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1.
J Pathol ; 258(3): 211-212, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2013710

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 virus, the cause of COVID-19 disease, establishes infection in the human body via interaction with the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor on cell membranes. The lung is the major organ affected, and all respiratory epithelium from nose to alveolus is infectable. A recent study published in The Journal of Pathology looked at a wide range of other human tissues, mostly autopsy-derived, to identify susceptible cells. The virus (associated with ACE2) is found in all endothelial cells (an important finding), renal and biliary epithelium, in megakaryocytes, and occasionally in hepatocytes. It was not found in heart myofibres or brain neurones but is present in gut myenteric plexus cells. This work confirms previous work on SARS-CoV-2-infectable cells, and so supports investigations into the pathogenesis of COVID-19 disease as it affects (or does not directly affect) the different organs. © 2022 The Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/virology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Tropism
2.
Stem Cell Reports ; 17(2): 307-320, 2022 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1712991

ABSTRACT

Neurological complications are common in COVID-19. Although SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in patients' brain tissues, its entry routes and resulting consequences are not well understood. Here, we show a pronounced upregulation of interferon signaling pathways of the neurovascular unit in fatal COVID-19. By investigating the susceptibility of human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived brain capillary endothelial-like cells (BCECs) to SARS-CoV-2 infection, we found that BCECs were infected and recapitulated transcriptional changes detected in vivo. While BCECs were not compromised in their paracellular tightness, we found SARS-CoV-2 in the basolateral compartment in transwell assays after apical infection, suggesting active replication and transcellular transport of virus across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in vitro. Moreover, entry of SARS-CoV-2 into BCECs could be reduced by anti-spike-, anti-angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)-, and anti-neuropilin-1 (NRP1)-specific antibodies or the transmembrane protease serine subtype 2 (TMPRSS2) inhibitor nafamostat. Together, our data provide strong support for SARS-CoV-2 brain entry across the BBB resulting in increased interferon signaling.


Subject(s)
Blood-Brain Barrier/virology , Central Nervous System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Internalization , Antibodies/pharmacology , Benzamidines/pharmacology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Endothelial Cells/cytology , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/virology , Guanidines/pharmacology , Humans , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/cytology , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/metabolism , Models, Biological , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Virus Internalization/drug effects
3.
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
4.
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(1): e0167121, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1691404

ABSTRACT

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


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Capillary Permeability , Cytokines/blood , Lung/blood supply , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/virology , Endothelial Cells/virology , Female , Humans , Lung/virology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/blood , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A , Young Adult
5.
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
6.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(6)2022 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1655773

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 entry into host cells is a crucial step for virus tropism, transmission, and pathogenesis. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) has been identified as the primary entry receptor for SARS-CoV-2; however, the possible involvement of other cellular components in the viral entry has not yet been fully elucidated. Here we describe the identification of vimentin (VIM), an intermediate filament protein widely expressed in cells of mesenchymal origin, as an important attachment factor for SARS-CoV-2 on human endothelial cells. Using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, we identified VIM as a protein that binds to the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein. We showed that the S-protein receptor binding domain (RBD) is sufficient for S-protein interaction with VIM. Further analysis revealed that extracellular VIM binds to SARS-CoV-2 S-protein and facilitates SARS-CoV-2 infection, as determined by entry assays performed with pseudotyped viruses expressing S and with infectious SARS-CoV-2. Coexpression of VIM with ACE2 increased SARS-CoV-2 entry in HEK-293 cells, and shRNA-mediated knockdown of VIM significantly reduced SARS-CoV-2 infection of human endothelial cells. Moreover, incubation of A549 cells expressing ACE2 with purified VIM increased pseudotyped SARS-CoV-2-S entry. CR3022 antibody, which recognizes a distinct epitope on SARS-CoV-2-S-RBD without interfering with the binding of the spike with ACE2, inhibited the binding of VIM with CoV-2 S-RBD, and neutralized viral entry in human endothelial cells, suggesting a key role for VIM in SARS-CoV-2 infection of endothelial cells. This work provides insight into the pathogenesis of COVID-19 linked to the vascular system, with implications for the development of therapeutics and vaccines.


Subject(s)
Endothelial Cells/virology , Extracellular Space/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vimentin/metabolism , Virus Internalization , A549 Cells , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Coculture Techniques , Endothelium, Vascular/cytology , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/virology , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Protein Binding
7.
Cells ; 11(2)2022 01 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625673

ABSTRACT

Acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection continues to be a worldwide public health crisis. Among the several severe manifestations of this disease, thrombotic processes drive the catastrophic organ failure and mortality in these patients. In addition to a well-established cytokine storm associated with the disease, perturbations in platelets, endothelial cells, and the coagulation system are key in triggering systemic coagulopathy, involving both the macro- and microvasculatures of different organs. Of the several mechanisms that might contribute to dysregulation of these cells following SARS-CoV-2 infection, the current review focuses on the role of activated Janus kinase (JAK) signaling in augmenting thrombotic processes and organ dysfunction. The review concludes with presenting the current understanding and emerging controversies concerning the potential therapeutic applications of JAK inhibitors for ameliorating the inflammation-thrombosis phenotype in COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Janus Kinases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Signal Transduction , Thrombosis/metabolism , Cytokine Release Syndrome/metabolism , Cytokine Release Syndrome/virology , Endothelial Cells/virology , Humans , Thrombosis/virology
8.
J Neuroimmune Pharmacol ; 16(4): 756-769, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1592057

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection begins with the attachment of its spike (S) protein to angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) followed by complex host immune responses with cardiovascular and neurological implications. Our meta-analyses used QIAGEN Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) and Knowledge Base (QKB) to investigate how the expression of amyloid precursor protein (APP) was modulated by attachment of SARS-CoV-2 S protein in the brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMVECs) and during COVID-19 in progress. Published 80 host response genes reported to be modulated in BMVECs following SARS-CoV-2 S protein binding were used to identify key canonical pathways and intermediate molecules mediating the regulation of APP production following the attachment of S protein to endothelial cells. This revealed that the attachment of SARS-CoV-2 S protein may inhibit APP expression in the BMVECs. Our results shed light on the molecular mechanisms by which SARS-CoV-2 infection may potentiate the incidence of stroke by inhibiting the production of APP in the BMVECs. We also analyzed molecules associated with COVID-19, which revealed six upstream regulators, TNF, IFNG, STAT1, IL1ß, IL6, and STAT3. The upstream regulators mediate the increased production of APP via intermediators, with eleven regulated by all six upstream regulators. These COVID-19 upstream regulators increased APP expression with a statistically significant Z-score of 3.705 (p value = 0.000211). These findings have revealed molecular mechanisms by which COVID-19 disease may lead to long-term neurological manifestations resulting from the elevated APP expression in line with immune response in the host. Altogether, our study revealed two distinct scenarios which may have differential impact on APP expression.


Subject(s)
Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor/metabolism , COVID-19 , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/virology , Humans , Network Meta-Analysis , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
9.
Microbiol Spectr ; 9(3): e0073521, 2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1596765

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection can cause compromised respiratory function and thrombotic events. SARS-CoV-2 binds to and mediates downregulation of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) on cells that it infects. Theoretically, diminished enzymatic activity of ACE2 may result in increased concentrations of pro-inflammatory molecules, angiotensin II, and Bradykinin, contributing to SARS-CoV-2 pathology. Using immunofluorescence microscopy of lung tissues from uninfected, and SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals, we find evidence that ACE2 is highly expressed in human pulmonary alveolar epithelial cells and significantly reduced along the alveolar lining of SARS-CoV-2 infected lungs. Ex vivo analyses of primary human cells, indicated that ACE2 is readily detected in pulmonary alveolar epithelial and aortic endothelial cells. Exposure of these cells to spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 was sufficient to reduce ACE2 expression. Moreover, exposure of endothelial cells to spike protein-induced dysfunction, caspase activation, and apoptosis. Exposure of endothelial cells to bradykinin caused calcium signaling and endothelial dysfunction (increased expression of von Willibrand Factor and decreased expression of Krüppel-like Factor 2) but did not adversely affect viability in primary human aortic endothelial cells. Computer-assisted analyses of molecules with potential to bind bradykinin receptor B2 (BKRB2), suggested a potential role for aspirin as a BK antagonist. When tested in our in vitro model, we found evidence that aspirin can blunt cell signaling and endothelial dysfunction caused by bradykinin in these cells. Interference with interactions of spike protein or bradykinin with endothelial cells may serve as an important strategy to stabilize microvascular homeostasis in COVID-19 disease. IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2 causes complex effects on microvascular homeostasis that potentially contribute to organ dysfunction and coagulopathies. SARS-CoV-2 binds to, and causes downregulation of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) on cells that it infects. It is thought that reduced ACE2 enzymatic activity can contribute to inflammation and pathology in the lung. Our studies add to this understanding by providing evidence that spike protein alone can mediate adverse effects on vascular cells. Understanding these mechanisms of pathogenesis may provide rationale for interventions that could limit microvascular events associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/physiopathology , Endothelial Cells/virology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/cytology , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Aorta/cytology , Aorta/metabolism , Aorta/virology , Apoptosis , Bradykinin/chemistry , Bradykinin/metabolism , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Endothelial Cells/cytology , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Homeostasis , Humans , Lung/blood supply , Lung/metabolism , Lung/virology , Microcirculation , Receptors, Bradykinin/chemistry , Receptors, Bradykinin/genetics , Receptors, Bradykinin/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
10.
J Mol Cell Cardiol ; 164: 69-82, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1531870

ABSTRACT

The global propagation of SARS-CoV-2 leads to an unprecedented public health emergency. Despite that the lungs are the primary organ targeted by COVID-19, systemic endothelial inflammation and dysfunction is observed particularly in patients with severe COVID-19, manifested by elevated endothelial injury markers, endotheliitis, and coagulopathy. Here, we review the clinical characteristics of COVID-19 associated endothelial dysfunction; and the likely pathological mechanisms underlying the disease including direct cell entry or indirect immune overreactions after SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition, we discuss potential biomarkers that might indicate the disease severity, particularly related to the abnormal development of thrombosis that is a fatal vascular complication of severe COVID-19. Furthermore, we summarize clinical trials targeting the direct and indirect pathological pathways after SARS-CoV-2 infection to prevent or inhibit the virus induced endothelial disorders.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Endothelium, Vascular/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/physiology , Animals , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/therapy , Clinical Trials as Topic , Endothelial Cells/pathology , Endothelial Cells/virology , Endothelium, Vascular/immunology , Endothelium, Vascular/physiopathology , HMGB1 Protein/physiology , Humans , Macaca mulatta , Mice , Neuropilin-1/physiology , Oxidative Stress , Reactive Oxygen Species , Receptors, Virus/physiology , Scavenger Receptors, Class B/physiology , Severity of Illness Index , Signal Transduction , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/pathology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/physiopathology , Thrombophilia/etiology , Thrombophilia/physiopathology , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A/physiology , Vasculitis/etiology , Vasculitis/immunology , Vasculitis/physiopathology , Young Adult
11.
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
12.
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
13.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(21)2021 Nov 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502439

ABSTRACT

The 2019 novel coronavirus, known as severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is causing a global pandemic. The virus primarily affects the upper and lower respiratory tracts and raises the risk of a variety of non-pulmonary consequences, the most severe and possibly fatal of which are cardiovascular problems. Data show that almost one-third of the patients with a moderate or severe form of COVID-19 had preexisting cardiovascular comorbidities such as diabetes mellitus, obesity, hypertension, heart failure, or coronary artery disease. SARS-CoV2 causes hyper inflammation, hypoxia, apoptosis, and a renin-angiotensin system imbalance in a variety of cell types, primarily endothelial cells. Profound endothelial dysfunction associated with COVID-19 can be the cause of impaired organ perfusion that may generate acute myocardial injury, renal failure, and a procoagulant state resulting in thromboembolic events. We discuss the most recent results on the involvement of endothelial dysfunction in the pathogenesis of COVID-19 in patients with cardiometabolic diseases in this review. We also provide insights on treatments that may reduce the severity of this viral infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/etiology , Endothelial Cells/cytology , Endothelial Cells/virology , Heart Failure/etiology , Humans , Renal Insufficiency/etiology , Renin-Angiotensin System/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Thrombosis/etiology
14.
Viruses ; 13(11)2021 10 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488764

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) is primarily responsible for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and it is characterized by respiratory illness with fever and dyspnea. Severe vascular problems and several other manifestations, including neurological ones, have also been frequently reported, particularly in the great majority of "long hauler" patients. SARS-CoV-2 infects and replicates in lung epithelial cells, while dysfunction of endothelial and neuronal brain cells has been observed in the absence of productive infection. It has been shown that the Spike protein can interact with specific cellular receptors, supporting both viral entry and cellular dysfunction. It is thus clear that understanding how and when these receptors are regulated, as well as how much they are expressed would help in unveiling the multifaceted aspects of this disease. Here, we show that SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells express three important cellular surface molecules that interact with the Spike protein, namely ACE2, TMPRSS2, and NRP1. Their levels increase when cells are treated with retinoic acid (RA), a commonly used agent known to promote differentiation. This increase matched the higher levels of receptors observed on HUVEC (primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells). We also show by confocal imaging that replication-defective pseudoviruses carrying the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein can infect differentiated and undifferentiated SH-SY5Y, and HUVEC cells, although with different efficiencies. Neuronal cells and endothelial cells are potential targets for SARS-CoV-2 infection and the interaction of the Spike viral protein with these cells may cause their dysregulation. Characterizing RNA and protein expression tempo, mode, and levels of different SARS-CoV-2 receptors on both cell subpopulations may have clinical relevance for the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19-infected subjects, including long hauler patients with neurological manifestations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Neuroblastoma/metabolism , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line, Tumor , Endothelial Cells/virology , Host Microbial Interactions , Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells , Humans , Neuroblastoma/virology , Neuropilin-1/metabolism , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Virus Internalization
15.
Clin Appl Thromb Hemost ; 27: 10760296211042940, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1484251

ABSTRACT

The world is in a hard battle against COVID-19. Endothelial cells are among the most critical targets of SARS-CoV-2. Dysfunction of endothelium leads to vascular injury following by coagulopathies and thrombotic conditions in the vital organs increasing the risk of life-threatening events. Growing evidences revealed that endothelial dysfunction and consequent thrombotic conditions are associated with the severity of outcomes. It is not yet fully clear that these devastating sequels originate directly from the virus or a side effect of virus-induced cytokine storm. Due to endothelial dysfunction, plasma levels of some biomarkers are changed and relevant clinical manifestations appear as well. Stabilization of endothelial integrity and supporting its function are among the promising therapeutic strategies. Other than respiratory, COVID-19 could be called a systemic vascular disease and this aspect should be scrutinized in more detail in order to reduce related mortality. In the present investigation, the effects of COVID-19 on endothelial function and thrombosis formation are discussed. In this regard, critical players, laboratory findings, clinical manifestation, and suggestive therapies are presented.


Subject(s)
Blood Coagulation , COVID-19/virology , Endothelial Cells/virology , Endothelium, Vascular/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Thrombosis/virology , Animals , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/pathology , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/physiopathology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Signal Transduction , Thrombosis/blood , Thrombosis/pathology , Thrombosis/physiopathology
16.
Viruses ; 13(10)2021 10 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463838

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), is currently infecting millions of people worldwide and is causing drastic changes in people's lives. Recent studies have shown that neurological symptoms are a major issue for people infected with SARS-CoV-2. However, the mechanism through which the pathological effects emerge is still unclear. Brain endothelial cells (ECs), one of the components of the blood-brain barrier, are a major hurdle for the entry of pathogenic or infectious agents into the brain. They strongly express angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) for its normal physiological function, which is also well-known to be an opportunistic receptor for SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, facilitating their entry into host cells. First, we identified rapid internalization of the receptor-binding domain (RBD) S1 domain (S1) and active trimer (Trimer) of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein through ACE2 in brain ECs. Moreover, internalized S1 increased Rab5, an early endosomal marker while Trimer decreased Rab5 in the brain ECs. Similarly, the permeability of transferrin and dextran was increased in S1 treatment but decreased in Trimer, respectively. Furthermore, S1 and Trimer both induced mitochondrial damage including functional deficits in mitochondrial respiration. Overall, this study shows that SARS-CoV-2 itself has toxic effects on the brain ECs including defective molecular delivery and metabolic function, suggesting a potential pathological mechanism to induce neurological signs in the brain.


Subject(s)
Blood-Brain Barrier/metabolism , Brain/pathology , COVID-19/pathology , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Brain/metabolism , Brain/virology , Endothelial Cells/virology , Humans , Mice , Mitochondria/metabolism , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , rab5 GTP-Binding Proteins/metabolism
17.
mBio ; 12(4): e0157221, 2021 08 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1349194

ABSTRACT

Tissue- and cell-specific expression patterns are highly variable within and across individuals, leading to altered host responses after acute virus infection. Unraveling key tissue-specific response patterns provides novel opportunities for defining fundamental mechanisms of virus-host interaction in disease and the identification of critical tissue-specific networks for disease intervention in the lung. Currently, there are no approved therapeutics for Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) patients, and little is understood about how lung cell types contribute to disease outcomes. MERS-CoV replicates equivalently in primary human lung microvascular endothelial cells (MVE) and fibroblasts (FB) and to equivalent peak titers but with slower replication kinetics in human airway epithelial cell cultures (HAE). However, only infected MVE demonstrate observable virus-induced cytopathic effect. To explore mechanisms leading to reduced MVE viability, donor-matched human lung MVE, HAE, and FB were infected, and their transcriptomes, proteomes, and lipidomes were monitored over time. Validated functional enrichment analysis demonstrated that MERS-CoV-infected MVE were dying via an unfolded protein response (UPR)-mediated apoptosis. Pharmacologic manipulation of the UPR in MERS-CoV-infected primary lung cells reduced viral titers and in male mice improved respiratory function with accompanying reductions in weight loss, pathological signatures of acute lung injury, and times to recovery. Systems biology analysis and validation studies of global kinetic transcript, protein, and lipid data sets confirmed that inhibition of host stress pathways that are differentially regulated following MERS-CoV infection of different tissue types can alleviate symptom progression to end-stage lung disease commonly seen following emerging coronavirus outbreaks. IMPORTANCE Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes severe atypical pneumonia in infected individuals, but the underlying mechanisms of pathogenesis remain unknown. While much has been learned from the few reported autopsy cases, an in-depth understanding of the cells targeted by MERS-CoV in the human lung and their relative contribution to disease outcomes is needed. The host response in MERS-CoV-infected primary human lung microvascular endothelial (MVE) cells and fibroblasts (FB) was evaluated over time by analyzing total RNA, proteins, and lipids to determine the cellular pathways modulated postinfection. Findings revealed that MERS-CoV-infected MVE cells die via apoptotic mechanisms downstream of the unfolded protein response (UPR). Interruption of enzymatic processes within the UPR in MERS-CoV-infected male mice reduced disease symptoms, virus-induced lung injury, and time to recovery. These data suggest that the UPR plays an important role in MERS-CoV infection and may represent a host target for therapeutic intervention.


Subject(s)
Acute Lung Injury/pathology , Apoptosis/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Unfolded Protein Response/physiology , Acute Lung Injury/virology , Animals , Cell Line , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/virology , Female , Fibroblasts/metabolism , Fibroblasts/virology , Humans , Male , Mice , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology
18.
Microvasc Res ; 138: 104232, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1446976

ABSTRACT

The mechanisms by which the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) induces neurological complications remain to be elucidated. We aimed to identify possible effects of hypoxia on the expression of SARS-CoV-2 cell entry mediators, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor and transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) protein, in human brain endothelial cells, in vitro. hCMEC/D3 cells were exposed to different oxygen tensions: 20% (Control group), 8% or 2% O2 (Hypoxia groups). Cells were harvested 6-, 24- and 48 h following hypoxic challenge for assessment of mRNA and protein, using qPCR and Western Blot. The response of the brain endothelial cells to hypoxia was replicated using modular incubator chambers. We observed an acute increase (6 h, p < 0.05), followed by a longer-term decrease (48 h, p < 0.05) in ACE2 mRNA and protein expression, accompanied by reduced expression of TMPRSS2 protein levels (48 h, p < 0.05) under the more severe hypoxic condition (2% O2). No changes in levels of von Willebrand Factor (vWF - an endothelial cell damage marker) or interleukin 6 (IL-6 - a pro-inflammatory cytokine) mRNA were observed. We conclude that hypoxia regulates brain endothelial cell ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression in vitro, which may indicate human brain endothelial susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and subsequent brain sequelae.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Brain/blood supply , COVID-19/virology , Endothelial Cells/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Virus Internalization , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/enzymology , Cell Hypoxia , Cell Line , Endothelial Cells/enzymology , Gene Expression Regulation , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics
19.
J Virol ; 95(23): e0139621, 2021 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1434896

ABSTRACT

Emerging evidence suggests that endothelial activation plays a central role in the pathogenesis of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multiorgan failure in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, the molecular mechanisms underlying endothelial activation in COVID-19 patients remain unclear. In this study, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viral proteins that potently activate human endothelial cells were screened to elucidate the molecular mechanisms involved in endothelial activation. It was found that nucleocapsid protein (NP) of SARS-CoV-2 significantly activated human endothelial cells through Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2)/NF-κB and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways. Moreover, by screening a natural microbial compound library containing 154 natural compounds, simvastatin was identified as a potent inhibitor of NP-induced endothelial activation. Remarkably, though the protein sequences of N proteins from coronaviruses are highly conserved, only NP from SARS-CoV-2 induced endothelial activation. The NPs from other coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), HUB1-CoV, and influenza virus H1N1 did not activate endothelial cells. These findings are consistent with the results from clinical investigations showing broad endotheliitis and organ injury in severe COVID-19 patients. In conclusion, the study provides insights on SARS-CoV-2-induced vasculopathy and coagulopathy and suggests that simvastatin, an FDA-approved lipid-lowering drug, may help prevent the pathogenesis and improve the outcome of COVID-19 patients. IMPORTANCE Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the betacoronavirus SARS-CoV-2, is a worldwide challenge for health care systems. The leading cause of mortality in patients with COVID-19 is hypoxic respiratory failure from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). To date, pulmonary endothelial cells (ECs) have been largely overlooked as a therapeutic target in COVID-19, yet emerging evidence suggests that these cells contribute to the initiation and propagation of ARDS by altering vessel barrier integrity, promoting a procoagulative state, inducing vascular inflammation and mediating inflammatory cell infiltration. Therefore, a better mechanistic understanding of the vasculature is of utmost importance. In this study, we screened the SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins that potently activate human endothelial cells and found that nucleocapsid protein (NP) significantly activated human endothelial cells through TLR2/NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways. Moreover, by screening a natural microbial compound library containing 154 natural compounds, simvastatin was identified as a potent inhibitor of NP-induced endothelial activation. Our results provide insights on SARS-CoV-2-induced vasculopathy and coagulopathy, and suggests that simvastatin, an FDA-approved lipid-lowering drug, may benefit to prevent the pathogenesis and improve the outcome of COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/drug effects , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Signal Transduction , Simvastatin/pharmacology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells , Humans , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism , NF-kappa B/metabolism , Toll-Like Receptor 2/metabolism
20.
Viruses ; 13(9)2021 09 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430982

ABSTRACT

Evidence is emerging that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can infect various organs of the body, including cardiomyocytes and cardiac endothelial cells in the heart. This review focuses on the effects of SARS-CoV-2 in the heart after direct infection that can lead to myocarditis and an outline of potential treatment options. The main points are: (1) Viral entry: SARS-CoV-2 uses specific receptors and proteases for docking and priming in cardiac cells. Thus, different receptors or protease inhibitors might be effective in SARS-CoV-2-infected cardiac cells. (2) Viral replication: SARS-CoV-2 uses RNA-dependent RNA polymerase for replication. Drugs acting against ssRNA(+) viral replication for cardiac cells can be effective. (3) Autophagy and double-membrane vesicles: SARS-CoV-2 manipulates autophagy to inhibit viral clearance and promote SARS-CoV-2 replication by creating double-membrane vesicles as replication sites. (4) Immune response: Host immune response is manipulated to evade host cell attacks against SARS-CoV-2 and increased inflammation by dysregulating immune cells. Efficiency of immunosuppressive therapy must be elucidated. (5) Programmed cell death: SARS-CoV-2 inhibits programmed cell death in early stages and induces apoptosis, necroptosis, and pyroptosis in later stages. (6) Energy metabolism: SARS-CoV-2 infection leads to disturbed energy metabolism that in turn leads to a decrease in ATP production and ROS production. (7) Viroporins: SARS-CoV-2 creates viroporins that lead to an imbalance of ion homeostasis. This causes apoptosis, altered action potential, and arrhythmia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Heart Diseases/etiology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Apoptosis , Autophagy , Disease Management , Disease Susceptibility , Endothelial Cells/ultrastructure , Endothelial Cells/virology , Heart Diseases/diagnosis , Heart Diseases/therapy , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Myocarditis/diagnosis , Myocarditis/etiology , Myocarditis/therapy , Viroporin Proteins , Virus Replication
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