-19, patients with COVID-19 had similar lung mechanics, but higher EVLWi and PVPI values from the beginning of the disease. This was associated with worse oxygenation and with more requirement of prone positioning and ECMO. This is compatible with the specific lung inflammation and severe diffuse alveolar damage related to COVID-19. By contrast, patients with COVID-19 had fewer hemodynamic derangement. Eventually, mortality was similar between groups. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER AND DATE OF REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT04337983). Registered 30 March 2020-Retrospectively registered, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04337983 .


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Capillary Permeability , Extravascular Lung Water/metabolism , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/metabolism , Severity of Illness Index , COVID-19/complications , Hemodynamics , Humans , Lung/blood supply , Male , Middle Aged , Monitoring, Physiologic/methods , Prognosis , Pulmonary Edema/metabolism , Thermodilution
17.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 11524, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1253988

ABSTRACT

Nearly 5% of patients suffering from COVID-19 develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Extravascular lung water index (EVLWI) is a marker of pulmonary oedema which is associated with mortality in ARDS. In this study, we evaluate whether EVLWI is higher in patients with COVID-19 associated ARDS as compared to COVID-19 negative, ventilated patients with ARDS and whether EVLWI has the potential to monitor disease progression. EVLWI and cardiac function were monitored by transpulmonary thermodilution in 25 patients with COVID-19 ARDS subsequent to intubation and compared to a control group of 49 non-COVID-19 ARDS patients. At intubation, EVLWI was noticeably elevated and significantly higher in COVID-19 patients than in the control group (17 (11-38) vs. 11 (6-26) mL/kg; p < 0.001). High pulmonary vascular permeability index values (2.9 (1.0-5.2) versus 1.9 (1.0-5.2); p = 0.003) suggested a non-cardiogenic pulmonary oedema. By contrast, the cardiac parameters SVI, GEF and GEDVI were comparable in both cohorts. High EVLWI values were associated with viral persistence, prolonged intensive care treatment and in-hospital mortality (23.2 ± 6.7% vs. 30.3 ± 6.0%, p = 0.025). Also, EVLWI showed a significant between-subjects (r = - 0.60; p = 0.001) and within-subjects correlation (r = - 0.27; p = 0.028) to Horowitz index. Compared to non COVID-19 ARDS, COVID-19 results in markedly elevated EVLWI-values in patients with ARDS. High EVLWI reflects a non-cardiogenic pulmonary oedema in COVID-19 ARDS and could serve as parameter to monitor ARDS progression on ICU.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Extravascular Lung Water/immunology , Pulmonary Edema/mortality , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/mortality , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , Capillary Permeability , Disease Progression , Extravascular Lung Water/virology , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Lung/blood supply , Lung/physiopathology , Male , Middle Aged , Monitoring, Physiologic/methods , Monitoring, Physiologic/statistics & numerical data , Prognosis , Pulmonary Edema/diagnosis , Pulmonary Edema/immunology , Pulmonary Edema/virology , Respiration, Artificial , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/diagnosis , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , Risk Assessment/methods , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index , Thermodilution/methods , Thermodilution/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
18.
Scand J Immunol ; 93(6): e13024, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1091011

ABSTRACT

Early airway responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection are of interest since they could decide whether coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) will proceed to life-threatening pulmonary disease stages. Here I discuss endothelial-epithelial co-operative in vivo responses producing first-line, humoral innate defence opportunities in human airways. The pseudostratified epithelium of human nasal and tracheobronchial airways are prime sites of exposure and infection by SARS-CoV-2. Just beneath the epithelium runs a profuse systemic microcirculation. Its post-capillary venules respond conspicuously to mucosal challenges with autacoids, allergens and microbes, and to mere loss of epithelium. By active venular endothelial gap formation, followed by transient yielding of epithelial junctions, non-sieved plasma macromolecules move from the microcirculation to the mucosal surface. Hence, plasma-derived protein cascade systems and antimicrobial peptides would have opportunity to operate jointly on an unperturbed mucosal lining. Similarly, a plasma-derived, dynamic gel protects sites of epithelial sloughing-regeneration. Precision for this indiscriminate humoral molecular response lies in restricted location and well-regulated duration of plasma exudation. Importantly, the endothelial responsiveness of the airway microcirculation differs distinctly from the relatively non-responsive, low-pressure pulmonary microcirculation that non-specifically, almost irreversibly, leaks plasma in life-threatening COVID-19. Observations in humans of infections with rhinovirus, coronavirus 229E, and influenza A and B support a general but individually variable early occurrence of plasma exudation in human infected nasal and tracheobronchial airways. Investigations are warranted to elucidate roles of host- and drug-induced airway plasma exudation in restriction of viral infection and, specifically, whether it contributes to variable disease responses following exposure to SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Immunity, Humoral , Respiratory Mucosa/immunology , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Biomarkers/blood , Blood Proteins , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/metabolism , Capillary Permeability/immunology , Complement Activation/immunology , Complement System Proteins/immunology , Complement System Proteins/metabolism , Exudates and Transudates , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Microvessels/immunology , Microvessels/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism
19.
Eur Respir J ; 57(1)2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1041881

ABSTRACT

Epidemiological data from the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak suggest sex differences in mortality and vulnerability; however, sex-dependent incidence of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) remains controversial and the sex-dependent mechanisms of endothelial barrier regulation are unknown. In premenopausal women, increased signalling of angiotensin (Ang)(1-7) via the Mas receptor has been linked to lower cardiovascular risk. Since stimulation of the Ang(1-7)/Mas axis protects the endothelial barrier in acute lung injury (ALI), we hypothesised that increased Ang(1-7)/Mas signalling may protect females over males in ALI/ARDS.Clinical data were collected from Charité inpatients (Berlin) and sex differences in ALI were assessed in wild-type (WT) and Mas-receptor deficient (Mas-/- ) mice. Endothelial permeability was assessed as weight change in isolated lungs and as transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER) in vitroIn 734 090 Charité inpatients (2005-2016), ARDS had a higher incidence in men as compared to women. In murine ALI, male WT mice had more lung oedema, protein leaks and histological evidence of injury than female WT mice. Lung weight change in response to platelet-activating factor (PAF) was more pronounced in male WT and female Mas-/- mice than in female WT mice, whereas Mas-receptor expression was higher in female WT lungs. Ovariectomy attenuated protection in female WT mice and reduced Mas-receptor expression. Oestrogen increased Mas-receptor expression and attenuated endothelial leakage in response to thrombin in vitro This effect was alleviated by Mas-receptor blockade.Improved lung endothelial barrier function protects female mice from ALI-induced lung oedema. This effect is partially mediated via enhanced Ang(1-7)/Mas signalling as a result of oestrogen-dependent Mas expression.


Subject(s)
Acute Lung Injury/genetics , Angiotensin I/metabolism , COVID-19/epidemiology , Capillary Permeability/genetics , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Estrogens/metabolism , Lung/metabolism , Peptide Fragments/metabolism , Proto-Oncogene Proteins/genetics , Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled/genetics , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/epidemiology , Acute Lung Injury/metabolism , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Angiotensin I/pharmacology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Capillary Permeability/drug effects , Child , Electric Impedance , Endothelial Cells/drug effects , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Estradiol/pharmacology , Female , Humans , In Vitro Techniques , Lung/drug effects , Male , Mice , Mice, Knockout , Middle Aged , Ovariectomy , Peptide Fragments/pharmacology , Platelet Activating Factor/pharmacology , Proto-Oncogene Proteins/metabolism , Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Distribution , Sex Factors , Up-Regulation , Young Adult
20.
Transl Res ; 232: 37-48, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-989352

ABSTRACT

Approximately 15%-20% of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (COVID-19) progress beyond mild and self-limited disease to require supplemental oxygen for severe pneumonia; 5% of COVID-19-infected patients further develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multiorgan failure. Despite mortality rates surpassing 40%, key insights into COVID-19-induced ARDS pathology have not been fully elucidated and multiple unmet needs remain. This review focuses on the unmet need for effective therapies that target unchecked innate immunity-driven inflammation which drives unchecked vascular permeability, multiorgan dysfunction and ARDS mortality. Additional unmet needs including the lack of insights into factors predicting pathogenic hyperinflammatory viral host responses, limited approaches to address the vast disease heterogeneity in ARDS, and the absence of clinically-useful ARDS biomarkers. We review unmet needs persisting in COVID-19-induced ARDS in the context of the potential role for damage-associated molecular pattern proteins in lung and systemic hyperinflammatory host responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection that ultimately drive multiorgan dysfunction and ARDS mortality. Insights into promising stratification-enhancing, biomarker-based strategies in COVID-19 and non-COVID ARDS may enable the design of successful clinical trials of promising therapies.


Subject(s)
Alarmins/physiology , COVID-19/complications , Inflammation/etiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Vascular System Injuries/etiology , Blood Coagulation Disorders/etiology , Capillary Permeability , Cytokines/physiology , Humans , Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
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