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1.
PLoS Pathog ; 18(1): e1010219, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2197167

ABSTRACT

Excessive inflammation is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in many viral infections including influenza. Therefore, there is a need for therapeutic interventions that dampen and redirect inflammatory responses and, ideally, exert antiviral effects. Itaconate is an immunomodulatory metabolite which also reprograms cell metabolism and inflammatory responses when applied exogenously. We evaluated effects of endogenous itaconate and exogenous application of itaconate and its variants dimethyl- and 4-octyl-itaconate (DI, 4OI) on host responses to influenza A virus (IAV). Infection induced expression of ACOD1, the enzyme catalyzing itaconate synthesis, in monocytes and macrophages, which correlated with viral replication and was abrogated by DI and 4OI treatment. In IAV-infected mice, pulmonary inflammation and weight loss were greater in Acod1-/- than in wild-type mice, and DI treatment reduced pulmonary inflammation and mortality. The compounds reversed infection-triggered interferon responses and modulated inflammation in human cells supporting non-productive and productive infection, in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and in human lung tissue. All three itaconates reduced ROS levels and STAT1 phosphorylation, whereas AKT phosphorylation was reduced by 4OI and DI but increased by itaconate. Single-cell RNA sequencing identified monocytes as the main target of infection and the exclusive source of ACOD1 mRNA in peripheral blood. DI treatment silenced IFN-responses predominantly in monocytes, but also in lymphocytes and natural killer cells. Ectopic synthesis of itaconate in A549 cells, which do not physiologically express ACOD1, reduced infection-driven inflammation, and DI reduced IAV- and IFNγ-induced CXCL10 expression in murine macrophages independent of the presence of endogenous ACOD1. The compounds differed greatly in their effects on cellular gene homeostasis and released cytokines/chemokines, but all three markedly reduced release of the pro-inflammatory chemokines CXCL10 (IP-10) and CCL2 (MCP-1). Viral replication did not increase under treatment despite the dramatically repressed IFN responses. In fact, 4OI strongly inhibited viral transcription in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and the compounds reduced viral titers (4OI>Ita>DI) in A549 cells whereas viral transcription was unaffected. Taken together, these results reveal itaconates as immunomodulatory and antiviral interventions for influenza virus infection.


Subject(s)
Influenza A virus/immunology , Macrophages/immunology , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/drug therapy , Succinates/pharmacology , A549 Cells , Animals , Carboxy-Lyases/deficiency , Carboxy-Lyases/immunology , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/immunology , Humans , Macrophages/virology , Mice , Mice, Knockout , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/genetics , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/immunology , THP-1 Cells
2.
Cell Rep ; 39(13): 110989, 2022 06 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2121651

ABSTRACT

The interleukin-12 (IL-12) family comprises the only heterodimeric cytokines mediating diverse functional effects. We previously reported a striking bimodal IL-12p70 response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation in healthy donors. Herein, we demonstrate that interferon ß (IFNß) is a major upstream determinant of IL-12p70 production, which is also associated with numbers and activation of circulating monocytes. Integrative modeling of proteomic, genetic, epigenomic, and cellular data confirms IFNß as key for LPS-induced IL-12p70 and allowed us to compare the relative effects of each of these parameters on variable cytokine responses. Clinical relevance of our findings is supported by reduced IFNß-IL-12p70 responses in patients hospitalized with acute severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection or chronically infected with hepatitis C (HCV). Importantly, these responses are resolved after viral clearance. Our systems immunology approach defines a better understanding of IL-12p70 and IFNß in healthy and infected persons, providing insights into how common genetic and epigenetic variation may impact immune responses to bacterial infection.


Subject(s)
Interferon-beta , Interleukin-12 , Toll-Like Receptor 4 , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cytokines/immunology , Cytokines/metabolism , Humans , Interferon-beta/immunology , Interferon-beta/metabolism , Interleukin-12/immunology , Interleukin-12/metabolism , Lipopolysaccharides/pharmacology , Proteomics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
3.
J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 147(1): 81-91, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2095538

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe immunopathology may drive the deleterious manifestations that are observed in the advanced stages of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) but are poorly understood. OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to phenotype leukocyte subpopulations and the cytokine milieu in the lungs and blood of critically ill patients with COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). METHODS: We consecutively included patients less than 72 hours after intubation following informed consent from their next of kin. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid was evaluated by microscopy; bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and blood were assessed by 10-color flow cytometry and a multiplex cytokine panel. RESULTS: Four mechanically ventilated patients (aged 40-75 years) with moderate-to-severe COVID-19 ARDS were included. Immature neutrophils dominated in both blood and lungs, whereas CD4 and CD8 T-cell lymphopenia was observed in the 2 compartments. However, regulatory T cells and TH17 cells were found in higher fractions in the lung. Lung CD4 and CD8 T cells and macrophages expressed an even higher upregulation of activation markers than in blood. A wide range of cytokines were expressed at high levels both in the blood and in the lungs, most notably, IL-1RA, IL-6, IL-8, IP-10, and monocyte chemoattactant protein-1, consistent with hyperinflammation. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 ARDS exhibits a distinct immunologic profile in the lungs, with a depleted and exhausted CD4 and CD8 T-cell population that resides within a heavily hyperinflammatory milieu.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Lung/immunology , Lymphopenia/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Th17 Cells/immunology , Adult , Aged , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/pathology , COVID-19/pathology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunophenotyping , Lung/pathology , Lymphopenia/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/pathology , Th17 Cells/pathology
4.
Toxins (Basel) ; 14(10)2022 09 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2066492

ABSTRACT

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients are more susceptible to infections compared to the general population. SARS-CoV-2 virus pathology is characterized by a cytokine storm responsible for the systemic inflammation typical of the COVID-19 disease. Since CKD patients have a reduced renal clearance, we decided to investigate whether they accumulate harmful mediators during the COVID-19 disease. We conducted a retrospective study on 77 COVID-19 hospitalized subjects in the acute phase of the illness. Thirteen different cytokines were assessed in plasma collected upon hospitalization. The patients were divided into three groups according to their estimated glomerular filtration rate, eGFR < 30 (n = 23), 30 < eGFR < 60 (n = 33), eGFR > 60 mL/min (n = 21). We found that Tumor Necrosis Factor α and its receptors I and II, Interleukin-7, Leukemia Inhibitory Factor, FAS receptor, Chitinase 3-like I, and the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor showed an increased accumulation that negatively correlate with eGFR. Moreover, non-survivor patients with an impaired kidney function have significantly more elevated levels of the same mediators. In conclusion, there is a tendency in COVID-19 ESRD patients to accumulate harmful cytokines. The accumulation seems to associate with mortality outcomes and may be due to reduced clearance but also to increased biosynthesis in most severe cases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chitinases , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic , Renal Insufficiency , Humans , Chemokines , fas Receptor , Glomerular Filtration Rate/physiology , Interleukin-7 , Leukemia Inhibitory Factor , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A , Cytokines/immunology
5.
Pediatr Infect Dis J ; 41(11): 919-926, 2022 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2029110

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is usually mild and self-limited in children. However, a few Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) infections in children may progress to severe disease with respiratory distress or can result in a multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19. The immune mechanisms for these differential clinical outcomes are largely unknown. METHODS: A prospective cohort study was performed to analyze the laboratory parameters, antibody response, immune phenotypes and cytokine profiles of 51 children with different clinical presentations of COVID-19. RESULTS: We found that the absolute lymphocyte counts gradually decreased with disease severity. Furthermore, SARS-CoV-2 IgG levels in the acute phase and convalescence were not significantly different in patients with different disease severity. A decrease in CD3 + , CD4 + and CD8 + T cells was observed as disease severity increased. Both CD4 + and CD8 + T cells were activated in children with COVID-19, but no difference in the percentage of HLADR + -expressing cells was detected across the severity groups. In contrast, MIS-C patients exhibited augmented exhausted effector memory CD8 + T cells. Interestingly, the cytokine profile in sera of moderate/severe and MIS-C patients revealed an increase in anti-inflammatory IL-1RA and a suppression of tumor necrosis factor-α, RANTES, eotaxin and PDGF-BB. MIS-C patients also exhibited augmented IL-1ß. CONCLUSIONS: We report distinct immune profiles dependent on severity in pediatric COVID-19 patients. Further investigation in a larger population will help unravel the immune mechanisms underlying pediatric COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cytokines , Becaplermin , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , Chemokine CCL5 , Cytokines/immunology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein , Phenotype , Prospective Studies , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
6.
J Virol ; 96(17): e0074122, 2022 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1992937

ABSTRACT

Within the past 2 decades, three highly pathogenic human coronaviruses have emerged, namely, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The health threats and economic burden posed by these tremendously severe coronaviruses have paved the way for research on their etiology, pathogenesis, and treatment. Compared to SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV genome encoded fewer accessory proteins, among which the ORF4b protein had anti-immunity ability in both the cytoplasm and nucleus. Our work for the first time revealed that ORF4b protein was unstable in the host cells and could be degraded by the ubiquitin proteasome system. After extensive screenings, it was found that UBR5 (ubiquitin protein ligase E3 component N-recognin 5), a member of the HECT E3 ubiquitin ligases, specifically regulated the ubiquitination and degradation of ORF4b. Similar to ORF4b, UBR5 can also translocate into the nucleus through its nuclear localization signal, enabling it to regulate ORF4b stability in both the cytoplasm and nucleus. Through further experiments, lysine 36 was identified as the ubiquitination site on the ORF4b protein, and this residue was highly conserved in various MERS-CoV strains isolated from different regions. When UBR5 was knocked down, the ability of ORF4b to suppress innate immunity was enhanced and MERS-CoV replication was stronger. As an anti-MERS-CoV host protein, UBR5 targets and degrades ORF4b protein through the ubiquitin proteasome system, thereby attenuating the anti-immunity ability of ORF4b and ultimately inhibiting MERS-CoV immune escape, which is a novel antagonistic mechanism of the host against MERS-CoV infection. IMPORTANCE ORF4b was an accessory protein unique to MERS-CoV and was not present in SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 which can also cause severe respiratory disease. Moreover, ORF4b inhibited the production of antiviral cytokines in both the cytoplasm and the nucleus, which was likely to be associated with the high lethality of MERS-CoV. However, whether the host proteins regulate the function of ORF4b is unknown. Our study first determined that UBR5, a host E3 ligase, was a potential host anti-MERS-CoV protein that could reduce the protein level of ORF4b and diminish its anti-immunity ability by inducing ubiquitination and degradation. Based on the discovery of ORF4b-UBR5, a critical molecular target, further increasing the degradation of ORF4b caused by UBR5 could provide a new strategy for the clinical development of drugs for MERS-CoV.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Host Microbial Interactions , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Proteolysis , Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases , Ubiquitination , Viral Proteins , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cytokines/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/metabolism , Molecular Targeted Therapy , Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex/metabolism , SARS Virus , SARS-CoV-2 , Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases/metabolism , Ubiquitins/metabolism , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication
7.
Cell Rep Med ; 3(6): 100663, 2022 06 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1900277

ABSTRACT

Post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC) is emerging as global problem with unknown molecular drivers. Using a digital epidemiology approach, we recruited 8,077 individuals to the cohort study for digital health research in Germany (DigiHero) to respond to a basic questionnaire followed by a PASC-focused survey and blood sampling. We report the first 318 participants, the majority thereof after mild infections. Of those, 67.8% report PASC, predominantly consisting of fatigue, dyspnea, and concentration deficit, which persists in 60% over the mean 8-month follow-up period and resolves independently of post-infection vaccination. PASC is not associated with autoantibodies, but with elevated IL-1ß, IL-6, and TNF plasma levels, which we confirm in a validation cohort with 333 additional participants and a longer time from infection of 10 months. Blood profiling and single-cell data from early infection suggest the induction of these cytokines in COVID-19 lung pro-inflammatory macrophages creating a self-sustaining feedback loop.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cytokines , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Cohort Studies , Cytokines/immunology , Disease Progression , Humans , Immunologic Tests , Interleukin-1beta/immunology , Interleukin-6/immunology , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/immunology
8.
J Virol ; 96(13): e0050922, 2022 Jul 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1891737

ABSTRACT

Cell-mediated immunity is critical for long-term protection against most viral infections, including coronaviruses. We studied 23 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-infected survivors over a 1-year post-symptom onset (PSO) interval by ex vivo cytokine enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay (ELISpot) assay. All subjects demonstrated SARS-CoV-2-specific gamma interferon (IFN-γ), interleukin 2 (IL-2), and granzyme B (GzmB) T cell responses at presentation, with greater frequencies in severe disease. Cytokines, mainly produced by CD4+ T cells, targeted all structural proteins (nucleocapsid, membrane, and spike) except envelope, with GzmB and IL-2 greater than IFN-γ. Mathematical modeling predicted that (i) cytokine responses peaked at 6 days for IFN-γ, 36 days for IL-2, and 7 days for GzmB, (ii) severe illness was associated with reduced IFN-γ and GzmB but increased IL-2 production rates, and (iii) males displayed greater production of IFN-γ, whereas females produced more GzmB. Ex vivo responses declined over time, with persistence of IL-2 in 86% and of IFN-γ and GzmB in 70% of subjects at a median of 336 days PSO. The average half-life of SARS-CoV-2-specific cytokine-producing cells was modeled to be 139 days (~4.6 months). Potent T cell proliferative responses persisted throughout observation, were CD4 dominant, and were capable of producing all 3 cytokines. Several immunodominant CD4 and CD8 epitopes identified in this study were shared by seasonal coronaviruses or SARS-CoV-1 in the nucleocapsid and membrane regions. Both SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell clones were able to kill target cells, though CD8 tended to be more potent. IMPORTANCE Our findings highlight the relative importance of SARS-CoV-2-specific GzmB-producing T cell responses in SARS-CoV-2 control and shared CD4 and CD8 immunodominant epitopes in seasonal coronaviruses or SARS-CoV-1, and they indicate robust persistence of T cell memory at least 1 year after infection. Our findings should inform future strategies to induce T cell vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cytokines , Immunity , SARS-CoV-2 , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Interleukin-2/immunology , Male , Severity of Illness Index , Time Factors
9.
Inflammopharmacology ; 30(3): 789-798, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1888931

ABSTRACT

Studies have shown that SARS-CoV-2 has the ability to activate and mature proinflammatory cytokines in the body. Cytokine markers are a group of polypeptide signalling molecules that can induce and regulate many cellular biological processes by stimulating cell receptors at the surface. SARS-CoV-2 has been shown to be associated with activation of innate immunity, and an increase in neutrophils, mononuclear phagocytes, and natural killer cells has been observed, as well as a decrease in T cells including CD4+ and CD8. It is noteworthy that during the SARS-CoV-2 infection, an increase in the secretion or production of IL-6 and IL-8 is seen in COVID-19 patients along with a decrease in CD4+ and CD8+ and T cells in general. SARS-CoV-2 has been shown to significantly increase Th2, Th1/Th17 cells and antibody production in the body of patients with COVID-19. Specific immune profiles of SARS-CoV-2 infection can lead to secondary infections and dysfunction of various organs in the body. It has been shown that Interleukins (such as IL-1, IL-4, IL-6, IL-7, IL-10, IL-12, IL-17, and IL-18), IFN-γ, TNF-α,TGF-ß and NF-κB play major roles in the body's inflammatory response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. The most important goal of this review is to study the role of inflammatory cytokines in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cytokines , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/immunology , Humans , Interleukins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology
10.
Aging Cell ; 21(6): e13646, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1883166

ABSTRACT

Older age and underlying conditions such as diabetes/obesity or immunosuppression are leading host risk factors for developing severe complications from COVID-19 infection. The pathogenesis of COVID-19-related cytokine storm, tissue damage, and fibrosis may be interconnected with fundamental aging processes, including dysregulated immune responses and cellular senescence. Here, we examined effects of key cytokines linked to cellular senescence on expression of SARS-CoV-2 viral entry receptors. We found exposure of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) to the inflammatory cytokines, TNF-α + IFN-γ or a cocktail of TNF-α + IFN-γ + IL-6, increased expression of ACE2/DPP4, accentuated the pro-inflammatory senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP), and decreased cellular proliferative capacity, consistent with progression towards a cellular senescence-like state. IL-6 by itself failed to induce substantial effects on viral entry receptors or SASP-related genes, while synergy between TNF-α and IFN-γ initiated a positive feedback loop via hyper-activation of the JAK/STAT1 pathway, causing SASP amplification. Breaking the interactive loop between senescence and cytokine secretion with JAK inhibitor ruxolitinib or antiviral drug remdesivir prevented hyper-inflammation, normalized SARS-CoV-2 entry receptor expression, and restored HUVECs proliferative capacity. This loop appears to underlie cytokine-mediated viral entry receptor activation and links with senescence and hyper-inflammation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interferon-gamma , SARS-CoV-2 , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Cytokines/immunology , Drug Synergism , Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Inflammation/drug therapy , Inflammation/virology , Interferon-gamma/pharmacology , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , STAT1 Transcription Factor/biosynthesis , STAT1 Transcription Factor/immunology , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/pharmacology
11.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 12: 862656, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1875399

ABSTRACT

Objectives: To assess humoral and cellular immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 variants in COVID-19 convalescent and confirmed patients, to explore the correlation between disease severity, humoral immunity, and cytokines/chemokines in confirmed patients, and to evaluate the ADE risk of SARS-CoV-2. Methods: Anti-RBD IgG were quantified using an ELISA. Neutralization potency was measured using pseudovirus and real virus. Cellular immunity was measured using ELISpot. Cytokine/chemokine levels were detected using multiplex immunoassays. In vitro ADE assays were performed using Raji cells. Results: One-month alpha convalescents exhibited spike-specific antibodies and T cells for alpha and delta variants. Notably, the RBD-specific IgG towards the delta variant decreased by 2.5-fold compared to the alpha variant. Besides, serum from individuals recently experienced COVID-19 showed suboptimal neutralizing activity against the delta and omicron variants. Humoral immune response, IL-6, IP-10 and MCP-1 levels were greater in patients with severe disease. Moreover, neither SARS-CoV-1 nor SARS-CoV-2 convalescent sera significantly enhanced SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus infection. Conclusions: Significant resistance of the delta and omicron variants to the humoral immune response generated by individuals who recently experienced COVID-19. Furthermore, there was a significant correlation among disease severity, humoral immune response, and specific cytokines/chemokine levels. No evident ADE was observed for SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cytokines , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/immunology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Severity of Illness Index
12.
Crit Care ; 25(1): 236, 2021 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1854835

ABSTRACT

Infectious diseases may affect brain function and cause encephalopathy even when the pathogen does not directly infect the central nervous system, known as infectious disease-associated encephalopathy. The systemic inflammatory process may result in neuroinflammation, with glial cell activation and increased levels of cytokines, reduced neurotrophic factors, blood-brain barrier dysfunction, neurotransmitter metabolism imbalances, and neurotoxicity, and behavioral and cognitive impairments often occur in the late course. Even though infectious disease-associated encephalopathies may cause devastating neurologic and cognitive deficits, the concept of infectious disease-associated encephalopathies is still under-investigated; knowledge of the underlying mechanisms, which may be distinct from those of encephalopathies of non-infectious cause, is still limited. In this review, we focus on the pathophysiology of encephalopathies associated with peripheral (sepsis, malaria, influenza, and COVID-19), emerging therapeutic strategies, and the role of neuroinflammation.


Subject(s)
Brain Diseases/immunology , COVID-19/complications , Cytokines/immunology , Influenza, Human/complications , Malaria/complications , Sepsis/complications , Blood-Brain Barrier/immunology , Brain Diseases/prevention & control , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Influenza, Human/immunology , Malaria/immunology , Sepsis/immunology
13.
Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol ; 36: 3946320221096202, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1832998

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The Innate immune system senses danger signals of COVID-19 infection and produce an orchestration of cellular, complement and cytokines cascades. These led to the approach using immunosuppressive agents. It is intriguing whether certain biomarkers can aid the proper administration of such drugs. METHODS: Plasma specimens of 58 COVID-19 patients with differing severity, from very mild illness (group A), mild (group B), moderate (group C), and severe/critical illness (group D) were assayed for cyto-chemokines and terminal complement complex (SC5b-9) during the course of diseases. None received anti-IL-6 therapy, there was no mortality in this cohort. RESULTS: IP-10 and RANTES levels were dominant cytokines. IP-10 levels increased significantly in all groups when compared between pre-nadir and nadir phases (group A, p =0.428; group B =0.034; group C =0.159; group D <0.001) and in groups B and D when compared between nadir and recovery phases (p <0.001). RANTES levels were elevated in all groups across all phases with no significant differences. SC5b-9 levels increased significantly as compared to healthy controls [pre-nadir- group A versus healthy, p =0.122; group B-D versus healthy, p =0.021); nadir-group A versus healthy, p =0.003; group B-D versus healthy, p <0.001; recovery phase (p <0.001)] but not between groups A and B-D at pre-nadir (p=0.606). CONCLUSION: The absence of significant pro-inflammatory responses and early elevation of IP-10 levels and complement activation may be favorable and necessary for viral elimination in COVID-19 patients. Expression of distinct cyto-chemokines during each clinical phase may be useful for guiding proper therapeutic interventions on alleviating thrombo-inflammation responses to COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chemokine CXCL10 , Complement Activation , COVID-19/immunology , Chemokine CCL5/immunology , Chemokine CXCL10/immunology , Cytokines/immunology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Commun Biol ; 5(1): 242, 2022 03 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1751765

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has incited a global health crisis. Currently, there are limited therapeutic options for the prevention and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infections. We evaluated the antiviral activity of sulforaphane (SFN), the principal biologically active phytochemical derived from glucoraphanin, the naturally occurring precursor present in high concentrations in cruciferous vegetables. SFN inhibited in vitro replication of six strains of SARS-CoV-2, including Delta and Omicron, as well as that of the seasonal coronavirus HCoV-OC43. Further, SFN and remdesivir interacted synergistically to inhibit coronavirus infection in vitro. Prophylactic administration of SFN to K18-hACE2 mice prior to intranasal SARS-CoV-2 infection significantly decreased the viral load in the lungs and upper respiratory tract and reduced lung injury and pulmonary pathology compared to untreated infected mice. SFN treatment diminished immune cell activation in the lungs, including significantly lower recruitment of myeloid cells and a reduction in T cell activation and cytokine production. Our results suggest that SFN should be explored as a potential agent for the prevention or treatment of coronavirus infections.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Common Cold/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus OC43, Human , Isothiocyanates/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , Sulfoxides/therapeutic use , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/therapeutic use , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , Caco-2 Cells , Chlorocebus aethiops , Common Cold/virology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cytokines/immunology , Drug Synergism , Humans , Lung/immunology , Lung/virology , Macrophages, Alveolar/immunology , Male , Mice, Transgenic , Spleen/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vero Cells , Viral Load
15.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 02 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1744920

ABSTRACT

Involvement of macrophages in the SARS-CoV-2-associated cytokine storm, the excessive secretion of inflammatory/anti-viral factors leading to the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in COVID-19 patients, is unclear. In this study, we sought to characterize the interplay between the virus and primary human monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM). MDM were stimulated with recombinant IFN-α and/or infected with either live or UV-inactivated SARS-CoV-2 or with two reassortant influenza viruses containing external genes from the H1N1 PR8 strain and heterologous internal genes from a highly pathogenic avian H5N1 or a low pathogenic human seasonal H1N1 strain. Virus replication was monitored by qRT-PCR for the E viral gene for SARS-CoV-2 or M gene for influenza and TCID50 or plaque assay, and cytokine levels were assessed semiquantitatively with qRT-PCR and a proteome cytokine array. We report that MDM are not susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 whereas both influenza viruses replicated in MDM, albeit abortively. We observed a modest cytokine response in SARS-CoV-2 exposed MDM with notable absence of IFN-ß induction, which was instead strongly induced by the influenza viruses. Pre-treatment of MDM with IFN-α enhanced proinflammatory cytokine expression upon exposure to virus. Together, the findings concur that the hyperinflammation observed in SARS-CoV-2 infection is not driven by macrophages.


Subject(s)
Inflammation/virology , Macrophages/immunology , Macrophages/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Virus Replication/genetics , Cell Line , Cell Line, Tumor , Cells, Cultured , Cytokines/analysis , Cytokines/immunology , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/genetics , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/immunology , Influenza A Virus, H5N1 Subtype/genetics , Influenza A Virus, H5N1 Subtype/immunology , Interferon-alpha/pharmacology , Macrophages/drug effects , Male , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
16.
Front Immunol ; 13: 815833, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731775

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus may vary from asymptomatic to severe infection with multi-organ failure and death. Increased levels of circulating complement biomarkers have been implicated in COVID-19-related hyperinflammation and coagulopathy. We characterized systemic complement activation at a cellular level in 49-patients with COVID-19. We found increases of the classical complement sentinel C1q and the downstream C3 component on circulating blood monocytes from COVID-19 patients when compared to healthy controls (HCs). Interestingly, the cell surface-bound complement inhibitor CD55 was also upregulated in COVID-19 patient monocytes in comparison with HC cells. Monocyte membrane-bound C1q, C3 and CD55 levels were associated with plasma inflammatory markers such as CRP and serum amyloid A during acute infection. Membrane-bounds C1q and C3 remained elevated even after a short recovery period. These results highlight systemic monocyte-associated complement activation over a broad range of COVID-19 disease severities, with a compensatory upregulation of CD55. Further evaluation of complement and its interaction with myeloid cells at the membrane level could improve understanding of its role in COVID-19 pathogenesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Complement Activation/immunology , Complement System Proteins/immunology , Monocytes/immunology , Adult , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , Complement Inactivating Agents/immunology , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunologic Factors/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
17.
Turk J Med Sci ; 51(SI-1): 3391-3404, 2021 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1726158

ABSTRACT

In the Wuhan province of China, almost two years ago, in December 2019, the novel Coronavirus 2019 has caused a severe involvement of the lower respiratory tract leading to an acute life-threatening respiratory syndrome, coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19). Subsequently, coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) rapidly spread to the entire world causing a pandemic and affected every single person on earth either directly or indirectly with destroying all facets of social life and economy. Since the announcement of COVID-19 as a global pandemic, we have witnessed tremendous scientific work on all aspects of COVID-19 across the globe, which has never been witnessed before. The most remarkable achievement would be the introduction of vaccines, which provide protection from the severe infection and is the only premise for the control of disease. However, despite the tremendous work, the number of treatments either antiviral or immunomodulatory for infected patients are considerably limited, yet disease is causing substantial morbidity and mortality. COVID-19 follows heterogenous disease course among infected individuals, and dysregulated immune system is primarily responsible for the worse outcomes. Immune deficiency, being on corticosteroids for inflammatory diseases, delayed interferon response and advanced age adversely influence prognosis with impairing viral clearance. On the other hand, exuberant immune response with features of cytokine storm is the leading cause of death, which can be alleviated by use of either general immunosuppression with corticosteroids or selective neutralization of potent pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-1 and IL-6. Herein, we summarized the potential effective immunomodulatory treatments emphasizing in which patient population it is the most suitable, which dose should be administered, and which is the most appropriate timepoint to administer the drug during the course of the disease.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Cytokine Release Syndrome , Cytokines/immunology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Front Immunol ; 12: 796094, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690446

ABSTRACT

It is still controversial whether chronic lung inflammation increases the risk for COVID-19. One of the risk factors for acquiring COVID-19 is the level of expression of SARS-CoV-2 entry receptors, ACE2 and TMPRSS2, in lung tissue. It is, however, not clear how lung tissue inflammation affects expression levels of these receptors. We hence aimed to determine the level of SARS-CoV-2 receptors in lung tissue of asthmatic relative to age, gender, and asthma severity, and to investigate the factors regulating that. Therefore, gene expression data sets of well-known asthmatic cohorts (SARP and U-BIOPRED) were used to evaluate the association of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 with age, gender of the asthmatic patients, and also the type of the underlying lung tissue inflammatory cytokines. Notably, ACE2 and to less extent TMPRSS2 expression were upregulated in the lung tissue of asthmatics compared to healthy controls. Although a differential expression of ACE2, but not TMPRSS2 was observed relative to age within the moderate and severe asthma groups, our data suggest that age may not be a key regulatory factor of its expression. The type of tissue inflammation, however, associated significantly with ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression levels following adjusting with age, gender and oral corticosteroids use of the patient. Type I cytokine (IFN-γ), IL-8, and IL-19 were associated with increased expression, while Type II cytokines (IL-4 and IL-13) with lower expression of ACE2 in lung tissue (airway epithelium and/or lung biopsies) of moderate and severe asthmatic patients. Of note, IL-19 was associated with ACE2 expression while IL-17 was associated with TMPRSS2 expression in sputum of asthmatic subjects. In vitro treatment of bronchial fibroblasts with IL-17 and IL-19 cytokines confirmed the regulatory effect of these cytokines on SARS-CoV-2 entry receptors. Our results suggest that the type of inflammation may regulate ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression in the lung tissue of asthmatics and may hence affect susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Asthma/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/immunology , Gene Expression Regulation/immunology , Lung/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Serine Endopeptidases/immunology
19.
Front Immunol ; 12: 813300, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690445

ABSTRACT

Background: The presentation of SARS-CoV-2 infection varies from asymptomatic to severe COVID-19. Similarly, high variability in the presence, titre and duration of specific antibodies has been reported. While some host factors determining these differences, such as age and ethnicity have been identified, the underlying molecular mechanisms underpinning these differences remain poorly defined. Methods: We analysed serum and PBMC from 17 subjects with a previous PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and 10 unexposed volunteers following the first wave of the pandemic, in the UK. Anti-NP IgG and neutralising antibodies were measured, as well as a panel of infection and inflammation related cytokines. The virus-specific T cell response was determined by IFN-γ ELISPOT and flow cytometry after overnight incubation of PBMCs with pools of selected SARS-CoV-2 specific peptides. Results: Seven of 17 convalescent subjects had undetectable levels of anti-NP IgG, and a positive correlation was shown between anti-NP IgG levels and the titre of neutralising antibodies (IC50). In contrast, a discrepancy was noted between antibody levels and T cell IFN-γ production by ELISpot following stimulation with specific peptides. Among the analysed cytokines, ß-NGF and IL-1α levels were significantly different between anti-NP positive and negative subjects, and only ß-NGF significantly correlated with anti-NP positivity. Interestingly, CD4+ T cells of anti-NP negative subjects expressed lower amounts of the ß-NGF-specific receptor TrkA. Conclusions: Our results suggest that the ß-NGF/TrkA signalling pathway is associated with the production of anti-NP specific antibody in mild SARS-CoV-2 infection and the mechanistic regulation of this pathway in COVID-19 requires further investigation.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Nerve Growth Factor/immunology , Nucleoproteins/immunology , Receptor, trkA/immunology , Signal Transduction/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cytokines/immunology , Humans , Inflammation/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vero Cells
20.
Front Immunol ; 12: 797390, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686476

ABSTRACT

Phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitors are immunomodulatory drugs approved to treat diseases associated with chronic inflammatory conditions, such as COPD, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Tanimilast (international non-proprietary name of CHF6001) is a novel, potent and selective inhaled PDE4 inhibitor in advanced clinical development for the treatment of COPD. To begin testing its potential in limiting hyperinflammation and immune dysregulation associated to SARS-CoV-2 infection, we took advantage of an in vitro model of dendritic cell (DC) activation by SARS-CoV-2 genomic ssRNA (SCV2-RNA). In this context, Tanimilast decreased the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and IL-6), chemokines (CCL3, CXCL9, and CXCL10) and of Th1-polarizing cytokines (IL-12, type I IFNs). In contrast to ß-methasone, a reference steroid anti-inflammatory drug, Tanimilast did not impair the acquisition of the maturation markers CD83, CD86 and MHC-II, nor that of the lymph node homing receptor CCR7. Consistent with this, Tanimilast did not reduce the capability of SCV2-RNA-stimulated DCs to activate CD4+ T cells but skewed their polarization towards a Th2 phenotype. Both Tanimilast and ß-methasone blocked the increase of MHC-I molecules in SCV2-RNA-activated DCs and restrained the proliferation and activation of cytotoxic CD8+ T cells. Our results indicate that Tanimilast can modulate the SCV2-RNA-induced pro-inflammatory and Th1-polarizing potential of DCs, crucial regulators of both the inflammatory and immune response. Given also the remarkable safety demonstrated by Tanimilast, up to now, in clinical studies, we propose this inhaled PDE4 inhibitor as a promising immunomodulatory drug in the scenario of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Dendritic Cells , Phosphodiesterase 4 Inhibitors/pharmacology , RNA/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Activation/drug effects , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cytokines/immunology , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Dendritic Cells/virology , Humans , Th1 Cells/immunology , Th2 Cells/immunology , Virus Activation/immunology
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