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1.
J Am Soc Nephrol ; 32(9): 2242-2254, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702796

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) causes significan t morbidity, mainly from pulmonary involvement, extrapulmonary symptoms are also major componen ts of the disease. Kidney disease, usually presenting as AKI, is particularly severe among patients with COVID-19. It is unknown, however, whether such injury results from direct kidney infection with COVID-19's causative virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), or from indirect mechanisms. METHODS: Using ex vivo cell models, we sought to analyze SARS-CoV-2 interactions with kidney tubular cells and assess direct tubular injury. These models comprised primary human kidney epithelial cells (derived from nephrectomies) and grown as either proliferating monolayers or quiescent three-dimensional kidney spheroids. RESULTS: We demonstrated that viral entry molecules and high baseline levels of type 1 IFN-related molecules were present in monolayers and kidney spheroids. Although both models support viral infection and replication, they did not exhibit a cytopathic effect and cell death, outcomes that were strongly present in SARS-CoV-2-infected controls (African green monkey kidney clone E6 [Vero E6] cultures). A comparison of monolayer and spheroid cultures demonstrated higher infectivity and replication of SARS-CoV-2 in actively proliferating monolayers, although the spheroid cultures exhibited high er levels of ACE2. Monolayers exhibited elevation of some tubular injury molecules-including molecules related to fibrosis (COL1A1 and STAT6) and dedifferentiation (SNAI2)-and a loss of cell identity, evident by reduction in megalin (LRP2). The three-dimensional spheroids were less prone to such injury. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 can infect kidney cells without a cytopathic effect. AKI-induced cellular proliferation may potentially intensify infectivity and tubular damage by SARS-CoV-2, suggesting that early intervention in AKI is warranted to help minimize kidney infection.


Subject(s)
Acute Kidney Injury/etiology , Acute Kidney Injury/virology , COVID-19/complications , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spheroids, Cellular/virology , Animals , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cohort Studies , Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Host Microbial Interactions , Humans , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Kidney/immunology , Kidney/pathology , Kidney/virology , Mice , Mice, Inbred NOD , Mice, SCID , Models, Biological , Pandemics , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spheroids, Cellular/pathology , Vero Cells , Virus Replication
2.
Clin Epigenetics ; 13(1): 210, 2021 11 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1533277

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The thymic microenvironment is mainly comprised of thymic epithelial cells, the cytokines, exosomes, surface molecules, and hormones from the cells, and plays a vital role in the development, differentiation, maturation and homeostasis of T lymphocytes. However, the thymus begins to degenerate as early as the second year of life and continues through aging in human beings, leading to a decreased output of naïve T cells, the limited TCR diversity and an expansion of monoclonal memory T cells in the periphery organs. These alternations will reduce the adaptive immune response to tumors and emerging infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, also it is easier to suffer from autoimmune diseases in older people. In the context of global aging, it is important to investigate and clarify the causes and mechanisms of thymus involution. MAIN BODY: Epigenetics include histone modification, DNA methylation, non-coding RNA effects, and chromatin remodeling. In this review, we discuss how senescent thymic epithelial cells determine and control age-related thymic atrophy, how this process is altered by epigenetic modification. How the thymus adipose influences the dysfunctions of the thymic epithelial cells, and the prospects of targeting thymic epithelial cells for the treatment of thymus atrophy. CONCLUSION: Epigenetic modifications are emerging as key regulators in governing the development and senescence of thymic epithelial cells. It is beneficial to re-establish effective thymopoiesis, identify the potential therapeutic strategy and rejuvenate the immune function in the elderly.


Subject(s)
Aging/physiology , Epigenesis, Genetic/physiology , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Thymus Gland/pathology , Atrophy , Humans
3.
Cell Host Microbe ; 29(12): 1788-1801.e6, 2021 12 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1509671

ABSTRACT

Previous work found that the co-occurring mutations R203K/G204R on the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N) protein are increasing in frequency among emerging variants of concern or interest. Through a combination of in silico analyses, this study demonstrates that R203K/G204R are adaptive, while large-scale phylogenetic analyses indicate that R203K/G204R associate with the emergence of the high-transmissibility SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7. Competition experiments suggest that the 203K/204R variants possess a replication advantage over the preceding R203/G204 variants, possibly related to ribonucleocapsid (RNP) assembly. Moreover, the 203K/204R virus shows increased infectivity in human lung cells and hamsters. Accordingly, we observe a positive association between increased COVID-19 severity and sample frequency of 203K/204R. Our work suggests that the 203K/204R mutations contribute to the increased transmission and virulence of select SARS-CoV-2 variants. In addition to mutations in the spike protein, mutations in the nucleocapsid protein are important for viral spreading during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Amino Acid Substitution , COVID-19/pathology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Genome, Viral , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Cricetulus , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Gene Expression , Genetic Fitness , Humans , Models, Molecular , Mutagenesis , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Phylogeny , Protein Conformation , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Selection, Genetic , Severity of Illness Index , Virion/genetics , Virion/growth & development , Virion/pathogenicity , Virulence , Virus Replication
4.
Theranostics ; 12(1): 324-339, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512992

ABSTRACT

Background: Macrophage infiltration around lipotoxic tubular epithelial cells (TECs) is a hallmark of diabetic nephropathy (DN). However, how these two types of cells communicate remains obscure. We previously demonstrated that LRG1 was elevated in the process of kidney injury. Here, we demonstrated that macrophage-derived, LRG1-enriched extracellular vesicles (EVs) exacerbated DN. Methods: We induced an experimental T2DM mouse model with a HFD diet for four months. Renal primary epithelial cells and macrophage-derived EVs were isolated from T2D mice by differential ultracentrifugation. To investigate whether lipotoxic TEC-derived EV (EVe) activate macrophages, mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) were incubated with EVe. To investigate whether activated macrophage-derived EVs (EVm) induce lipotoxic TEC apoptosis, EVm were cocultured with primary renal tubular epithelial cells. Subsequently, we evaluated the effect of LRG1 in EVe by investigating the apoptosis mechanism. Results: We demonstrated that incubation of primary TECs of DN or HK-2 mTECs with lysophosphatidyl choline (LPC) increased the release of EVe. Interestingly, TEC-derived EVe activated an inflammatory phenotype in macrophages and induced the release of macrophage-derived EVm. Furthermore, EVm could induce apoptosis in TECs injured by LPC. Importantly, we found that leucine-rich α-2-glycoprotein 1 (LRG1)-enriched EVe activated macrophages via a TGFßR1-dependent process and that tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)-enriched EVm induced apoptosis in injured TECs via a death receptor 5 (DR5)-dependent process. Conclusion: Our findings indicated a novel cell communication mechanism between tubular epithelial cells and macrophages in DN, which could be a potential therapeutic target.


Subject(s)
Diabetes Mellitus/metabolism , Diabetic Nephropathies/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Macrophages/metabolism , Animals , Apoptosis , Cell Communication , Cell Line , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Macrophages/pathology , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL
5.
Nat Genet ; 53(11): 1606-1615, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1503871

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS­CoV­2) disease (COVID-19) pandemic has caused millions of deaths worldwide. Genome-wide association studies identified the 3p21.31 region as conferring a twofold increased risk of respiratory failure. Here, using a combined multiomics and machine learning approach, we identify the gain-of-function risk A allele of an SNP, rs17713054G>A, as a probable causative variant. We show with chromosome conformation capture and gene-expression analysis that the rs17713054-affected enhancer upregulates the interacting gene, leucine zipper transcription factor like 1 (LZTFL1). Selective spatial transcriptomic analysis of lung biopsies from patients with COVID-19 shows the presence of signals associated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a viral response pathway that is regulated by LZTFL1. We conclude that pulmonary epithelial cells undergoing EMT, rather than immune cells, are likely responsible for the 3p21.31-associated risk. Since the 3p21.31 effect is conferred by a gain-of-function, LZTFL1 may represent a therapeutic target.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Chromosomes, Human, Pair 3/genetics , Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition , Lung/virology , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Transcription Factors/genetics , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Genome-Wide Association Study , Humans , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Male , Transcription Factors/metabolism
6.
Front Immunol ; 12: 735922, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477823

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a major public health issue. COVID-19 is considered an airway/multi-systemic disease, and demise has been associated with an uncontrolled immune response and a cytokine storm in response to the virus. However, the lung pathology, immune response, and tissue damage associated with COVID-19 demise are poorly described and understood due to safety concerns. Using post-mortem lung tissues from uninfected and COVID-19 deadly cases as well as an unbiased combined analysis of histology, multi-viral and host markers staining, correlative microscopy, confocal, and image analysis, we identified three distinct phenotypes of COVID-19-induced lung damage. First, a COVID-19-induced hemorrhage characterized by minimal immune infiltration and large thrombus; Second, a COVID-19-induced immune infiltration with excessive immune cell infiltration but no hemorrhagic events. The third phenotype correspond to the combination of the two previous ones. We observed the loss of alveolar wall integrity, detachment of lung tissue pieces, fibroblast proliferation, and extensive fibrosis in all three phenotypes. Although lung tissues studied were from lethal COVID-19, a strong immune response was observed in all cases analyzed with significant B cell and poor T cell infiltrations, suggesting an exhausted or compromised immune cellular response in these patients. Overall, our data show that SARS-CoV-2-induced lung damage is highly heterogeneous. These individual differences need to be considered to understand the acute and long-term COVID-19 consequences.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/pathology , Lung Injury/pathology , Pulmonary Alveoli/pathology , Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Autopsy , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/mortality , Cytokine Release Syndrome/pathology , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Female , Hemorrhage/pathology , Humans , Inflammation/pathology , Lung/pathology , Lung Injury/virology , Lymphopenia/pathology , Macrophage Activation/immunology , Macrophages/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Myocytes, Smooth Muscle/pathology , Neutrophils/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombosis/pathology
8.
Cell ; 184(19): 4953-4968.e16, 2021 09 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1363913

ABSTRACT

Severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is characterized by overproduction of immune mediators, but the role of interferons (IFNs) of the type I (IFN-I) or type III (IFN-III) families remains debated. We scrutinized the production of IFNs along the respiratory tract of COVID-19 patients and found that high levels of IFN-III, and to a lesser extent IFN-I, characterize the upper airways of patients with high viral burden but reduced disease risk or severity. Production of specific IFN-III, but not IFN-I, members denotes patients with a mild pathology and efficiently drives the transcription of genes that protect against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). In contrast, compared to subjects with other infectious or noninfectious lung pathologies, IFNs are overrepresented in the lower airways of patients with severe COVID-19 that exhibit gene pathways associated with increased apoptosis and decreased proliferation. Our data demonstrate a dynamic production of IFNs in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients and show IFNs play opposing roles at distinct anatomical sites.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Interferons/metabolism , Respiratory System/virology , Severity of Illness Index , Age Factors , Aging/pathology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Interferons/genetics , Leukocytes/pathology , Leukocytes/virology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/pathology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , Viral Load
9.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(16)2021 Aug 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1360774

ABSTRACT

Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), built from mitochondrial or nuclear DNA, proteinases, and histones, entrap and eliminate pathogens in the course of bacterial or viral infections. Neutrophils' activation and the formation of NETs have been described as major risk factors for acute lung injury, multi-organ damage, and mortality in COVID-19 disease. NETs-related lung injury involves both epithelial and endothelial cells, as well as the alveolar-capillary barrier. The markers for NETs formation, such as circulating DNA, neutrophil elastase (NE) activity, or myeloperoxidase-DNA complexes, were found in lung specimens of COVID-19 victims, as well as in sera and tracheal aspirates obtained from COVID-19 patients. DNA threads form large conglomerates causing local obstruction of the small bronchi and together with NE are responsible for overproduction of mucin by epithelial cells. Various components of NETs are involved in the pathogenesis of cytokine storm in SARS-CoV-2 pulmonary disease. NETs are responsible for the interplay between inflammation and thrombosis in the affected lungs. The immunothrombosis, stimulated by NETs, has a poor prognostic significance. Better understanding of the role of NETs in the course of COVID-19 can help to develop novel approaches to the therapeutic interventions in this condition.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Extracellular Traps/virology , Lung/immunology , Neutrophils/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/virology , Endothelial Cells/pathology , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Extracellular Traps/immunology , Histones/immunology , Humans , Leukocyte Elastase/deficiency , Leukocyte Elastase/immunology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Neutrophil Activation , Neutrophils/virology , Peroxidase/immunology
10.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4354, 2021 07 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1315596

ABSTRACT

Understanding how SARS-CoV-2 spreads within the respiratory tract is important to define the parameters controlling the severity of COVID-19. Here we examine the functional and structural consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a reconstructed human bronchial epithelium model. SARS-CoV-2 replication causes a transient decrease in epithelial barrier function and disruption of tight junctions, though viral particle crossing remains limited. Rather, SARS-CoV-2 replication leads to a rapid loss of the ciliary layer, characterized at the ultrastructural level by axoneme loss and misorientation of remaining basal bodies. Downregulation of the master regulator of ciliogenesis Foxj1 occurs prior to extensive cilia loss, implicating this transcription factor in the dedifferentiation of ciliated cells. Motile cilia function is compromised by SARS-CoV-2 infection, as measured in a mucociliary clearance assay. Epithelial defense mechanisms, including basal cell mobilization and interferon-lambda induction, ramp up only after the initiation of cilia damage. Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Syrian hamsters further demonstrates the loss of motile cilia in vivo. This study identifies cilia damage as a pathogenic mechanism that could facilitate SARS-CoV-2 spread to the deeper lung parenchyma.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Cilia/ultrastructure , Mucociliary Clearance/physiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Axoneme , Basal Bodies , Cilia/metabolism , Cilia/pathology , Cricetinae , Cytokines , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Forkhead Transcription Factors/metabolism , Humans , Lung/pathology , Male , Mesocricetus , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/pathology , Virus Replication
11.
J Virol ; 95(18): e0085321, 2021 08 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1299218

ABSTRACT

Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) is an enteric coronavirus causing acute intestinal infection in pigs, with high mortality often seen in neonatal pigs. The newborns rely on innate immune responses against invading pathogens because of lacking adaptive immunity. However, how PEDV disables the innate immunity of newborns toward severe infection remains unknown. We found that PEDV infection led to reduced expression of histone deacetylases (HDACs), especially HDAC1, in porcine IPEC-J2 cells. HDACs are considered important regulators of innate immunity. We hypothesized that PEDV interacts with certain host factors to regulate HDAC1 expression in favor of its replication. We show that HDAC1 acted as a negative regulator of PEDV replication in IPEC-J2 cells, as shown by chemical inhibition, gene knockout, and overexpression. A GC-box (GCCCCACCCCC) within the HDAC1 promoter region was identified for Sp1 binding in IPEC-J2 cells. Treatment of the cells with Sp1 inhibitor mithramycin A inhibited HDAC1 expression, indicating direct regulation of HDAC1 expression by Sp1. Of the viral proteins that were overexpressed in IPEC-J2 cells, the N protein was found to be present in the nuclei and more inhibitory to HDAC1 transcription. The putative nuclear localization sequence 261PKKNKSR267 contributed to its nuclear localization. The N protein interacted with Sp1 and interfered with its binding to the promoter region, thereby inhibiting its transcriptional activity for HDAC1 expression. Our findings reveal a novel mechanism of PEDV evasion of the host responses, offering implications for studying the infection processes of other coronaviruses. IMPORTANCE The enteric coronavirus porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) causes fatal acute intestinal infection in neonatal pigs that rely on innate immune responses. Histone deacetylases (HDACs) play important roles in innate immune regulation. Our study found PEDV suppresses HDAC1 expression via the interaction of its N protein and porcine Sp1, which identified a novel mechanism of PEDV evasion of the host responses to benefit its replication. This study suggests that other coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, also make use of their N proteins to intercept the host immune responses in favor of their infection.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Epithelial Cells/virology , Histone Deacetylase 1/antagonists & inhibitors , Intestinal Mucosa/virology , Sp1 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Swine Diseases/virology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication , Animals , Cells, Cultured , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Intestinal Mucosa/metabolism , Intestinal Mucosa/pathology , Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus/pathogenicity , Sp1 Transcription Factor/genetics , Swine , Swine Diseases/metabolism , Swine Diseases/pathology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics
12.
Front Immunol ; 12: 663303, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1291384

ABSTRACT

The release of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), a process termed NETosis, avoids pathogen spread but may cause tissue injury. NETs have been found in severe COVID-19 patients, but their role in disease development is still unknown. The aim of this study is to assess the capacity of NETs to drive epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of lung epithelial cells and to analyze the involvement of NETs in COVID-19. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of severe COVID-19 patients showed high concentration of NETs that correlates with neutrophils count; moreover, the analysis of lung tissues of COVID-19 deceased patients showed a subset of alveolar reactive pneumocytes with a co-expression of epithelial marker and a mesenchymal marker, confirming the induction of EMT mechanism after severe SARS-CoV2 infection. By airway in vitro models, cultivating A549 or 16HBE at air-liquid interface, adding alveolar macrophages (AM), neutrophils and SARS-CoV2, we demonstrated that to trigger a complete EMT expression pattern are necessary the induction of NETosis by SARS-CoV2 and the secretion of AM factors (TGF-ß, IL8 and IL1ß). All our results highlight the possible mechanism that can induce lung fibrosis after SARS-CoV2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/physiopathology , Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition , Extracellular Traps/metabolism , Neutrophils/metabolism , Adult , Biopsy , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/cytology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Line , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Humans , Lung/pathology , Pulmonary Fibrosis/etiology , Pulmonary Fibrosis/metabolism
13.
J Cell Mol Med ; 25(14): 7001-7012, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1276684

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has resulted in many deaths throughout the world. It is vital to identify the novel prognostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets to assist with the subsequent diagnosis and treatment plan to mitigate the expansion of COVID-19. Since angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)-positive cells are hosts for COVID-19, we focussed on this cell type to explore the underlying mechanisms of COVID-19. In this study, we identified that ACE2-positive cells from the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of patients with COVID-19 belong to bronchial epithelial cells. Comparing with patients of COVID-19 showing severe symptoms, the antigen processing and presentation pathway was increased and 12 typical genes, HLA-DRB5, HLA-DRB1, CD74, HLA-DRA, HLA-DPA1, HLA-DQA1, HSP90AA1, HSP90AB1, HLA-DPB1, HLA-DQB1, HLA-DQA2, and HLA-DMA, particularly HLA-DPB1, were obviously up-regulated in ACE2-positive bronchial epithelial cells of patients with mild disease. We further discovered SDCBP was positively correlated with above 12 genes particularly with HLA-DPB1 in ACE2-positive bronchial epithelial cells of COVID-19 patients. Moreover, SDCBP may increase the immune infiltration of B cells, CD8+ T cells, CD4+ T cells, macrophages, neutrophils and dendritic cells in different lung carcinoma. Moreover, we found the expression of SDCBP was positively correlated with the expression of antigen processing and presentation genes in post-mortem lung biopsies tissues, which is consistent with previous discoveries. These results suggest that SDCBP has good potential to be further developed as a novel diagnostic and therapeutic target in the treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Bronchi/pathology , COVID-19/pathology , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , RNA-Seq , Severity of Illness Index , Single-Cell Analysis , Syntenins/metabolism , Antigen Presentation/genetics , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Postmortem Changes , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Up-Regulation/genetics
14.
Stem Cells ; 39(10): 1310-1321, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1274785

ABSTRACT

As one of the primary points of entry of xenobiotic substances and infectious agents into the body, the lungs are subject to a range of dysfunctions and diseases that together account for a significant number of patient deaths. In view of this, there is an outstanding need for in vitro systems in which to assess the impact of both infectious agents and xenobiotic substances of the lungs. To address this issue, we have developed a protocol to generate airway epithelial basal-like cells from induced pluripotent stem cells, which simplifies the manufacture of cellular models of the human upper airways. Basal-like cells generated in this study were cultured on transwell inserts to allow formation of a confluent monolayer and then exposed to an air-liquid interface to induce differentiation into a pseudostratified epithelial construct with a marked similarity to the upper airway epithelium in vivo. These constructs contain the component cell types required of an epithelial model system, produce mucus and functional cilia, and can support SARS-CoV-2 infection/replication and the secretion of cytokines in a manner similar to that of in vivo airways. This method offers a readily accessible and highly scalable protocol for the manufacture of upper airway models that could find applications in development of therapies for respiratory viral infections and the assessment of drug toxicity on the human lungs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/pathology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Models, Biological , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Cell Line , Cytokines/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Humans , Inflammation Mediators/metabolism , Virus Replication/physiology
15.
J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 147(6): 2083-2097.e6, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1272498

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Excessive inflammation triggered by a hitherto undescribed mechanism is a hallmark of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections and is associated with enhanced pathogenicity and mortality. OBJECTIVE: Complement hyperactivation promotes lung injury and was observed in patients suffering from Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus, SARS-CoV-1, and SARS-CoV-2 infections. Therefore, we investigated the very first interactions of primary human airway epithelial cells on exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in terms of complement component 3 (C3)-mediated effects. METHODS: For this, we used highly differentiated primary human 3-dimensional tissue models infected with SARS-CoV-2 patient isolates. On infection, viral load, viral infectivity, intracellular complement activation, inflammatory mechanisms, and tissue destruction were analyzed by real-time RT-PCR, high content screening, plaque assays, luminex analyses, and transepithelial electrical resistance measurements. RESULTS: Here, we show that primary normal human bronchial and small airway epithelial cells respond to SARS-CoV-2 infection by an inflated local C3 mobilization. SARS-CoV-2 infection resulted in exaggerated intracellular complement activation and destruction of the epithelial integrity in monolayer cultures of primary human airway cells and highly differentiated, pseudostratified, mucus-producing, ciliated respiratory tissue models. SARS-CoV-2-infected 3-dimensional cultures secreted significantly higher levels of C3a and the proinflammatory cytokines IL-6, monocyte chemoattractant protein 1, IL-1α, and RANTES. CONCLUSIONS: Crucially, we illustrate here for the first time that targeting the anaphylotoxin receptors C3a receptor and C5a receptor in nonimmune respiratory cells can prevent intrinsic lung inflammation and tissue damage. This opens up the exciting possibility in the treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Bronchi/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Complement Activation , Epithelial Cells/immunology , Receptor, Anaphylatoxin C5a/immunology , Respiratory Mucosa/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Bronchi/pathology , Bronchi/virology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Complement C3/immunology , Cytokines/immunology , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Humans , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/pathology , Respiratory Mucosa/pathology , Respiratory Mucosa/virology
16.
J Am Soc Nephrol ; 32(9): 2242-2254, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266593

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) causes significan t morbidity, mainly from pulmonary involvement, extrapulmonary symptoms are also major componen ts of the disease. Kidney disease, usually presenting as AKI, is particularly severe among patients with COVID-19. It is unknown, however, whether such injury results from direct kidney infection with COVID-19's causative virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), or from indirect mechanisms. METHODS: Using ex vivo cell models, we sought to analyze SARS-CoV-2 interactions with kidney tubular cells and assess direct tubular injury. These models comprised primary human kidney epithelial cells (derived from nephrectomies) and grown as either proliferating monolayers or quiescent three-dimensional kidney spheroids. RESULTS: We demonstrated that viral entry molecules and high baseline levels of type 1 IFN-related molecules were present in monolayers and kidney spheroids. Although both models support viral infection and replication, they did not exhibit a cytopathic effect and cell death, outcomes that were strongly present in SARS-CoV-2-infected controls (African green monkey kidney clone E6 [Vero E6] cultures). A comparison of monolayer and spheroid cultures demonstrated higher infectivity and replication of SARS-CoV-2 in actively proliferating monolayers, although the spheroid cultures exhibited high er levels of ACE2. Monolayers exhibited elevation of some tubular injury molecules-including molecules related to fibrosis (COL1A1 and STAT6) and dedifferentiation (SNAI2)-and a loss of cell identity, evident by reduction in megalin (LRP2). The three-dimensional spheroids were less prone to such injury. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 can infect kidney cells without a cytopathic effect. AKI-induced cellular proliferation may potentially intensify infectivity and tubular damage by SARS-CoV-2, suggesting that early intervention in AKI is warranted to help minimize kidney infection.


Subject(s)
Acute Kidney Injury/etiology , Acute Kidney Injury/virology , COVID-19/complications , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spheroids, Cellular/virology , Animals , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cohort Studies , Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Host Microbial Interactions , Humans , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Kidney/immunology , Kidney/pathology , Kidney/virology , Mice , Mice, Inbred NOD , Mice, SCID , Models, Biological , Pandemics , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spheroids, Cellular/pathology , Vero Cells , Virus Replication
17.
Virulence ; 12(1): 1111-1121, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1243446

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses and influenza viruses are circulating in humans and animals all over the world. Co-infection with these two viruses may aggravate clinical signs. However, the molecular mechanisms of co-infections by these two viruses are incompletely understood. In this study, we applied air-liquid interface (ALI) cultures of well-differentiated porcine tracheal epithelial cells (PTECs) to analyze the co-infection by a swine influenza virus (SIV, H3N2 subtype) and porcine respiratory coronavirus (PRCoV) at different time intervals. Our results revealed that in short-term intervals, prior infection by influenza virus caused complete inhibition of coronavirus infection, while in long-term intervals, some coronavirus replication was detectable. The influenza virus infection resulted in (i) an upregulation of porcine aminopeptidase N, the cellular receptor for PRCoV and (ii) in the induction of an innate immune response which was responsible for the inhibition of PRCoV replication. By contrast, prior infection by coronavirus only caused a slight inhibition of influenza virus replication. Taken together, the timing and the order of virus infection are important determinants in co-infections. This study is the first to show the impact of SIV and PRCoV co- and super-infection on the cellular level. Our results have implications also for human viruses, including potential co-infections by SARS-CoV-2 and seasonal influenza viruses.


Subject(s)
Epithelial Cells/virology , Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype/physiology , Porcine Respiratory Coronavirus/physiology , Viral Interference , Animals , CD13 Antigens/metabolism , Cells, Cultured , Coinfection/virology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Epithelial Cells/immunology , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Immunity, Innate , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/virology , Swine , Trachea/cytology , Virus Replication
18.
Immunol Rev ; 302(1): 228-240, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1241009

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic rapidly spread around the world following the first reports in Wuhan City, China in late 2019. The disease, caused by the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus, is primarily a respiratory condition that can affect numerous other bodily systems including the cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems. The disease ranges in severity from asymptomatic through to severe acute respiratory distress requiring intensive care treatment and mechanical ventilation, which can lead to respiratory failure and death. It has rapidly become evident that COVID-19 patients can develop features of interstitial pulmonary fibrosis, which in many cases persist for as long as we have thus far been able to follow the patients. Many questions remain about how such fibrotic changes occur within the lung of COVID-19 patients, whether the changes will persist long term or are capable of resolving, and whether post-COVID-19 pulmonary fibrosis has the potential to become progressive, as in other fibrotic lung diseases. This review brings together our existing knowledge on both COVID-19 and pulmonary fibrosis, with a particular focus on lung epithelial cells and fibroblasts, in order to discuss common pathways and processes that may be implicated as we try to answer these important questions in the months and years to come.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Fibroblasts/pathology , Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , Pulmonary Fibrosis/virology , Respiratory Mucosa/pathology , COVID-19/complications , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Nature ; 595(7865): 107-113, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1207148

ABSTRACT

COVID-19, which is caused by SARS-CoV-2, can result in acute respiratory distress syndrome and multiple organ failure1-4, but little is known about its pathophysiology. Here we generated single-cell atlases of 24 lung, 16 kidney, 16 liver and 19 heart autopsy tissue samples and spatial atlases of 14 lung samples from donors who died of COVID-19. Integrated computational analysis uncovered substantial remodelling in the lung epithelial, immune and stromal compartments, with evidence of multiple paths of failed tissue regeneration, including defective alveolar type 2 differentiation and expansion of fibroblasts and putative TP63+ intrapulmonary basal-like progenitor cells. Viral RNAs were enriched in mononuclear phagocytic and endothelial lung cells, which induced specific host programs. Spatial analysis in lung distinguished inflammatory host responses in lung regions with and without viral RNA. Analysis of the other tissue atlases showed transcriptional alterations in multiple cell types in heart tissue from donors with COVID-19, and mapped cell types and genes implicated with disease severity based on COVID-19 genome-wide association studies. Our foundational dataset elucidates the biological effect of severe SARS-CoV-2 infection across the body, a key step towards new treatments.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Kidney/pathology , Liver/pathology , Lung/pathology , Myocardium/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Atlases as Topic , Autopsy , Biological Specimen Banks , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Endothelial Cells , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Fibroblasts , Genome-Wide Association Study , Heart/virology , Humans , Inflammation/pathology , Inflammation/virology , Kidney/virology , Liver/virology , Lung/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Organ Specificity , Phagocytes , Pulmonary Alveoli/pathology , Pulmonary Alveoli/virology , RNA, Viral/analysis , Regeneration , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Cell Analysis , Viral Load
20.
Mod Pathol ; 34(8): 1444-1455, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196829

ABSTRACT

Current understanding of the complex pathogenesis of COVID-19 interstitial pneumonia pathogenesis in the light of biopsies carried out in early/moderate phase and histology data obtained at postmortem analysis is discussed. In autopsies the most observed pattern is diffuse alveolar damage with alveolar-epithelial type-II cell hyperplasia, hyaline membranes, and frequent thromboembolic disease. However, these observations cannot explain some clinical, radiological and physiopathological features observed in SARS-CoV-2 interstitial pneumonia, including the occurrence of vascular enlargement on CT and preserved lung compliance in subjects even presenting with or developing respiratory failure. Histological investigation on early-phase pneumonia on perioperative samples and lung biopsies revealed peculiar morphological and morpho-phenotypical changes including hyper-expression of phosphorylated STAT3 and immune checkpoint molecules (PD-L1 and IDO) in alveolar-epithelial and endothelial cells. These features might explain in part these discrepancies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Cell Communication , Endothelial Cells/pathology , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Lung/pathology , B7-H1 Antigen/metabolism , Biopsy , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , Cytokines/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/virology , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/virology , Humans , Indoleamine-Pyrrole 2,3,-Dioxygenase/metabolism , Lung/metabolism , Lung/virology , Phosphorylation , Prognosis , STAT3 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Signal Transduction
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