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1.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 7(1): 57, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702971

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly transmissible disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that poses a major threat to global public health. Although COVID-19 primarily affects the respiratory system, causing severe pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome in severe cases, it can also result in multiple extrapulmonary complications. The pathogenesis of extrapulmonary damage in patients with COVID-19 is probably multifactorial, involving both the direct effects of SARS-CoV-2 and the indirect mechanisms associated with the host inflammatory response. Recognition of features and pathogenesis of extrapulmonary complications has clinical implications for identifying disease progression and designing therapeutic strategies. This review provides an overview of the extrapulmonary complications of COVID-19 from immunological and pathophysiologic perspectives and focuses on the pathogenesis and potential therapeutic targets for the management of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Acute Kidney Injury/complications , COVID-19/complications , Cytokine Release Syndrome/complications , Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation/complications , Lymphopenia/complications , Myocarditis/complications , Pulmonary Embolism/complications , Acute Kidney Injury/drug therapy , Acute Kidney Injury/immunology , Acute Kidney Injury/virology , Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Clinical Trials as Topic , Cytokine Release Syndrome/drug therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/virology , Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation/drug therapy , Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation/immunology , Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation/virology , Endothelial Cells/drug effects , Endothelial Cells/immunology , Endothelial Cells/virology , Humans , Immunity, Innate/drug effects , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , Lymphopenia/drug therapy , Lymphopenia/immunology , Lymphopenia/virology , Myocarditis/drug therapy , Myocarditis/immunology , Myocarditis/virology , Pulmonary Embolism/drug therapy , Pulmonary Embolism/immunology , Pulmonary Embolism/virology , Renin-Angiotensin System/drug effects , Renin-Angiotensin System/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
2.
Lab Chip ; 22(6): 1171-1186, 2022 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1684131

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was primarily identified as a novel disease causing acute respiratory syndrome. However, as the pandemic progressed various cases of secondary organ infection and damage by severe respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been reported, including a breakdown of the vascular barrier. As SARS-CoV-2 gains access to blood circulation through the lungs, the virus is first encountered by the layer of endothelial cells and immune cells that participate in host defense. Here, we developed an approach to study SARS-CoV-2 infection using vasculature-on-a-chip. We first modeled the interaction of virus alone with the endothelialized vasculature-on-a-chip, followed by the studies of the interaction of the virus exposed-endothelial cells with peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). In an endothelial model grown on a permeable microfluidic bioscaffold under flow conditions, both human coronavirus (HCoV)-NL63 and SARS-CoV-2 presence diminished endothelial barrier function by disrupting VE-cadherin junctions and elevating the level of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, and angiopoietin-2. Inflammatory cytokine markers were markedly more elevated upon SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to HCoV-NL63 infection. Introduction of PBMCs with monocytes into the vasculature-on-a-chip upon SARS-CoV-2 infection further exacerbated cytokine-induced endothelial dysfunction, demonstrating the compounding effects of inter-cellular crosstalk between endothelial cells and monocytes in facilitating the hyperinflammatory state. Considering the harmful effects of SARS-CoV-2 on endothelial cells, even without active virus proliferation inside the cells, a potential therapeutic approach is critical. We identified angiopoietin-1 derived peptide, QHREDGS, as a potential therapeutic capable of profoundly attenuating the inflammatory state of the cells consistent with the levels in non-infected controls, thereby improving the barrier function and endothelial cell survival against SARS-CoV-2 infection in the presence of PBMC.


Subject(s)
Angiopoietin-1 , COVID-19 , Endothelium, Vascular , Inflammation , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Endothelial Cells/immunology , Endothelial Cells/virology , Endothelium, Vascular/immunology , Endothelium, Vascular/virology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Inflammation/drug therapy , Inflammation/virology , Lab-On-A-Chip Devices , Leukocytes, Mononuclear
3.
Biochem Pharmacol ; 197: 114909, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616378

ABSTRACT

Vascular endothelial cells are major participants in and regulators of immune responses and inflammation. Vascular endotheliitis is regarded as a host immune-inflammatory response of the endothelium forming the inner surface of blood vessels in association with a direct consequence of infectious pathogen invasion. Vascular endotheliitis and consequent endothelial dysfunction can be a principle determinant of microvascular failure, which would favor impaired perfusion, tissue hypoxia, and subsequent organ failure. Emerging evidence suggests the role of vascular endotheliitis in the pathogenesis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and its related complications. Thus, once initiated, vascular endotheliitis and resultant cytokine storm cause systemic hyperinflammation and a thrombotic phenomenon in COVID-19, leading to acute respiratory distress syndrome and widespread organ damage. Vascular endotheliitis also appears to be a contributory factor to vasculopathy and coagulopathy in sepsis that is defined as life-threatening organ dysfunction due to a dysregulated response of the host to infection. Therefore, protecting endothelial cells and reversing vascular endotheliitis may be a leading therapeutic goal for these diseases associated with vascular endotheliitis. In this review, we outline the etiological and pathogenic importance of vascular endotheliitis in infection-related inflammatory diseases, including COVID-19, and possible mechanisms leading to vascular endotheliitis. We also discuss pharmacological agents which may be now considered as potential endotheliitis-based treatment modalities for those diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Endothelial Cells/pathology , Endothelium, Vascular/pathology , Vascular Diseases/pathology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , Endothelial Cells/drug effects , Endothelial Cells/immunology , Endothelium, Vascular/drug effects , Endothelium, Vascular/immunology , Glucocorticoids/pharmacology , Glucocorticoids/therapeutic use , Humans , Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sepsis/drug therapy , Sepsis/etiology , Sepsis/immunology , Sepsis/pathology , Vascular Diseases/drug therapy , Vascular Diseases/etiology , Vascular Diseases/immunology
4.
J Immunol ; 208(3): 685-696, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604665

ABSTRACT

Immune response dysregulation plays a key role in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pathogenesis. In this study, we evaluated immune and endothelial blood cell profiles of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to determine critical differences between those with mild, moderate, or severe COVID-19 using spectral flow cytometry. We examined a suite of immune phenotypes, including monocytes, T cells, NK cells, B cells, endothelial cells, and neutrophils, alongside surface and intracellular markers of activation. Our results showed progressive lymphopenia and depletion of T cell subsets (CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+) in patients with severe disease and a significant increase in the CD56+CD14+Ki67+IFN-γ+ monocyte population in patients with moderate and severe COVID-19 that has not been previously described. Enhanced circulating endothelial cells (CD45-CD31+CD34+CD146+), circulating endothelial progenitors (CD45-CD31+CD34+/-CD146-), and neutrophils (CD11b+CD66b+) were coevaluated for COVID-19 severity. Spearman correlation analysis demonstrated the synergism among age, obesity, and hypertension with upregulated CD56+ monocytes, endothelial cells, and decreased T cells that lead to severe outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Circulating monocytes and endothelial cells may represent important cellular markers for monitoring postacute sequelae and impacts of SARS-CoV-2 infection during convalescence and for their role in immune host defense in high-risk adults after vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Endothelial Cells/immunology , Monocytes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Biomarkers , CD56 Antigen/analysis , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Comorbidity , Endothelial Cells/chemistry , Female , Flow Cytometry , Humans , Hypertension/epidemiology , Hypertension/immunology , Immunophenotyping , Lymphocyte Activation , Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , Lymphopenia/etiology , Lymphopenia/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/chemistry , Neutrophils/immunology , Obesity/epidemiology , Obesity/immunology , Platelet Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule-1/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
5.
Br J Haematol ; 196(5): 1159-1169, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1583669

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has compelled scientists to better describe its pathophysiology to find new therapeutic approaches. While risk factors, such as older age, obesity, and diabetes mellitus, suggest a central role of endothelial cells (ECs), autopsies have revealed clots in the pulmonary microvasculature that are rich in neutrophils and DNA traps produced by these cells, called neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs.) Submicron extracellular vesicles, called microparticles (MPs), are described in several diseases as being involved in pro-inflammatory pathways. Therefore, in this study, we analyzed three patient groups: one for which intubation was not necessary, an intubated group, and one group after extubation. In the most severe group, the intubated group, platelet-derived MPs and endothelial cell (EC)-derived MPs exhibited increased concentration and size, when compared to uninfected controls. MPs of intubated COVID-19 patients triggered EC death and overexpression of two adhesion molecules: P-selectin and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1). Strikingly, neutrophil adhesion and NET production were increased following incubation with these ECs. Importantly, we also found that preincubation of these COVID-19 MPs with the phosphatidylserine capping endogenous protein, annexin A5, abolished cytotoxicity, P-selectin and VCAM-1 induction, all like increases in neutrophil adhesion and NET release. Taken together, our results reveal that MPs play a key role in COVID-19 pathophysiology and point to a potential therapeutic: annexin A5.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Cell-Derived Microparticles/immunology , Endothelial Cells/immunology , Neutrophils/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/therapy , Cell Adhesion , Cell Death , Cell-Derived Microparticles/pathology , Cells, Cultured , Endothelial Cells/pathology , Extracellular Traps/immunology , Humans , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/pathology , Intubation , Neutrophils/pathology , Phosphatidylserines/immunology
6.
mBio ; 12(6): e0290721, 2021 12 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518121

ABSTRACT

Oncogenic gammaherpesviruses express viral products during latent and lytic infection that block the innate immune response. Previously, we found that Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV/human herpesvirus-8) viral microRNAs (miRNAs) downregulate cholesterol biogenesis, and we hypothesized that this prevents the production of 25-hydroxycholesterol (25HC), a cholesterol derivative. 25HC blocks KSHV de novo infection of primary endothelial cells at a postentry step and decreases viral gene expression of LANA (latency-associated nuclear antigen) and RTA. Herein we expanded on this observation by determining transcriptomic changes associated with 25HC treatment of primary endothelial cells using RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq). We found that 25HC treatment inhibited KSHV gene expression and induced interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) and several inflammatory cytokines (interleukin 8 [IL-8], IL-1α). Some 25HC-induced genes were partially responsible for the broadly antiviral effect of 25HC against several viruses. Additionally, we found that 25HC inhibited infection of primary B cells by a related oncogenic virus, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV/human herpesvirus-4) by suppressing key viral genes such as LMP-1 and inducing apoptosis. RNA-Seq analysis revealed that IL-1 and IL-8 pathways were induced by 25HC in both primary endothelial cells and B cells. We also found that the gene encoding cholesterol 25-hydroxylase (CH25H), which converts cholesterol to 25HC, can be induced by type I interferon (IFN) in human B cell-enriched peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). We propose a model wherein viral miRNAs target the cholesterol pathway to prevent 25HC production and subsequent induction of antiviral ISGs. Together, these results answer some important questions about a widely acting antiviral (25HC), with implications for multiple viral and bacterial infections. IMPORTANCE A cholesterol derivative, 25-hydroxycholesterol (25HC), has been demonstrated to inhibit infections from widely different bacteria and viruses, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). However, its mechanism of activity is still not fully understood. In this work, we look at gene expression changes in the host and virus after 25HC treatment to find clues about its antiviral activity. We likewise demonstrate that 25HC is also antiviral against EBV, a common cancer-causing virus. We compared our results with previous data from antiviral screening assays and found the same pathways resulting in antiviral activity. Together, these results bring us closer to understanding how a modified form of cholesterol works against several viruses.


Subject(s)
Cytokines/immunology , Epstein-Barr Virus Infections/immunology , Herpesvirus 4, Human/drug effects , Herpesvirus 8, Human/drug effects , Hydroxycholesterols/pharmacology , Hydroxycholesterols/therapeutic use , Inflammation/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/drug effects , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/virology , Cells, Cultured , Cytokines/genetics , Endothelial Cells/drug effects , Endothelial Cells/immunology , Endothelial Cells/virology , Epstein-Barr Virus Infections/drug therapy , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral , Herpesvirus 4, Human/genetics , Herpesvirus 8, Human/genetics , Humans , Hydroxycholesterols/immunology , Sequence Analysis, RNA , Virus Latency , Virus Replication
7.
Nutrients ; 13(11)2021 Nov 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502476

ABSTRACT

l-Arginine is involved in many different biological processes and recent reports indicate that it could also play a crucial role in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Herein, we present an updated systematic overview of the current evidence on the functional contribution of L-Arginine in COVID-19, describing its actions on endothelial cells and the immune system and discussing its potential as a therapeutic tool, emerged from recent clinical experimentations.


Subject(s)
Arginine/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Immune System/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Animals , Arginine/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Endothelial Cells/drug effects , Endothelial Cells/immunology , Endothelial Cells/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Immune System/drug effects , Immune System/immunology , Immune System/virology , Nitric Oxide/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
8.
Cell Immunol ; 371: 104451, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1499702

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has once again brought to the forefront the existence of a tight link between the coagulation/fibrinolytic system and the immunologic processes. Tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) is a serine protease with a key role in fibrinolysis by converting plasminogen into plasmin that can finally degrade fibrin clots. tPA is released in the blood by endothelial cells and hepatocytes but is also produced by various types of immune cells including T cells and monocytes. Beyond its role on hemostasis, tPA is also a potent modulator of inflammation and is involved in the regulation of several inflammatory diseases. Here, after a brief description of tPA structure, we review its new functions in adaptive immunity focusing on T cells and antigen presenting cells. We intend to synthesize the recent knowledge on proteolysis- and receptor-mediated effects of tPA on immune response in physiological and pathological context.


Subject(s)
Blood Coagulation/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Fibrinolysis/immunology , Immunity/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Tissue Plasminogen Activator/immunology , Antigen-Presenting Cells/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Endothelial Cells/immunology , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Models, Immunological , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Tissue Plasminogen Activator/metabolism
9.
Cells ; 10(10)2021 10 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477931

ABSTRACT

Several recent reports have highlighted the onset of vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopaenia (VITT) in some recipients (approximately 1 case out of 100k exposures) of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AstraZeneca). Although the underlying events leading to this blood-clotting phenomenon has yet to be elucidated, several critical observations present a compelling potential mechanism. Thrombus formation requires the von Willebrand (VWF) protein to be in ultra-large multimeric state. The conservation of this state is controlled by the ADAMTS13 enzyme, whose proteolytic activity reduces the size of VWF multimers, keeping blood clotting at bay. However, ADAMTS13 cannot act on VWF that is bound to platelet factor 4 (PF4). As such, it is of particular interest to note that a common feature between subjects presenting with VITT is high titres of antibodies against PF4. This raises the possibility that these antibodies preserve the stability of ultra-large VWF complexes, leading to the formation of endothelium-anchored VWF strings, which are capable of recruiting circulating platelets and causing uncontrolled thrombosis in terminal capillaries. Here, we share our viewpoint about the current understanding of the VITT pathogenesis involving the prevention of ADAMTS13's activity on VWF by PF4 antibody-mediated stabilisation/ protection of the PF4-VWF complex.


Subject(s)
ADAMTS13 Protein/metabolism , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Thrombocytopenia/immunology , Antibodies , Autoantibodies/immunology , Blood Platelets/metabolism , Crystallography, X-Ray , Endothelial Cells/immunology , Humans , Platelet Factor 4/metabolism , Polymorphism, Genetic , Protein Domains , Thrombocytopenia/etiology , Thrombosis/etiology , von Willebrand Factor/metabolism
10.
Viruses ; 13(9)2021 09 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430976

ABSTRACT

Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) is a group of molecules involved in inflammatory and infective responses. We evaluated blood sHLA-E and sHLA-G levels in hospitalized COVID-19 patients with respiratory failure and their relationship with clinical evolution, changes in endothelial activation biomarker profile, and neutrophil adhesion. sHLA-E, sHLA-G, and endothelial activation biomarkers were quantified by ELISA assay in plasma samples. Neutrophil adhesion to endothelium was assessed in the presence/absence of patients' plasma samples. At admission, plasma levels of sHLA-G and sHLA-E were significantly higher in COVID-19 patients with respiratory failure compared to controls. COVID-19 clinical improvement was associated with increased sHLA-G plasma levels. In COVID-19, but not in control patients, an inverse correlation was found between serum sICAM-1 and E-selectin levels and plasma sHLA-G values. The in vitro analysis of activated endothelial cells confirmed the ability of HLA-G molecules to control sICAM-1 and sE-selectin expression via CD160 interaction and FGF2 induction and consequently neutrophil adhesion. We suggest a potential role for sHLA-G in improving COVID-19 patients' clinical condition related to the control of neutrophil adhesion to activated endothelium.


Subject(s)
Biomarkers , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , HLA-G Antigens/immunology , Neutrophils/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Aged , Alleles , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cell Adhesion/immunology , Endothelial Cells/immunology , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Gene Frequency , HLA-G Antigens/blood , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Biological , Neutrophils/metabolism
11.
CNS Neurosci Ther ; 27(1): 36-47, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388231

ABSTRACT

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is an important physiological barrier that separates the central nervous system (CNS) from the peripheral circulation, which contains inflammatory mediators and immune cells. The BBB regulates cellular and molecular exchange between the blood vessels and brain parenchyma. Normal functioning of the BBB is crucial for the homeostasis and proper function of the brain. It has been demonstrated that peripheral inflammation can disrupt the BBB by various pathways, resulting in different CNS diseases. Recently, clinical research also showed CNS complications following SARS-CoV-2 infection and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy, which both lead to a cytokine storm in the circulation. Therefore, elucidation of the mechanisms underlying the BBB disruption induced by peripheral inflammation will provide an important basis for protecting the CNS in the context of exacerbated peripheral inflammatory diseases. In the present review, we first summarize the physiological properties of the BBB that makes the CNS an immune-privileged organ. We then discuss the relevance of peripheral inflammation-induced BBB disruption to various CNS diseases. Finally, we elaborate various factors and mechanisms of peripheral inflammation that disrupt the BBB.


Subject(s)
Blood-Brain Barrier/metabolism , Brain/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Inflammation Mediators/metabolism , Animals , Blood-Brain Barrier/immunology , Blood-Brain Barrier/pathology , Brain/immunology , Brain/pathology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Endothelial Cells/immunology , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/metabolism , Inflammation/pathology , Inflammation Mediators/immunology
12.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4869, 2021 08 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1354100

ABSTRACT

In COVID-19, immune responses are key in determining disease severity. However, cellular mechanisms at the onset of inflammatory lung injury in SARS-CoV-2 infection, particularly involving endothelial cells, remain ill-defined. Using Syrian hamsters as a model for moderate COVID-19, we conduct a detailed longitudinal analysis of systemic and pulmonary cellular responses, and corroborate it with datasets from COVID-19 patients. Monocyte-derived macrophages in lungs exert the earliest and strongest transcriptional response to infection, including induction of pro-inflammatory genes, while epithelial cells show weak alterations. Without evidence for productive infection, endothelial cells react, depending on cell subtypes, by strong and early expression of anti-viral, pro-inflammatory, and T cell recruiting genes. Recruitment of cytotoxic T cells as well as emergence of IgM antibodies precede viral clearance at day 5 post infection. Investigating SARS-CoV-2 infected Syrian hamsters thus identifies cell type-specific effector functions, providing detailed insights into pathomechanisms of COVID-19 and informing therapeutic strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/immunology , Animals , Cricetinae , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/immunology , Endothelial Cells/immunology , Humans , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Inflammation , Lung/immunology , Macrophages/immunology , Mesocricetus , Monocytes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Signal Transduction , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology , Toll-Like Receptors/immunology
13.
Theranostics ; 11(16): 8076-8091, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1337802

ABSTRACT

Rationale: Pulmonary vascular endotheliitis, perivascular inflammation, and immune activation are observed in COVID-19 patients. While the initial SARS-CoV-2 infection mainly infects lung epithelial cells, whether it also infects endothelial cells (ECs) and to what extent SARS-CoV-2-mediated pulmonary vascular endotheliitis is associated with immune activation remain to be determined. Methods: To address these questions, we studied SARS-CoV-2-infected K18-hACE2 (K18) mice, a severe COVID-19 mouse model, as well as lung samples from SARS-CoV-2-infected nonhuman primates (NHP) and patient deceased from COVID-19. We used immunostaining, RNAscope, and electron microscopy to analyze the organs collected from animals and patient. We conducted bulk and single cell (sc) RNA-seq analyses, and cytokine profiling of lungs or serum of the severe COVID-19 mice. Results: We show that SARS-CoV-2-infected K18 mice develop severe COVID-19, including progressive body weight loss and fatality at 7 days, severe lung interstitial inflammation, edema, hemorrhage, perivascular inflammation, systemic lymphocytopenia, and eosinopenia. Body weight loss in K18 mice correlated with the severity of pneumonia, but not with brain infection. We also observed endothelial activation and dysfunction in pulmonary vessels evidenced by the up-regulation of VCAM1 and ICAM1 and the downregulation of VE-cadherin. We detected SARS-CoV-2 in capillary ECs, activation and adhesion of platelets and immune cells to the vascular wall of the alveolar septa, and increased complement deposition in the lungs, in both COVID-19-murine and NHP models. We also revealed that pathways of coagulation, complement, K-ras signaling, and genes of ICAM1 and VCAM1 related to EC dysfunction and injury were upregulated, and were associated with massive immune activation in the lung and circulation. Conclusion: Together, our results indicate that SARS-CoV-2 causes endotheliitis via both infection and infection-mediated immune activation, which may contribute to the pathogenesis of severe COVID-19 disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , Disease Models, Animal , Endothelial Cells/immunology , Endothelial Cells/virology , Epithelial Cells/immunology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Lung/pathology , Mice , Mice, Inbred Strains , Mice, Transgenic , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
14.
Elife ; 102021 03 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1146275

ABSTRACT

Numerous reports of vascular events after an initial recovery from COVID-19 form our impetus to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on vascular health of recovered patients. We found elevated levels of circulating endothelial cells (CECs), a biomarker of vascular injury, in COVID-19 convalescents compared to healthy controls. In particular, those with pre-existing conditions (e.g., hypertension, diabetes) had more pronounced endothelial activation hallmarks than non-COVID-19 patients with matched cardiovascular risk. Several proinflammatory and activated T lymphocyte-associated cytokines sustained from acute infection to recovery phase, which correlated positively with CEC measures, implicating cytokine-driven endothelial dysfunction. Notably, we found higher frequency of effector T cells in our COVID-19 convalescents compared to healthy controls. The activation markers detected on CECs mapped to counter receptors found primarily on cytotoxic CD8+ T cells, raising the possibility of cytotoxic effector cells targeting activated endothelial cells. Clinical trials in preventive therapy for post-COVID-19 vascular complications may be needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Cardiovascular Diseases/etiology , Endothelium, Vascular/pathology , Lymphocyte Activation , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Cardiovascular Diseases/immunology , Cardiovascular Diseases/pathology , Cytokines/immunology , Endothelial Cells/immunology , Endothelial Cells/pathology , Endothelium, Vascular/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Factors
15.
Viruses ; 13(1)2020 12 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1079698

ABSTRACT

The ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) poses a persistent threat to global public health. Although primarily a respiratory illness, extrapulmonary manifestations of COVID-19 include gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, renal and neurological diseases. Recent studies suggest that dysfunction of the endothelium during COVID-19 may exacerbate these deleterious events by inciting inflammatory and microvascular thrombotic processes. Although controversial, there is evidence that SARS-CoV-2 may infect endothelial cells by binding to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) cellular receptor using the viral Spike protein. In this review, we explore current insights into the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 infection, endothelial dysfunction due to ACE2 downregulation, and deleterious pulmonary and extra-pulmonary immunothrombotic complications in severe COVID-19. We also discuss preclinical and clinical development of therapeutic agents targeting SARS-CoV-2-mediated endothelial dysfunction. Finally, we present evidence of SARS-CoV-2 replication in primary human lung and cardiac microvascular endothelial cells. Accordingly, in striving to understand the parameters that lead to severe disease in COVID-19 patients, it is important to consider how direct infection of endothelial cells by SARS-CoV-2 may contribute to this process.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelium/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , ADAM17 Protein/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/immunology , Endothelium/immunology , Endothelium/virology , Endothelium, Vascular/immunology , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Humans , Lung/metabolism , Thrombosis , Virus Replication
16.
CNS Neurosci Ther ; 27(1): 36-47, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1003961

ABSTRACT

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is an important physiological barrier that separates the central nervous system (CNS) from the peripheral circulation, which contains inflammatory mediators and immune cells. The BBB regulates cellular and molecular exchange between the blood vessels and brain parenchyma. Normal functioning of the BBB is crucial for the homeostasis and proper function of the brain. It has been demonstrated that peripheral inflammation can disrupt the BBB by various pathways, resulting in different CNS diseases. Recently, clinical research also showed CNS complications following SARS-CoV-2 infection and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy, which both lead to a cytokine storm in the circulation. Therefore, elucidation of the mechanisms underlying the BBB disruption induced by peripheral inflammation will provide an important basis for protecting the CNS in the context of exacerbated peripheral inflammatory diseases. In the present review, we first summarize the physiological properties of the BBB that makes the CNS an immune-privileged organ. We then discuss the relevance of peripheral inflammation-induced BBB disruption to various CNS diseases. Finally, we elaborate various factors and mechanisms of peripheral inflammation that disrupt the BBB.


Subject(s)
Blood-Brain Barrier/metabolism , Brain/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Inflammation Mediators/metabolism , Animals , Blood-Brain Barrier/immunology , Blood-Brain Barrier/pathology , Brain/immunology , Brain/pathology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Endothelial Cells/immunology , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/metabolism , Inflammation/pathology , Inflammation Mediators/immunology
17.
Eur J Immunol ; 51(4): 893-902, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-986037

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study is to evaluate the blood level of anti-heart antibodies (AHA) and its correlation with clinical outcomes in patients with severe and moderate coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The study included 34 patients (23 males; mean age 60.2 ± 16.6 years) with COVID-19 pneumonia. Besides standard medical examination, the AHA blood levels were observed, including antinuclear antibodies, antiendothelial cell antibodies, anti-cardiomyocyte antibodies (AbC), anti-smooth muscle antibodies (ASMA), and cardiac conducting tissue antibodies. Median hospital length of stay was 14 [13; 18] days. AHA levels were increased in 25 (73.5%) patients. Significant correlation (p < 0.05) of AHA levels with cardiovascular manifestations (r = 0.459) was found. AbC levels correlated with pneumonia severity (r = 0.472), respiratory failure (r = 0.387), need for invasive ventilation (r = 0.469), chest pain (r = 0.374), low QRS voltage (r = 0.415), and levels of C-reactive protein (r = 0.360) and lactate dehydrogenase (r = 0.360). ASMA levels were found to correlate with atrial fibrillation (r = 0.414, p < 0.05). Antinuclear antibodies and AbC levels correlated with pericardial effusion (r = 0.721 and r = 0.745, respectively, p < 0.05). The lethality rate was 8.8%. AbC and ASMA levels correlated significantly with lethality (r = 0.363 and r = 0.426, respectively, p < 0.05) and were prognostically important. AHA can be considered as part of the systemic immune and inflammatory response in COVID-19. Its possible role in the inflammatory heart disease requires further investigation.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Antinuclear/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Myocytes, Cardiac/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Antinuclear/immunology , Atrial Fibrillation/pathology , Autoantibodies/blood , Autoantibodies/immunology , C-Reactive Protein/analysis , Endothelial Cells/immunology , Female , Heart/physiopathology , Humans , L-Lactate Dehydrogenase/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Muscle, Smooth/immunology , Myocardium/immunology , Pericardial Effusion/pathology , Young Adult
18.
mBio ; 11(6)2020 12 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-975645

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 causes COVID-19, an acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) characterized by pulmonary edema, viral pneumonia, multiorgan dysfunction, coagulopathy, and inflammation. SARS-CoV-2 uses angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors to infect and damage ciliated epithelial cells in the upper respiratory tract. In alveoli, gas exchange occurs across an epithelial-endothelial barrier that ties respiration to endothelial cell (EC) regulation of edema, coagulation, and inflammation. How SARS-CoV-2 dysregulates vascular functions to cause ARDS in COVID-19 patients remains an enigma focused on dysregulated EC responses. Whether SARS-CoV-2 directly or indirectly affects functions of the endothelium remains to be resolved and is critical to understanding SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and therapeutic targets. We demonstrate that primary human ECs lack ACE2 receptors at protein and RNA levels and that SARS-CoV-2 is incapable of directly infecting ECs derived from pulmonary, cardiac, brain, umbilical vein, or kidney tissues. In contrast, pulmonary ECs transduced with recombinant ACE2 receptors are infected by SARS-CoV-2 and result in high viral titers (∼1 × 107/ml), multinucleate syncytia, and EC lysis. SARS-CoV-2 infection of ACE2-expressing ECs elicits procoagulative and inflammatory responses observed in COVID-19 patients. The inability of SARS-CoV-2 to directly infect and lyse ECs without ACE2 expression explains the lack of vascular hemorrhage in COVID-19 patients and indicates that the endothelium is not a primary target of SARS-CoV-2 infection. These findings are consistent with SARS-CoV-2 indirectly activating EC programs that regulate thrombosis and endotheliitis in COVID-19 patients and focus strategies on therapeutically targeting epithelial and inflammatory responses that activate the endothelium or initiate limited ACE2-independent EC infection.IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2 infects pulmonary epithelial cells through ACE2 receptors and causes ARDS. COVID-19 causes progressive respiratory failure resulting from diffuse alveolar damage and systemic coagulopathy, thrombosis, and capillary inflammation that tie alveolar responses to EC dysfunction. This has prompted theories that SARS-CoV-2 directly infects ECs through ACE2 receptors, yet SARS-CoV-2 antigen has not been colocalized with ECs and prior studies indicate that ACE2 colocalizes with alveolar epithelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells, not ECs. Here, we demonstrate that primary human ECs derived from lung, kidney, heart, brain, and umbilical veins require expression of recombinant ACE2 receptors in order to be infected by SARS-CoV-2. However, SARS-CoV-2 lytically infects ACE2-ECs and elicits procoagulative and inflammatory responses observed in COVID-19 patients. These findings suggest a novel mechanism of COVID-19 pathogenesis resulting from indirect EC activation, or infection of a small subset of ECs by an ACE2-independent mechanism, that transforms rationales and targets for therapeutic intervention.


Subject(s)
Blood Coagulation Factors , Endothelial Cells/virology , Inflammation , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Animals , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Endothelial Cells/immunology , Endothelial Cells/pathology , Humans , Recombinant Proteins , Vero Cells
19.
Mol Med ; 26(1): 95, 2020 10 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-873932

ABSTRACT

Pulmonary fibrosis arises from the repeated epithelial mild injuries and insufficient repair lead to over activation of fibroblasts and excessive deposition of extracellular matrix, which result in a mechanical stretched niche. However, increasing mechanical stress likely exists before the establishment of fibrosis since early micro injuries increase local vascular permeability and prompt cytoskeletal remodeling which alter cellular mechanical forces. It is noteworthy that COVID-19 patients with severe hypoxemia will receive mechanical ventilation as supportive treatment and subsequent pathology studies indicate lung fibrosis pattern. At advanced stages, mechanical stress originates mainly from the stiff matrix since boundaries between stiff and compliant parts of the tissue could generate mechanical stress. Therefore, mechanical stress has a significant role in the whole development process of pulmonary fibrosis. The alveoli are covered by abundant capillaries and function as the main gas exchange unit. Constantly subject to variety of damages, the alveolar epithelium injuries were recently recognized to play a vital role in the onset and development of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. In this review, we summarize the literature regarding the effects of mechanical stress on the fundamental cells constituting the alveoli in the process of pulmonary fibrosis, particularly on epithelial cells, capillary endothelial cells, fibroblasts, mast cells, macrophages and stem cells. Finally, we briefly review this issue from a more comprehensive perspective: the metabolic and epigenetic regulation.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Epigenesis, Genetic/immunology , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/immunology , Mechanotransduction, Cellular/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pulmonary Embolism/immunology , Respiratory Insufficiency/immunology , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/immunology , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/pathology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Biomechanical Phenomena , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/immunology , Endothelial Cells/immunology , Endothelial Cells/pathology , Fibroblasts/immunology , Fibroblasts/pathology , Humans , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/genetics , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/virology , Lung/blood supply , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , Macrophages/immunology , Macrophages/pathology , Mechanotransduction, Cellular/genetics , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Pulmonary Embolism/genetics , Pulmonary Embolism/pathology , Pulmonary Embolism/virology , Respiratory Insufficiency/genetics , Respiratory Insufficiency/pathology , Respiratory Insufficiency/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress, Mechanical
20.
Life Sci ; 263: 118588, 2020 Dec 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-846721

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome-novel coronavirus mediated COVID-19 has been recently declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. The primary target of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is the human lungs governed by the ACE-2 receptor of epithelial type II cells/endothelial cells, which promote modulation of the immune response of host cells through generating cytokine storm, inflammation, severe pneumonia symptoms, and secondary complications such as acute respiratory distress syndrome. Although numerous antiviral and anti-parasitic drugs are under clinical trials to combat this pandemic, to date, neither a specific treatment nor any successful vaccine has been established, urging researchers to identify any potential candidate for combating the disease. Mesenchymal stem cells own self-renewal, differentiation, homing, immunomodulation and remains unaffected by the coronavirus on the virtue of the absence of ACE-2 receptors, indicating that MSC's could be used an ameliorative approach for COVID-19. MSCs have shown to combat the disease via various pathways such as repairing the lung epithelial and endothelial cells, reducing hyperimmune response, maintaining the renin-angiotensin system. Although MSCs-based treatment approaches for COVID-19 is still under consideration with limited data, many human clinical trials of MSC's has been initiated to explore their potential for COVID 19 treatment. The current review summarizes and emphasizes on how MSC's modulate the immune response, can repair the lungs from the impact of the virus, and various aspects of MSC's as a remedial source for COVID-19, to provide better insight for biomedical researchers and for those who are fascinated by stem cells as a therapeutic approach.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation/methods , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/cytology , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , Endothelial Cells/immunology , Epithelial Cells/immunology , Humans , Immunomodulation/physiology , Lung/immunology , Lung/virology , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/immunology , Regeneration/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
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