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1.
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
2.
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
3.
Elife ; 102021 10 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1485451

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV-2 infection leads to severe disease associated with cytokine storm, vascular dysfunction, coagulation, and progressive lung damage. It affects several vital organs, seemingly through a pathological effect on endothelial cells. The SARS-CoV-2 genome encodes 29 proteins, whose contribution to the disease manifestations, and especially endothelial complications, is unknown. We cloned and expressed 26 of these proteins in human cells and characterized the endothelial response to overexpression of each, individually. Whereas most proteins induced significant changes in endothelial permeability, nsp2, nsp5_c145a (catalytic dead mutant of nsp5), and nsp7 also reduced CD31, and increased von Willebrand factor expression and IL-6, suggesting endothelial dysfunction. Using propagation-based analysis of a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network, we predicted the endothelial proteins affected by the viral proteins that potentially mediate these effects. We further applied our PPI model to identify the role of each SARS-CoV-2 protein in other tissues affected by coronavirus disease (COVID-19). While validating the PPI network model, we found that the tight junction (TJ) proteins cadherin-5, ZO-1, and ß-catenin are affected by nsp2, nsp5_c145a, and nsp7 consistent with the model prediction. Overall, this work identifies the SARS-CoV-2 proteins that might be most detrimental in terms of endothelial dysfunction, thereby shedding light on vascular aspects of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Capillary Permeability , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Host-Pathogen Interactions , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells , Humans , Protein Interaction Maps , Tight Junction Proteins/metabolism
4.
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
5.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(20)2021 Oct 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470892

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases are characterized by a dysregulated inflammatory and thrombotic state, leading to devastating complications with increased morbidity and mortality rates. SUMMARY: In this review article, we present the available evidence regarding the impact of inflammation on platelet activation in atherosclerosis. Key messages: In the context of a dysfunctional vascular endothelium, structural alterations by means of endothelial glycocalyx thinning or functional modifications through impaired NO bioavailability and increased levels of von Willebrand factor result in platelet activation. Moreover, neutrophil-derived mediators, as well as neutrophil extracellular traps formation, have been implicated in the process of platelet activation and platelet-leukocyte aggregation. The role of pro-inflammatory cytokines is also critical since their receptors are also situated in platelets while TNF-α has also been found to induce inflammatory, metabolic, and bone marrow changes. Additionally, important progress has been made towards novel concepts of the interaction between inflammation and platelet activation, such as the toll-like receptors, myeloperoxidase, and platelet factor-4. The accumulating evidence is especially important in the era of the coronavirus disease-19 pandemic, characterized by an excessive inflammatory burden leading to thrombotic complications, partially mediated by platelet activation. Lastly, recent advances in anti-inflammatory therapies point towards an anti-thrombotic effect secondary to diminished platelet activation.


Subject(s)
Atherosclerosis/pathology , COVID-19/pathology , Inflammation Mediators/metabolism , Atherosclerosis/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Humans , Neutrophils/metabolism , Nitric Oxide/metabolism , Platelet Activation , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , von Willebrand Factor/metabolism
6.
Med Hypotheses ; 157: 110705, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1458628

ABSTRACT

Sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of hospitalization for COVID-19 independently of other factors. There is enough statistics to show that exercise prevents severe forms of COVID-19, but current recommendations do not set an upper limit for exercise intensity. The hypothesis presented in the paper states that intense exercise, through blood hypoxia, increases the expression of transmembrane angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (tACE2) in the vascular endothelium, increasing the risk of developing serious forms of disease, especially in the untrained. On the other hand, moderate-intensity exercise increases the blood concentration of soluble angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) which has a protective role for SARS-CoV-2 infection and may prevent complications. The importance of this hypothesis consists in the revision of COVID-19 prophylaxis programs through physical exercises, with the possibility of administration of antioxidants to speed up the adaptation of vascular endothelial cells to exertion.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Endothelial Cells , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Exercise , Humans , Renin-Angiotensin System , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Pharmacol Rev ; 73(3): 924-967, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1447969

ABSTRACT

The endothelium, a cellular monolayer lining the blood vessel wall, plays a critical role in maintaining multiorgan health and homeostasis. Endothelial functions in health include dynamic maintenance of vascular tone, angiogenesis, hemostasis, and the provision of an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antithrombotic interface. Dysfunction of the vascular endothelium presents with impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation, heightened oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, leukocyte adhesion and hyperpermeability, and endothelial cell senescence. Recent studies have implicated altered endothelial cell metabolism and endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition as new features of endothelial dysfunction. Endothelial dysfunction is regarded as a hallmark of many diverse human panvascular diseases, including atherosclerosis, hypertension, and diabetes. Endothelial dysfunction has also been implicated in severe coronavirus disease 2019. Many clinically used pharmacotherapies, ranging from traditional lipid-lowering drugs, antihypertensive drugs, and antidiabetic drugs to proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 inhibitors and interleukin 1ß monoclonal antibodies, counter endothelial dysfunction as part of their clinical benefits. The regulation of endothelial dysfunction by noncoding RNAs has provided novel insights into these newly described regulators of endothelial dysfunction, thus yielding potential new therapeutic approaches. Altogether, a better understanding of the versatile (dys)functions of endothelial cells will not only deepen our comprehension of human diseases but also accelerate effective therapeutic drug discovery. In this review, we provide a timely overview of the multiple layers of endothelial function, describe the consequences and mechanisms of endothelial dysfunction, and identify pathways to effective targeted therapies. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: The endothelium was initially considered to be a semipermeable biomechanical barrier and gatekeeper of vascular health. In recent decades, a deepened understanding of the biological functions of the endothelium has led to its recognition as a ubiquitous tissue regulating vascular tone, cell behavior, innate immunity, cell-cell interactions, and cell metabolism in the vessel wall. Endothelial dysfunction is the hallmark of cardiovascular, metabolic, and emerging infectious diseases. Pharmacotherapies targeting endothelial dysfunction have potential for treatment of cardiovascular and many other diseases.


Subject(s)
Atherosclerosis , COVID-19 , Cardiovascular Agents , Cardiovascular Diseases , Endothelium, Vascular , Atherosclerosis/drug therapy , Atherosclerosis/metabolism , Atherosclerosis/physiopathology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/physiopathology , Cardiovascular Agents/classification , Cardiovascular Agents/pharmacology , Cardiovascular Diseases/drug therapy , Cardiovascular Diseases/metabolism , Cardiovascular Diseases/physiopathology , Drug Discovery , Endothelium, Vascular/drug effects , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/physiopathology , Humans , Molecular Targeted Therapy/methods , Molecular Targeted Therapy/trends , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Biol Pharm Bull ; 44(10): 1371-1379, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1445700

ABSTRACT

The vascular permeability of the endothelium is finely controlled by vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin-mediated endothelial cell-cell junctions. In the majority of normal adult tissues, endothelial cells in blood vessels maintain vascular permeability at a relatively low level, while in response to inflammation, they limit vascular barrier function to induce plasma leakage and extravasation of immune cells as a defense mechanism. Thus, the dynamic but also simultaneously tight regulation of vascular permeability by endothelial cells is responsible for maintaining homeostasis and, as such, impairments of its underlying mechanisms result in hyperpermeability, leading to the development and progression of various diseases including coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a newly emerging infectious disease. Recently, increasing numbers of studies have been unveiling the important role of Rap1, a small guanosine 5'-triphosphatase (GTPase) belonging to the Ras superfamily, in the regulation of vascular permeability. Rap1 enhances VE-cadherin-mediated endothelial cell-cell junctions to potentiate vascular barrier functions via dynamic reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton. Importantly, Rap1 signaling activation reportedly improves vascular barrier function in animal models of various diseases associated with vascular hyperpermeability, suggesting that Rap1 might be an ideal target for drugs intended to prevent vascular barrier dysfunction. Here, we describe recent progress in understanding the mechanisms by which Rap1 potentiates VE-cadherin-mediated endothelial cell-cell adhesions and vascular barrier function. We also discuss how alterations in Rap1 signaling are related to vascular barrier dysfunction in diseases such as acute pulmonary injury and malignancies. In addition, we examine the possibility of Rap1 signaling as a target of drugs for treating diseases associated with vascular hyperpermeability.


Subject(s)
Antigens, CD/metabolism , Cadherins/metabolism , Capillary Permeability , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Intercellular Junctions/metabolism , rap1 GTP-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Animals , Humans
9.
Dis Model Mech ; 14(11)2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430507

ABSTRACT

Vascular permeability triggered by inflammation or ischemia promotes edema, exacerbates disease progression and impairs tissue recovery. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent inducer of vascular permeability. VEGF plays an integral role in regulating vascular barrier function physiologically and in pathologies, including cancer, stroke, cardiovascular disease, retinal conditions and COVID-19-associated pulmonary edema, sepsis and acute lung injury. Understanding temporal molecular regulation of VEGF-induced vascular permeability will facilitate developing therapeutics to inhibit vascular permeability, while preserving tissue-restorative angiogenesis. Here, we demonstrate that VEGF signals through signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) to promote vascular permeability. We show that genetic STAT3 ablation reduces vascular permeability in STAT3-deficient endothelium of mice and VEGF-inducible zebrafish crossed with CRISPR/Cas9-generated Stat3 knockout zebrafish. Intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) expression is transcriptionally regulated by STAT3, and VEGF-dependent STAT3 activation is regulated by JAK2. Pyrimethamine, an FDA-approved antimicrobial agent that inhibits STAT3-dependent transcription, substantially reduces VEGF-induced vascular permeability in zebrafish, mouse and human endothelium. Collectively, our findings suggest that VEGF/VEGFR-2/JAK2/STAT3 signaling regulates vascular barrier integrity, and inhibition of STAT3-dependent activity reduces VEGF-induced vascular permeability. This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.


Subject(s)
Capillary Permeability , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , STAT3 Transcription Factor/genetics , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A/metabolism , Animals , CRISPR-Cas Systems , Humans , Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1/metabolism , Janus Kinase 2/metabolism , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , Phosphorylation , STAT3 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Signal Transduction , Zebrafish
10.
Biomolecules ; 11(9)2021 09 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1408458

ABSTRACT

Systemic vascular damage with micro/macro-thrombosis is a typical feature of severe COVID-19. However, the pathogenesis of this damage and its predictive biomarkers remain poorly defined. For this reason, in this study, serum monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-2 and P- and E-selectin levels were analyzed in 204 patients with COVID-19. Serum MCP-2 and P-selectin were significantly higher in hospitalized patients compared with asymptomatic patients. Furthermore, MCP-2 increased with the WHO stage in hospitalized patients. After 1 week of hospitalization, MCP-2 levels were significantly reduced, while P-selectin increased in patients in WHO stage 3 and decreased in patients in WHO stages 5-7. Serum E-selectin was not significantly different between asymptomatic and hospitalized patients. The lower MCP-2 levels after 1 week suggest that endothelial damage triggered by monocytes occurs early in COVID-19 disease progression. MCP-2 may also predict COVID-19 severity. The increase in P-selectin levels, which further increased in mild patients and reduced in severe patients after 1 week of hospitalization, suggests that the inactive form of the protein produced by the cleavage of the active protein from the platelet membrane is present. This may be used to identify a subset of patients that would benefit from targeted therapies. The unchanged levels of E-selectin in these patients suggest that endothelial damage is less relevant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chemokine CCL8/blood , E-Selectin/blood , Endothelium, Vascular , P-Selectin/blood , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/pathology , Endothelium, Vascular/injuries , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/pathology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/metabolism , Monocytes/pathology
11.
Trends Endocrinol Metab ; 32(11): 875-889, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401891

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused a pandemic of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, known as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). SARS-CoV-2 encodes the structural proteins spike (S), envelope (E), membrane (M), and nucleocapsid (N). The receptor-binding domain on the surface subunit S1 is responsible for attachment of the virus to angiotensin (Ang)-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which is highly expressed in host cells. The cytokine storm observed in patients with COVID-19 contributes to the endothelial vascular dysfunction, which can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome, multiorgan failure, alteration in iron homeostasis, and death. Growth and differentiation factor 15 (GDF15), which belongs to the transforming growth factor-ß (TGF-ß) superfamily of proteins, has a pivotal role in the development and progression of diseases because of its role as a metabolic regulator. In COVID-19, GDF15 activity increases in response to tissue damage. GDF15 appears to be a strong predictor of poor outcomes in patients critically ill with COVID-19 and acts as an 'inflammation-induced central mediator of tissue tolerance' via its metabolic properties. In this review, we examine the potential properties of GDF15 as an emerging modulator of immunity in COVID-19 in association with iron metabolism. The virus life cycle in host cell provides potential targets for drug therapy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Endothelium, Vascular/immunology , Growth Differentiation Factor 15/immunology , Iron/metabolism , Apoptosis/immunology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , Cytokine Release Syndrome/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/physiopathology , Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Receptors/immunology , Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Receptors/metabolism , Growth Differentiation Factor 15/metabolism , Humans , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , Oxidative Stress/immunology , Prognosis , Pyroptosis/immunology , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Sci Adv ; 6(48)2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388431

ABSTRACT

Acute respiratory distress syndrome is associated with a robust inflammatory response that damages the vascular endothelium, impairing gas exchange. While restoration of microcapillaries is critical to avoid mortality, therapeutic targeting of this process requires a greater understanding of endothelial repair mechanisms. Here, we demonstrate that lung endothelium possesses substantial regenerative capacity and lineage tracing reveals that native endothelium is the source of vascular repair after influenza injury. Ablation of chicken ovalbumin upstream promoter-transcription factor 2 (COUP-TF2) (Nr2f2), a transcription factor implicated in developmental angiogenesis, reduced endothelial proliferation, exacerbating viral lung injury in vivo. In vitro, COUP-TF2 regulates proliferation and migration through activation of cyclin D1 and neuropilin 1. Upon influenza injury, nuclear factor κB suppresses COUP-TF2, but surviving endothelial cells ultimately reestablish vascular homeostasis dependent on restoration of COUP-TF2. Therefore, stabilization of COUP-TF2 may represent a therapeutic strategy to enhance recovery from pathogens, including H1N1 influenza and SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COUP Transcription Factor II/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Lung/cytology , Lung/physiology , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/metabolism , Regeneration/genetics , Animals , COUP Transcription Factor II/genetics , Cell Movement/genetics , Cell Proliferation/genetics , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Gene Knockout Techniques , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/virology , Transfection
14.
Biomolecules ; 11(5)2021 04 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1334991

ABSTRACT

The vascular endothelium acts as a selective barrier to regulate macromolecule exchange between the blood and tissues. However, the integrity of the endothelium barrier is compromised in an array of pathological settings, including ischemic disease and cancer, which are the leading causes of death worldwide. The resulting vascular hyperpermeability to plasma molecules as well as leukocytes then leads to tissue damaging edema formation and inflammation. The vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) is a potent permeability factor, and therefore a desirable target for impeding vascular hyperpermeability. However, VEGFA also promotes angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels, which is required for reperfusion of ischemic tissues. Moreover, edema increases interstitial pressure in poorly perfused tumors, thereby affecting the delivery of therapeutics, which could be counteracted by stimulating the growth of new functional blood vessels. Thus, targets must be identified to accurately modulate the barrier function of blood vessels without affecting angiogenesis, as well as to develop more effective pro- or anti-angiogenic therapies. Recent studies have shown that the VEGFA co-receptor neuropilin 1 (NRP1) could be playing a fundamental role in steering VEGFA-induced responses of vascular endothelial cells towards angiogenesis or vascular permeability. Moreover, NRP1 is involved in mediating permeability signals induced by ligands other than VEGFA. This review therefore focuses on current knowledge on the role of NRP1 in the regulation of vascular permeability signaling in the endothelium to provide an up-to-date landscape of the current knowledge in this field.


Subject(s)
Capillary Permeability , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Neuropilin-1/metabolism , Animals , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Signal Transduction , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A/metabolism
15.
J Neuroinflammation ; 18(1): 167, 2021 Jul 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1331945

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Neurological complications are common in patients affected by COVID-19 due to the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to infect brains. While the mechanisms of this process are not fully understood, it has been proposed that SARS-CoV-2 can infect the cells of the neurovascular unit (NVU), which form the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The aim of the current study was to analyze the expression pattern of the main SARS-CoV-2 receptors in naïve and HIV-1-infected cells of the NVU in order to elucidate a possible pathway of the virus entry into the brain and a potential modulatory impact of HIV-1 in this process. METHODS: The gene and protein expression profile of ACE2, TMPRSS2, ADAM17, BSG, DPP4, AGTR2, ANPEP, cathepsin B, and cathepsin L was assessed by qPCR, immunoblotting, and immunostaining, respectively. In addition, we investigated if brain endothelial cells can be affected by the exposure to the S1 subunit of the S protein, the domain responsible for the direct binding of SARS-CoV-2 to the ACE2 receptors. RESULTS: The receptors involved in SARS-CoV-2 infection are co-expressed in the cells of the NVU, especially in astrocytes and microglial cells. These receptors are functionally active as exposure of endothelial cells to the SARS CoV-2 S1 protein subunit altered the expression pattern of tight junction proteins, such as claudin-5 and ZO-1. Additionally, HIV-1 infection upregulated ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression in brain astrocytes and microglia cells. CONCLUSIONS: These findings provide key insight into SARS-CoV-2 recognition by cells of the NVU and may help to develop possible treatment of CNS complications of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Blood Vessels/metabolism , COVID-19/complications , HIV Infections/metabolism , HIV-1 , Neurons/metabolism , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Astrocytes/metabolism , Brain Diseases/etiology , Cells, Cultured , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Humans , Microglia/metabolism , Nervous System Diseases/etiology , Primary Cell Culture , Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 2 , Virus Replication
16.
JCI Insight ; 6(17)2021 09 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1327774

ABSTRACT

Vascular injury has emerged as a complication contributing to morbidity in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The glycosaminoglycan hyaluronan (HA) is a major component of the glycocalyx, a protective layer of glycoconjugates that lines the vascular lumen and regulates key endothelial cell functions. During critical illness, as in the case of sepsis, enzymes degrade the glycocalyx, releasing fragments with pathologic activities into circulation and thereby exacerbating disease. Here, we analyzed levels of circulating glycosaminoglycans in 46 patients with COVID-19 ranging from moderate to severe clinical severity and measured activities of corresponding degradative enzymes. This report provides evidence that the glycocalyx becomes significantly damaged in patients with COVID-19 and corresponds with severity of disease. Circulating HA fragments and hyaluronidase, 2 signatures of glycocalyx injury, strongly associate with sequential organ failure assessment scores and with increased inflammatory cytokine levels in patients with COVID-19. Pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells exposed to COVID-19 milieu show dysregulated HA biosynthesis and degradation, leading to production of pathological HA fragments that are released into circulation. Finally, we show that HA fragments present at high levels in COVID-19 patient plasma can directly induce endothelial barrier dysfunction in a ROCK- and CD44-dependent manner, indicating a role for HA in the vascular pathology of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Hyaluronic Acid/metabolism , Aged , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/pathology , Cytokines/blood , Endothelium, Vascular/pathology , Female , Glycocalyx/metabolism , Glycocalyx/pathology , Humans , Hyaluronan Receptors/metabolism , Hyaluronic Acid/blood , Hyaluronoglucosaminidase/blood , Hyaluronoglucosaminidase/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , rho-Associated Kinases/metabolism
17.
Microvasc Res ; 138: 104224, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1309345

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several studies have reported that the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can directly infect endothelial cells, and endothelial dysfunction is often found in severe cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). To better understand the prognostic values of endothelial dysfunction in COVID-19-associated coagulopathy, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess biomarkers of endothelial cells in patients with COVID-19. METHODS: A literature search was conducted on online databases for observational studies evaluating biomarkers of endothelial dysfunction and composite poor outcomes in COVID-19 patients. RESULTS: A total of 1187 patients from 17 studies were included in this analysis. The estimated pooled means for von Willebrand Factor (VWF) antigen levels in COVID-19 patients was higher compared to healthy control (306.42 [95% confidence interval (CI) 291.37-321.48], p < 0.001; I2:86%), with the highest VWF antigen levels was found in deceased COVID-19 patients (448.57 [95% CI 407.20-489.93], p < 0.001; I2:0%). Meta-analysis showed that higher plasma levels of VWF antigen, tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 antigen (PAI-1) antigen, and soluble thrombomodulin (sTM) were associated with composite poor outcome in COVID-19 patients ([standardized mean difference (SMD) 0.74 [0.33-1.16], p < 0.001; I2:80.4%], [SMD 0.55 [0.19-0.92], p = 0.003; I2:6.4%], [SMD 0.33 [0.04-0.62], p = 0.025; I2:7.9%], and [SMD 0.55 [0.10-0.99], p = 0.015; I2:23.6%], respectively). CONCLUSION: The estimated pooled means show increased levels of VWF antigen in COVID-19 patients. Several biomarkers of endothelial dysfunction, including VFW antigen, t-PA, PAI-1, and sTM, are significantly associated with increased composite poor outcomes in patients with COVID-19. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42021228821.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1/blood , Thrombomodulin/blood , Tissue Plasminogen Activator/blood , von Willebrand Factor/analysis , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/therapy , Endothelium, Vascular/physiopathology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Predictive Value of Tests , Prognosis
18.
Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol ; 321(2): L358-L376, 2021 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280497

ABSTRACT

Capillary endothelial cells possess a specialized metabolism necessary to adapt to the unique alveolar-capillary environment. Here, we highlight how endothelial metabolism preserves the integrity of the pulmonary circulation by controlling vascular permeability, defending against oxidative stress, facilitating rapid migration and angiogenesis in response to injury, and regulating the epigenetic landscape of endothelial cells. Recent reports on single-cell RNA-sequencing reveal subpopulations of pulmonary capillary endothelial cells with distinctive reparative capacities, which potentially offer new insight into their metabolic signature. Lastly, we discuss broad implications of pulmonary vascular metabolism on acute respiratory distress syndrome, touching on emerging findings of endotheliitis in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lungs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Neovascularization, Pathologic/pathology , Pulmonary Circulation , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Endothelium, Vascular/pathology , Endothelium, Vascular/virology , Humans , Neovascularization, Pathologic/metabolism , Neovascularization, Pathologic/virology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/metabolism , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/pathology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology
19.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(12)2021 Jun 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1273455

ABSTRACT

Inflammation is an old concept that has started to be considered as an important factor in infection and chronic diseases. The role of leukocytes, the plasmatic components, then of the mediators such as prostaglandins, cytokines, and, in recent decades, of the endothelium has completed the concept of the inflammation process. The function of the endothelium appeared to be crucial as a regulator or the initiator of the inflammatory process. Culture of human endothelial cells and experimental systems made it possible to define the molecular basis of inflammation in vascular diseases, in diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis, vasculitis and thromboembolic complications. Advanced glycation end product receptor (RAGE), present on endothelial cells (ECs) and monocytes, participates in the activation of these cells in inflammatory conditions. Inflammasome is a cytosolic multiprotein that controls the response to diverse microorganisms. It is positively regulated by stimulator of interferon response CGAMP interactor-1 (STING1). Angiogenesis and thrombotic events are dysregulated during inflammation. ECs appear to be a protector, but also a possible initiator of thrombosis.


Subject(s)
Atherosclerosis/pathology , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Thrombosis/pathology , Atherosclerosis/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/cytology , Humans , Inflammasomes/metabolism , Membrane Proteins/metabolism , Neovascularization, Physiologic , Nitric Oxide/metabolism , Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products/metabolism , Thrombosis/metabolism
20.
PLoS One ; 16(5): e0252026, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1243847

ABSTRACT

To investigate the mechanisms underlying the SARS-CoV-2 infection severity observed in patients with obesity, we performed a prospective study of 51 patients evaluating the impact of multiple immune parameters during 2 weeks after admission, on vital organs' functions according to body mass index (BMI) categories. High-dimensional flow cytometric characterization of immune cell subsets was performed at admission, 30 systemic cytokines/chemokines levels were sequentially measured, thirteen endothelial markers were determined at admission and at the zenith of the cytokines. Computed tomography scans on admission were quantified for lung damage and hepatic steatosis (n = 23). Abnormal BMI (> 25) observed in 72.6% of patients, was associated with a higher rate of intensive care unit hospitalization (p = 0.044). SARS-CoV-2 RNAaemia, peripheral immune cell subsets and cytokines/chemokines were similar among BMI groups. A significant association between inflammatory cytokines and liver, renal, and endothelial dysfunctions was observed only in patients with obesity (BMI > 30). In contrast, early signs of lung damage (ground-glass opacity) correlated with Th1/M1/inflammatory cytokines only in normal weight patients. Later lesions of pulmonary consolidation correlated with BMI but were independent of cytokine levels. Our study reveals distinct physiopathological mechanisms associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with obesity that may have important clinical implications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Cytokines/metabolism , Liver/physiopathology , Lung/physiopathology , Obesity/pathology , Aged , Biomarkers/metabolism , Body Mass Index , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Chemokines/blood , Chemokines/metabolism , Cytokines/blood , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/physiopathology , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Liver/diagnostic imaging , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Male , Middle Aged , Obesity/complications , Prospective Studies , RNA, Viral/blood , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index
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