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1.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 23993, 2021 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585801

ABSTRACT

Previous work indicates that SARS-CoV-2 virus entry proteins angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) and the cell surface transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS-2) are regulated by sex hormones. However, clinical studies addressing this association have yielded conflicting results. We sought to analyze the impact of sex hormones, age, and cardiovascular disease on ACE-2 and TMPRSS-2 expression in different mouse models. ACE-2 and TMPRSS-2 expression was analyzed by immunostaining in a variety of tissues obtained from FVB/N mice undergoing either gonadectomy or sham-surgery and being subjected to ischemia-reperfusion injury or transverse aortic constriction surgery. In lung tissues sex did not have a significant impact on the expression of ACE-2 and TMPRSS-2. On the contrary, following myocardial injury, female sex was associated to a lower expression of ACE-2 at the level of the kidney tubules. In addition, after myocardial injury, a significant correlation between younger age and higher expression of both ACE-2 and TMPRSS-2 was observed for lung alveoli and bronchioli, kidney tubules, and liver sinusoids. Our experimental data indicate that gonadal hormones and biological sex do not alter ACE-2 and TMPRSS-2 expression in the respiratory tract in mice, independent of disease state. Thus, sex differences in ACE-2 and TMPRSS-2 protein expression observed in mice may not explain the higher disease burden of COVID-19 among men.


Subject(s)
Aging/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Cardiomyopathies/metabolism , Castration/adverse effects , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Animals , Bronchioles/metabolism , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Gene Expression Regulation , Kidney Tubules/metabolism , Liver/metabolism , Male , Mice , Pulmonary Alveoli/metabolism , Virus Internalization
2.
Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) ; 12: 726967, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1394754

ABSTRACT

In March 2020, the WHO declared coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a global pandemic. Obesity was soon identified as a risk factor for poor prognosis, with an increased risk of intensive care admissions and mechanical ventilation, but also of adverse cardiovascular events. Obesity is associated with adipose tissue, chronic low-grade inflammation, and immune dysregulation with hypertrophy and hyperplasia of adipocytes and overexpression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. However, to implement appropriate therapeutic strategies, exact mechanisms must be clarified. The role of white visceral adipose tissue, increased in individuals with obesity, seems important, as a viral reservoir for SARS-CoV-2 via angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors. After infection of host cells, the activation of pro-inflammatory cytokines creates a setting conducive to the "cytokine storm" and macrophage activation syndrome associated with progression to acute respiratory distress syndrome. In obesity, systemic viral spread, entry, and prolonged viral shedding in already inflamed adipose tissue may spur immune responses and subsequent amplification of a cytokine cascade, causing worse outcomes. More precisely, visceral adipose tissue, more than subcutaneous fat, could predict intensive care admission; and lower density of epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) could be associated with worse outcome. EAT, an ectopic adipose tissue that surrounds the myocardium, could fuel COVID-19-induced cardiac injury and myocarditis, and extensive pneumopathy, by strong expression of inflammatory mediators that could diffuse paracrinally through the vascular wall. The purpose of this review is to ascertain what mechanisms may be involved in unfavorable prognosis among COVID-19 patients with obesity, especially cardiovascular events, emphasizing the harmful role of excess ectopic adipose tissue, particularly EAT.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Cardiomyopathies/metabolism , Intra-Abdominal Fat/metabolism , Obesity/metabolism , Adipose Tissue/metabolism , Adipose Tissue/pathology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , Cardiomyopathies/immunology , Cardiomyopathies/pathology , Heart Diseases/immunology , Heart Diseases/metabolism , Heart Diseases/pathology , Humans , Inflammation , Intra-Abdominal Fat/pathology , Obesity/complications , Obesity/immunology , Obesity/pathology , Pericardium , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism
3.
Front Immunol ; 12: 624703, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1354863

ABSTRACT

Accumulating evidence suggests that the breakdown of immune tolerance plays an important role in the development of myocarditis triggered by cardiotropic microbial infections. Genetic deletion of immune checkpoint molecules that are crucial for maintaining self-tolerance causes spontaneous myocarditis in mice, and cancer treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors can induce myocarditis in humans. These results suggest that the loss of immune tolerance results in myocarditis. The tissue microenvironment influences the local immune dysregulation in autoimmunity. Recently, tenascin-C (TN-C) has been found to play a role as a local regulator of inflammation through various molecular mechanisms. TN-C is a nonstructural extracellular matrix glycoprotein expressed in the heart during early embryonic development, as well as during tissue injury or active tissue remodeling, in a spatiotemporally restricted manner. In a mouse model of autoimmune myocarditis, TN-C was detectable before inflammatory cell infiltration and myocytolysis became histologically evident; it was strongly expressed during active inflammation and disappeared with healing. TN-C activates dendritic cells to generate pathogenic autoreactive T cells and forms an important link between innate and acquired immunity.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases/metabolism , Autoimmunity , Cardiomyopathies/metabolism , Inflammation Mediators/metabolism , Myocarditis/metabolism , Myocardium/metabolism , Tenascin/metabolism , Animals , Autoimmune Diseases/immunology , Autoimmune Diseases/pathology , Cardiomyopathies/immunology , Cardiomyopathies/pathology , Cellular Microenvironment , Humans , Myocarditis/immunology , Myocarditis/pathology , Myocardium/immunology , Myocardium/pathology , Self Tolerance , Signal Transduction
4.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 24(23): 12609-12622, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-995022

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: In human pathology, SARS-CoV-2 utilizes multiple molecular pathways to determine structural and biochemical changes within the different organs and cell types. The clinical picture of patients with COVID-19 is characterized by a very large spectrum. The reason for this variability has not been clarified yet, causing the inability to make a prognosis on the evolution of the disease. MATERIALS AND METHODS: PubMed search was performed focusing on the role of ACE 2 receptors in allowing the viral entry into cells, the role of ACE 2 downregulation in triggering the tissue pathology or in accelerating previous disease states, the role of increased levels of Angiotensin II in determining endothelial dysfunction and the enhanced vascular permeability, the role of the dysregulation of the renin angiotensin system in COVID-19 and the role of cytokine storm. RESULTS: The pathological changes induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection in the different organs, the correlations between the single cell types targeted by the virus in the different human organs and the clinical consequences, COVID-19 chronic pathologies in liver fibrosis, cardiac fibrosis and atrial arrhythmias, glomerulosclerosis and pulmonary fibrosis, due to the systemic fibroblast activation induced by angiotensin II are discussed. CONCLUSIONS: The main pathways involved showed different pathological changes in multiple tissues and the different clinical presentations. Even if ACE2 is the main receptor of SARS-CoV-2 and the main entry point into cells for the virus, ACE2 expression does not always explain the observed marked inter-individual variability in clinical presentation and outcome, evidencing the complexity of this disorder. The proper interpretation of the growing data available might allow to better classifying COVID-19 in human pathology.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin II/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Cardiomyopathies/metabolism , Cytokine Release Syndrome/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/physiopathology , Liver Cirrhosis/metabolism , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/metabolism , Thrombosis/metabolism , Angiotensin I/metabolism , Atrial Fibrillation/metabolism , Atrial Fibrillation/physiopathology , Blood Coagulation , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Capillary Permeability , Cardiomyopathies/pathology , Cardiomyopathies/physiopathology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/physiopathology , Cytokines/metabolism , Fibroblasts/metabolism , Fibroblasts/pathology , Fibrosis , Humans , Liver Cirrhosis/pathology , Liver Cirrhosis/physiopathology , Myocarditis/metabolism , Myocarditis/pathology , Myocarditis/physiopathology , Receptors, Coronavirus/metabolism , Renin-Angiotensin System , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/physiopathology , Thrombosis/physiopathology , Virus Internalization
5.
Ann Palliat Med ; 9(6): 4156-4165, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-961974

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a once-in-century crisis to public health. Although the pathogen for COVID-19, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been identified, the pandemic is still ongoing. The critically ill COVID-19 patients account for most disease-associated death; thus, there is an urgent need to identify prognostic factors that would help determine therapeutic approaches. METHODS: In this study, we retrospectively analyzed the clinical and laboratory findings in 100 critically ill COVID-19 patients in Hubei Women & Children Healthcare Hospital (Guanggu District), of whom 22 patients died in hospital, and 78 patients survived. RESULTS: We found that age, lymphocyte count, and total bilirubin concentration were an independent prognostic factor for critically ill COVID-19 patients. Of particular importance, we observed a significant elevation of myocardium injury biomarkers, including CK-MB, high-sensitivity cardiac troponini I (hs-cTnI), and Mb, in the non-survivor group. These myocardium injury biomarkers appeared to correlate with the time of survival, and two multivariate models have suggested hs-cTnI was a novel prognostic factor with a sensitivity of 75.0% and a specificity of 84.9%. CONCLUSIONS: Altogether, our study highlighted the prognostic significance of myocardium injury biomarkers in critically ill COVID-19 patients. Monitoring myocardium injury biomarkers would predict patient survival and guide therapeutic strategy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Cardiomyopathies/metabolism , Critical Illness , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/metabolism , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cardiomyopathies/complications , China/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prognosis , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
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