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1.
Molecules ; 27(22)2022 Nov 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2115975

ABSTRACT

Nitric oxide (NO) is implicated in numerous physiological processes, including vascular homeostasis. Reduced NO bioavailability is a hallmark of endothelial dysfunction, a prequel to many cardiovascular diseases. Biomarkers of an early NO-dependent endothelial dysfunction obtained from routine venous blood sampling would be of great interest but are currently lacking. The direct measurement of circulating NO remains a challenge due by its high reactivity and short half-life. The current techniques measure stable products from the NO signaling pathway or metabolic end products of NO that do not accurately represent its bioavailability and, therefore, endothelial function per se. In this review, we will concentrate on an original technique of low temperature electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy capable to directly measure the 5-α-coordinated heme nitrosyl-hemoglobin in the T (tense) state (5-α-nitrosyl-hemoglobin or HbNO) obtained from fresh venous human erythrocytes. In humans, HbNO reflects the bioavailability of NO formed in the vasculature from vascular endothelial NOS or exogenous NO donors with minor contribution from erythrocyte NOS. The HbNO signal is directly correlated with the vascular endothelial function and inversely correlated with vascular oxidative stress. Pilot studies support the validity of HbNO measurements both for the detection of endothelial dysfunction in asymptomatic subjects and for the monitoring of such dysfunction in patients with known cardiovascular disease. The impact of therapies or the severity of diseases such as COVID-19 infection involving the endothelium could also be monitored and their incumbent risk of complications better predicted through serial measurements of HbNO.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nitric Oxide , Humans , Nitric Oxide/metabolism , Hemoglobins/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism
4.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(15)2022 Jul 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1994078

ABSTRACT

The vascular endothelium has several important functions, including hemostasis. The homeostasis of hemostasis is based on a fine balance between procoagulant and anticoagulant proteins and between fibrinolytic and antifibrinolytic ones. Coagulopathies are characterized by a mutation-induced alteration of the function of certain coagulation factors or by a disturbed balance between the mechanisms responsible for regulating coagulation. Homeostatic therapies consist in replacement and nonreplacement treatments or in the administration of antifibrinolytic agents. Rebalancing products reestablish hemostasis by inhibiting natural anticoagulant pathways. These agents include monoclonal antibodies, such as concizumab and marstacimab, which target the tissue factor pathway inhibitor; interfering RNA therapies, such as fitusiran, which targets antithrombin III; and protease inhibitors, such as serpinPC, which targets active protein C. In cases of thrombophilia (deficiency of protein C, protein S, or factor V Leiden), treatment may consist in direct oral anticoagulants, replacement therapy (plasma or recombinant ADAMTS13) in cases of a congenital deficiency of ADAMTS13, or immunomodulators (prednisone) if the thrombophilia is autoimmune. Monoclonal-antibody-based anti-vWF immunotherapy (caplacizumab) is used in the context of severe thrombophilia, regardless of the cause of the disorder. In cases of disseminated intravascular coagulation, the treatment of choice consists in administration of antifibrinolytics, all-trans-retinoic acid, and recombinant soluble human thrombomodulin.


Subject(s)
Factor V/metabolism , Thrombophilia , von Willebrand Factor , Anticoagulants , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Factor VIII/genetics , Factor VIII/therapeutic use , Homeostasis , Humans , Protein C/therapeutic use , Thrombophilia/genetics , von Willebrand Factor/metabolism
6.
PLoS One ; 17(5): e0268296, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1910641

ABSTRACT

Severe coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) is characterized by vascular inflammation and thrombosis. We and others have proposed that the inflammatory response to coronavirus infection activates endothelial cells, leading to endothelial release of pro-thrombotic proteins. These mediators can trigger obstruction of the pulmonary microvasculature, leading to worsening oxygenation, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and death. In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that higher levels of biomarkers released from endothelial cells are associated with worse oxygenation in patients with COVID-19. We studied 83 participants aged 18-84 years with COVID-19 admitted to a single center. The severity of pulmonary disease was classified by oxygen requirement, including no oxygen requirement, low-flow oxygen, high-flow nasal cannula oxygen, mechanical ventilation, and death. We measured plasma levels of two proteins released by activated endothelial cells, von Willebrand Factor (VWF) antigen and soluble P-Selectin (sP-Sel), and a biomarker of systemic thrombosis, D-dimer. Additionally, we explored the association of endothelial biomarker levels with the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokine and chemokines, and vascular inflammation biomarkers. We found that levels of VWF, sP-sel, and D-dimer were increased in individuals with more severe COVID-19 pulmonary disease. Biomarkers of endothelial cell activation were also correlated with proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Taken together, our data demonstrate increased levels of VWF and sP-selectin are linked to the severity of lung disease in COVID-19 and correlated with biomarkers of inflammation and vascular inflammation. Our data support the concept that COVID-19 is a vascular disease which involves endothelial injury in the context of an inflammatory state.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Thrombosis , Biomarkers , Chemokines/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Humans , Inflammation/metabolism , Oxygen/metabolism , Thrombosis/metabolism , von Willebrand Factor/metabolism
7.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(11)2022 May 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1869643

ABSTRACT

The endothelium has a fundamental role in the cardiovascular complications of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) particularly affects endothelial cells. The virus binds to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) receptor (present on type 2 alveolar cells, bronchial epithelial cells, and endothelial cells), and induces a cytokine storm. The cytokines tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-1 beta, and interleukin-6 have particular effects on endothelial cells-leading to endothelial dysfunction, endothelial cell death, changes in tight junctions, and vascular hyperpermeability. Under normal conditions, apoptotic endothelial cells are removed into the bloodstream. During COVID-19, however, endothelial cells are detached more rapidly, and do not regenerate as effectively as usual. The loss of the endothelium on the luminal surface abolishes all of the vascular responses mediated by the endothelium and nitric oxide production in particular, which results in greater contractility. Moreover, circulating endothelial cells infected with SARS-CoV-2 act as vectors for viral dissemination by forming clusters that migrate into the circulation and reach distant organs. The cell clusters and the endothelial dysfunction might contribute to the various thromboembolic pathologies observed in COVID-19 by inducing the formation of intravascular microthrombi, as well as by triggering disseminated intravascular coagulation. Here, we review the contributions of endotheliopathy and endothelial-cell-derived extracellular vesicles to the pathogenesis of COVID-19, and discuss therapeutic strategies that target the endothelium in patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vascular Diseases , COVID-19/complications , Cytokines/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vascular Diseases/metabolism
8.
Am J Physiol Renal Physiol ; 322(3): F309-F321, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1799210

ABSTRACT

Substantial evidence has supported the role of endothelial cell (EC) activation and dysfunction in the development of hypertension, chronic kidney disease (CKD), and lupus nephritis (LN). In both humans and experimental models of hypertension, CKD, and LN, ECs become activated and release potent mediators of inflammation including cytokines, chemokines, and reactive oxygen species that cause EC dysfunction, tissue damage, and fibrosis. Factors that activate the endothelium include inflammatory cytokines, mechanical stretch, and pathological shear stress. These signals can activate the endothelium to promote upregulation of adhesion molecules, such as intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, which promote leukocyte adhesion and migration to the activated endothelium. More importantly, it is now recognized that some of these signals may in turn promote endothelial antigen presentation through major histocompatibility complex II. In this review, we will consider in-depth mechanisms of endothelial activation and the novel mechanism of endothelial antigen presentation. Moreover, we will discuss these proinflammatory events in renal pathologies and consider possible new therapeutic approaches to limit the untoward effects of endothelial inflammation in hypertension, CKD, and LN.


Subject(s)
Hypertension , Lupus Nephritis , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic , Cytokines/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Female , Humans , Hypertension/metabolism , Inflammation/metabolism , Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1/metabolism , Lupus Nephritis/metabolism , Male , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/metabolism , Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1/metabolism
9.
Physiol Rep ; 10(8): e15271, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1791646

ABSTRACT

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a major clinical problem without available therapies. Known risks for ARDS include severe sepsis, SARS-CoV-2, gram-negative bacteria, trauma, pancreatitis, and blood transfusion. During ARDS, blood fluids and inflammatory cells enter the alveoli, preventing oxygen exchange from air into blood vessels. Reduced pulmonary endothelial barrier function, resulting in leakage of plasma from blood vessels, is one of the major determinants in ARDS. It is, however, unknown why systemic inflammation particularly targets the pulmonary endothelium, as endothelial cells (ECs) line all vessels in the vascular system of the body. In this study, we examined ECs of pulmonary, umbilical, renal, pancreatic, and cardiac origin for upregulation of adhesion molecules, ability to facilitate neutrophil (PMN) trans-endothelial migration (TEM) and for endothelial barrier function, in response to the gram-negative bacterial endotoxin LPS. Interestingly, we found that upon LPS stimulation, pulmonary ECs showed increased levels of adhesion molecules, facilitated more PMN-TEM and significantly perturbed the endothelial barrier, compared to other types of ECs. These observations could partly be explained by a higher expression of the adhesion molecule ICAM-1 on the pulmonary endothelial surface compared to other ECs. Moreover, we identified an increased expression of Cadherin-13 in pulmonary ECs, for which we demonstrated that it aids PMN-TEM in pulmonary ECs stimulated with LPS. We conclude that pulmonary ECs are uniquely sensitive to LPS, and intrinsically different, compared to ECs from other vascular beds. This may add to our understanding of the development of ARDS upon systemic inflammation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , Cell Adhesion Molecules/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Humans , Inflammation/metabolism , Lipopolysaccharides/metabolism , Lipopolysaccharides/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Front Immunol ; 13: 776861, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1701723

ABSTRACT

Cardiovascular dysfunction and disease are common and frequently fatal complications of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Indeed, from early on during the SARS-CoV-2 virus pandemic it was recognized that cardiac complications may occur, even in patients with no underlying cardiac disorders, as part of the acute infection, and that these were associated with more severe disease and increased morbidity and mortality. The most common cardiac complication is acute cardiac injury, defined by significant elevation of cardiac troponins. The potential mechanisms of cardiovascular complications include direct viral myocardial injury, systemic inflammation induced by the virus, sepsis, arrhythmia, myocardial oxygen supply-demand mismatch, electrolyte abnormalities, and hypercoagulability. This review is focused on the prevalence, risk factors and clinical course of COVID-19-related myocardial injury, as well as on current data with regard to disease pathogenesis, specifically the interaction of platelets with the vascular endothelium. The latter section includes consideration of the role of SARS-CoV-2 proteins in triggering development of a generalized endotheliitis that, in turn, drives intense activation of platelets. Most prominently, SARS-CoV-2-induced endotheliitis involves interaction of the viral spike protein with endothelial angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) together with alternative mechanisms that involve the nucleocapsid and viroporin. In addition, the mechanisms by which activated platelets intensify endothelial activation and dysfunction, seemingly driven by release of the platelet-derived calcium-binding proteins, SA100A8 and SA100A9, are described. These events create a SARS-CoV-2-driven cycle of intravascular inflammation and coagulation, which contributes significantly to a poor clinical outcome in patients with severe disease.


Subject(s)
Blood Platelets/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Cardiovascular Diseases/pathology , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Platelet Activation/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/mortality , Cardiovascular Diseases/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Myocardium/pathology , Phosphoproteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
11.
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
12.
Brain Res ; 1780: 147804, 2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1654119

ABSTRACT

The socio-economic impact of diseases associated with cognitive impairment is increasing. According to the Alzheimer's Society there are over 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, costing the UK £26 billion in 2013. Therefore, research into treatment of those conditions is vital. Research into the cerebral endothelial glycocalyx (CeGC) could offer effective treatments. The CeGC, consisting of proteoglycans, glycoproteins and glycolipids, is a dynamic structure covering the luminal side oftheendothelial cells of capillaries throughout the body. The CeGC is thicker in cerebral micro vessels, suggesting specialisation for its function as part of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Recent research evidences that the CeGC is vital in protecting fragile parenchymal tissue and effective functioning of the BBB, as one particularly important CeGC function is to act as a protective barrier and permeability regulator. CeGC degradation is one of the factors which can lead to an increase in BBB permeability. It occurs naturally in aging, nevertheless, premature degradationhas beenevidencedin multipleconditions linked to cognitive impairment, such as inflammation,brain edema, cerebral malaria, Alzheimer's and recently Covid-19. Increasing knowledge of the mechanisms of CeGC damage has led to research into preventative techniques showing that CeGC is a possible diagnostic marker and a therapeutic target. However, the evidence is relatively new, inconsistent and demonstrated mainly in experimental models. This review evaluates the current knowledge of the CeGC, its structure, functions, damage and repair mechanisms and the impact of its degeneration on cognitive impairment in multiple conditions, highlighting the CeGC as a possible diagnostic marker and a potential target for therapeutic treatment.


Subject(s)
Blood-Brain Barrier/metabolism , Cognitive Dysfunction/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Glycocalyx/metabolism , Microvessels/metabolism , Blood-Brain Barrier/pathology , Cognitive Dysfunction/etiology , Cognitive Dysfunction/pathology , Endothelium, Vascular/pathology , Glycocalyx/pathology , Humans , Microvessels/pathology
13.
EBioMedicine ; 75: 103812, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1639102

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Thromboembolism is a life-threatening manifestation of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We investigated a dysfunctional phenotype of vascular endothelial cells in the lungs during COVID-19. METHODS: We obtained the lung specimens from the patients who died of COVID-19. The phenotype of endothelial cells and immune cells was examined by flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry (IHC) analysis. We tested the presence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in the endothelium using IHC and electron microscopy. FINDINGS: The autopsy lungs of COVID-19 patients exhibited severe coagulation abnormalities, immune cell infiltration, and platelet activation. Pulmonary endothelial cells of COVID-19 patients showed increased expression of procoagulant von Willebrand factor (VWF) and decreased expression of anticoagulants thrombomodulin and endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR). In the autopsy lungs of COVID-19 patients, the number of macrophages, monocytes, and T cells was increased, showing an activated phenotype. Despite increased immune cells, adhesion molecules such as ICAM-1, VCAM-1, E-selectin, and P-selectin were downregulated in pulmonary endothelial cells of COVID-19 patients. Notably, decreased thrombomodulin expression in endothelial cells was associated with increased immune cell infiltration in the COVID-19 patient lungs. There were no SARS-CoV-2 particles detected in the lung endothelium of COVID-19 patients despite their dysfunctional phenotype. Meanwhile, the autopsy lungs of COVID-19 patients showed SARS-CoV-2 virions in damaged alveolar epithelium and evidence of hypoxic injury. INTERPRETATION: Pulmonary endothelial cells become dysfunctional during COVID-19, showing a loss of thrombomodulin expression related to severe thrombosis and infiltration, and endothelial cell dysfunction might be caused by a pathologic condition in COVID-19 patient lungs rather than a direct infection with SARS-CoV-2. FUNDING: This work was supported by the Johns Hopkins University, the American Heart Association, and the National Institutes of Health.


Subject(s)
Blood Coagulation Disorders/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Down-Regulation , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Hypoxia/metabolism , Lung/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Thrombomodulin/biosynthesis , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Blood Coagulation Disorders/pathology , COVID-19/pathology , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/ultrastructure , Endothelium, Vascular/ultrastructure , Female , Humans , Hypoxia/pathology , Lung/ultrastructure , Male , Middle Aged
14.
Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol ; 59(2): 202-208, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1611359

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: In addition to the lungs, the placenta and the endothelium can be affected by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1) and placental growth factor (PlGF) are markers of endothelial dysfunction and could potentially serve as predictors of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We aimed to investigate the association of serum concentrations of sFlt-1 and PlGF with the severity of COVID-19 in pregnancy. METHODS: This was a prospective cohort study carried out in a tertiary care hospital in Mexico City, Mexico. Symptomatic pregnant women with a positive reverse-transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction test for SARS-CoV-2 infection who fulfilled the criteria for hospitalization were included. The primary outcome was severe pneumonia due to COVID-19. Secondary outcomes were intensive care unit (ICU) admission, viral sepsis and maternal death. sFlt-1 levels were expressed as multiples of the median (MoM). The association between sFlt-1 and each adverse outcome was explored by logistic regression analysis, adjusted for gestational age for outcomes occurring in more than five patients, and the predictive performance was assessed by receiver-operating-characteristics-curve analysis. RESULTS: Among 113 pregnant women with COVID-19, higher sFlt-1 MoM was associated with an increased probability of severe pneumonia (adjusted odds ratio (aOR), 1.817 (95% CI, 1.365-2.418)), ICU admission (aOR, 2.195 (95% CI, 1.582-3.047)), viral sepsis (aOR, 2.318 (95% CI, 1.407-3.820)) and maternal death (unadjusted OR, 5.504 (95% CI, 1.079-28.076)). At a 10% false-positive rate, sFlt-1 MoM had detection rates of 45.2%, 66.7%, 83.3% and 100% for severe COVID-19 pneumonia, ICU admission, viral sepsis and maternal death, respectively. PlGF values were similar between women with severe and those with non-severe COVID-19 pneumonia. CONCLUSION: sFlt-1 MoM is higher in pregnant women with severe COVID-19 and has the capability to predict serious adverse pregnancy events, such as severe pneumonia, ICU admission, viral sepsis and maternal death. © 2021 International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-1/blood , Adult , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Cohort Studies , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/physiopathology , Female , Gestational Age , Humans , Mexico/epidemiology , Mortality , Placenta/metabolism , Placenta/physiopathology , Placenta Growth Factor/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/etiology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/blood , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/diagnosis , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index
15.
FASEB J ; 36(1): e22052, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1550589

ABSTRACT

The glycocalyx surrounds every eukaryotic cell and is a complex mesh of proteins and carbohydrates. It consists of proteoglycans with glycosaminoglycan side chains, which are highly sulfated under normal physiological conditions. The degree of sulfation and the position of the sulfate groups mainly determine biological function. The intact highly sulfated glycocalyx of the epithelium may repel severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) through electrostatic forces. However, if the glycocalyx is undersulfated and 3-O-sulfotransferase 3B (3OST-3B) is overexpressed, as is the case during chronic inflammatory conditions, SARS-CoV-2 entry may be facilitated by the glycocalyx. The degree of sulfation and position of the sulfate groups will also affect functions such as immune modulation, the inflammatory response, vascular permeability and tone, coagulation, mediation of sheer stress, and protection against oxidative stress. The rate-limiting factor to sulfation is the availability of inorganic sulfate. Various genetic and epigenetic factors will affect sulfur metabolism and inorganic sulfate availability, such as various dietary factors, and exposure to drugs, environmental toxins, and biotoxins, which will deplete inorganic sulfate. The role that undersulfation plays in the various comorbid conditions that predispose to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is also considered. The undersulfated glycocalyx may not only increase susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection, but would also result in a hyperinflammatory response, vascular permeability, and shedding of the glycocalyx components, giving rise to a procoagulant and antifibrinolytic state and eventual multiple organ failure. These symptoms relate to a diagnosis of systemic septic shock seen in almost all COVID-19 deaths. The focus of prevention and treatment protocols proposed is the preservation of epithelial and endothelial glycocalyx integrity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Endothelial Cells , Endothelium, Vascular , Glycocalyx , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/pathology , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/pathology , Glycocalyx/metabolism , Glycocalyx/pathology , Glycocalyx/virology , Humans , Oxidative Stress , Sulfotransferases/metabolism
16.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(22)2021 Nov 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1524023

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19]) pandemic has raged for almost two years, with few signs of a sustained abatement or remission [...].


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Cardiovascular Diseases/complications , Diabetes Complications/pathology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Cardiovascular Diseases/metabolism , Cardiovascular Diseases/pathology , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/physiopathology , Humans , Lipoproteins, LDL/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
17.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(21)2021 Nov 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512382

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has become a global pandemic with a great impact on social and economic activities, as well as public health. In most patients, the symptoms of COVID-19 are a high-grade fever and a dry cough, and spontaneously resolve within ten days. However, in severe cases, COVID-19 leads to atypical bilateral interstitial pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and systemic thromboembolism, resulting in multiple organ failure with high mortality and morbidity. SARS-CoV-2 has immune evasion mechanisms, including inhibition of interferon signaling and suppression of T cell and B cell responses. SARS-CoV-2 infection directly and indirectly causes dysregulated immune responses, platelet hyperactivation, and endothelial dysfunction, which interact with each other and are exacerbated by cardiovascular risk factors. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on the pathogenic basis of thromboinflammation and endothelial injury in COVID-19. We highlight the distinct contributions of dysregulated immune responses, platelet hyperactivation, and endothelial dysfunction to the pathogenesis of COVID-19. In addition, we discuss potential therapeutic strategies targeting these mechanisms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Endothelium, Vascular/physiopathology , Thrombosis/etiology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Blood Coagulation , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Platelet Activation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
18.
Am J Pathol ; 192(1): 112-120, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1506166

ABSTRACT

Severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) increases the risk of myocardial injury that contributes to mortality. This study used multiparameter immunofluorescence to extensively examine heart autopsy tissue of 7 patients who died of COVID-19 compared to 12 control specimens, with or without cardiovascular disease. Consistent with prior reports, no evidence of viral infection or lymphocytic infiltration indicative of myocarditis was found. However, frequent and extensive thrombosis was observed in large and small vessels in the hearts of the COVID-19 cohort, findings that were infrequent in controls. The endothelial lining of thrombosed vessels typically lacked evidence of cytokine-mediated endothelial activation, assessed as nuclear expression of transcription factors p65 (RelA), pSTAT1, or pSTAT3, or evidence of inflammatory activation assessed by expression of intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), tissue factor, or von Willebrand factor (VWF). Intimal EC lining was also generally preserved with little evidence of cell death or desquamation. In contrast, there were frequent markers of neutrophil activation within myocardial thrombi in patients with COVID-19, including neutrophil-platelet aggregates, neutrophil-rich clusters within macrothrombi, and evidence of neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation. These findings point to alterations in circulating neutrophils rather than in the endothelium as contributors to the increased thrombotic diathesis in the hearts of COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronary Vessels , Myocarditis , Myocardium , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Thrombosis , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Blood Platelets/metabolism , Blood Platelets/pathology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Coronary Vessels/metabolism , Coronary Vessels/pathology , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/pathology , Female , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Myocarditis/metabolism , Myocarditis/pathology , Myocardium/metabolism , Myocardium/pathology , Neutrophil Activation , Neutrophils/metabolism , Neutrophils/pathology , Platelet Aggregation , Thrombosis/metabolism , Thrombosis/pathology
19.
Viruses ; 13(11)2021 11 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502528

ABSTRACT

Men are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), and face higher odds of severe illness and death compared to women. The vascular effects of androgen signaling and inflammatory cytokines in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2)-mediated endothelial injury are not defined. We determined the effects of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein-mediated endothelial injury under conditions of exposure to androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-α) and tested potentially therapeutic effects of mineralocorticoid receptor antagonism by spironolactone. Circulating endothelial injury markers VCAM-1 and E-selectin were measured in men and women diagnosed with COVID-19. Exposure of endothelial cells (ECs) in vitro to DHT exacerbated spike protein S1-mediated endothelial injury transcripts for the cell adhesion molecules E-selectin, VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 and anti-fibrinolytic PAI-1 (p < 0.05), and increased THP-1 monocyte adhesion to ECs (p = 0.032). Spironolactone dramatically reduced DHT+S1-induced endothelial activation. TNF-α exacerbated S1-induced EC activation, which was abrogated by pretreatment with spironolactone. Analysis from patients hospitalized with COVID-19 showed concordant higher circulating VCAM-1 and E-Selectin levels in men, compared to women. A beneficial effect of the FDA-approved drug spironolactone was observed on endothelial cells in vitro, supporting a rationale for further evaluation of mineralocorticoid antagonism as an adjunct treatment in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Dihydrotestosterone/pharmacology , Endothelium, Vascular/pathology , Inflammation , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/physiology , Spironolactone/pharmacology , Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists/pharmacology , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Adhesion Molecules/blood , Cells, Cultured , Endothelium, Vascular/drug effects , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Female , Humans , Male , Sex Characteristics , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/pharmacology , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/physiology , Valsartan/pharmacology
20.
Curr Med Chem ; 29(21): 3790-3805, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496773

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several studies have revealed the link between Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and endothelial dysfunction. To better understand the global pattern of this relationship, we conducted a meta-analysis on endothelial biomarkers related to COVID-19 severity. METHODS: We systematically searched the literature up to March 10, 2021, for studies investigating the association between COVID-19 severity and the following endothelial biomarkers: Intercellular Adhesion Molecule 1 (ICAM-1), Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule 1 (VCAM-1), E-selectin, P-selectin, Von Willebrand Factor Antigen (VWFAg), soluble Thrombomodulin (sTM), Mid-regional pro-adrenomedullin (MR-proADM), and Angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2). Pooled estimates and mean differences (PMD) for each biomarker were reported. RESULTS: A total of 27 studies (n=2213 patients) were included. Critically ill patients presented with higher levels of MR-proADM (PMD: 0.71 nmol/L, 95% CI: 0.22 to 1.20 nmol/L, p=0.02), E-selectin (PMD: 13,32 pg/ml, 95% CI: 4,89 to 21,75 pg/ml, p=0.008), VCAM-1 (PMD: 479 ng/ml, 95% CI: 64 to 896 ng/ml, p=0.03), VWF-Ag (PMD: 110.5 IU/dl, 95% CI: 44.8 to 176.1 IU/dl, p=0.04) and Ang-2 (PMD: 2388 pg/ml, 95% CI: 1121 to 3655 pg/ml, p=0.003), as compared to non-critically ill ones. ICAM-1, P-selectin and thrombomodulin did not differ between the two groups (p>0.05). CONCLUSION: Endothelial biomarkers display significant heterogeneity in COVID-19 patients, with higher MR-proADM, E-selectin, VCAM-1, VWF-Ag, and Ang-2 levels being associated with increased severity. These findings strengthen the evidence on the key role of endothelial dysfunction in disease progress.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vascular Diseases , Biomarkers/metabolism , COVID-19/diagnosis , E-Selectin/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Humans , Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1/metabolism , Thrombomodulin/metabolism , Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1/metabolism , Vascular Diseases/metabolism , von Willebrand Factor/analysis , von Willebrand Factor/metabolism
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