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1.
Crit Care ; 25(1): 202, 2021 06 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266500

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The mechanisms driving acute kidney injury (AKI) in critically ill COVID-19 patients are unclear. We collected kidney biopsies from COVID-19 AKI patients within 30 min after death in order to examine the histopathology and perform mRNA expression analysis of genes associated with renal injury. METHODS: This study involved histopathology and mRNA analyses of postmortem kidney biopsies collected from patients with COVID-19 (n = 6) and bacterial sepsis (n = 27). Normal control renal tissue was obtained from patients undergoing total nephrectomy (n = 12). The mean length of ICU admission-to-biopsy was 30 days for COVID-19 and 3-4 days for bacterial sepsis patients. RESULTS: We did not detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA in kidney biopsies from COVID-19-AKI patients yet lung tissue from the same patients was PCR positive. Extensive acute tubular necrosis (ATN) and peritubular thrombi were distinct histopathology features of COVID-19-AKI compared to bacterial sepsis-AKI. ACE2 mRNA levels in both COVID-19 (fold change 0.42, p = 0.0002) and bacterial sepsis patients (fold change 0.24, p < 0.0001) were low compared to control. The mRNA levels of injury markers NGAL and KIM-1 were unaltered compared to control tissue but increased in sepsis-AKI patients. Markers for inflammation and endothelial activation were unaltered in COVID-19 suggesting a lack of renal inflammation. Renal mRNA levels of endothelial integrity markers CD31, PV-1 and VE-Cadherin did not differ from control individuals yet were increased in bacterial sepsis patients (CD31 fold change 2.3, p = 0.0006, PV-1 fold change 1.5, p = 0.008). Angiopoietin-1 mRNA levels were downregulated in renal tissue from both COVID-19 (fold change 0.27, p < 0.0001) and bacterial sepsis patients (fold change 0.67, p < 0.0001) compared to controls. Moreover, low Tie2 mRNA expression (fold change 0.33, p = 0.037) and a disturbed VEGFR2/VEGFR3 ratio (fold change 0.09, p < 0.0001) suggest decreased microvascular flow in COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: In a small cohort of postmortem kidney biopsies from COVID-19 patients, we observed distinct histopathological and gene expression profiles between COVID-19-AKI and bacterial sepsis-AKI. COVID-19 was associated with more severe ATN and microvascular thrombosis coupled with decreased microvascular flow, yet minimal inflammation. Further studies are required to determine whether these observations are a result of true pathophysiological differences or related to the timing of biopsy after disease onset.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Gene Expression/genetics , Kidney/pathology , Kidney/physiopathology , Sepsis/pathology , Acute Kidney Injury/etiology , Acute Kidney Injury/physiopathology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Analysis of Variance , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/physiopathology , Critical Illness/therapy , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units/organization & administration , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Sepsis/genetics , Sepsis/physiopathology , Simplified Acute Physiology Score
2.
Clin Nutr ESPEN ; 44: 475-478, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1242904

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Obesity is associated with low grade systemic inflammation and insulin resistance. Although metabolic and immunological changes may contribute to the increased risk for COVID-19 mortality in obese, little is known about the impact of obesity in the lungs of patients with COVID-19. METHODS: We analyzed gene expression profiles of autopsy lungs of a cohort of 14 COVID-19 patients and 4 control individuals. Patients were divided into 3 groups according to their comorbidities: hypertension, type 2 diabetes (T2D) and obesity. We then identified the molecular alterations associated with these comorbidities in COVID-19 patients. RESULTS: Patients with only hypertension showed higher levels of inflammatory genes and B-cell related genes when compared to those with T2D and obesity. However, the levels of IFN-gamma, IL22, and CD274 (a ligand that binds to receptor PD1) were higher in COVID-19 patients with T2D and obesity. Several metabolic- and immune-associated genes such as G6PD, LCK and IL10 were significantly induced in the lungs of the obese group. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 infection in the lungs may exacerbate the immune response and chronic condition in obese COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/genetics , Gene Expression/genetics , Lung/immunology , Obesity/complications , Obesity/genetics , Autopsy , COVID-19/immunology , Cohort Studies , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/complications , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/genetics , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/immunology , Humans , Hypertension/complications , Hypertension/genetics , Hypertension/immunology , Obesity/immunology , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 11: 590874, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1158345

ABSTRACT

Gut microbiome alterations may play a paramount role in determining the clinical outcome of clinical COVID-19 with underlying comorbid conditions like T2D, cardiovascular disorders, obesity, etc. Research is warranted to manipulate the profile of gut microbiota in COVID-19 by employing combinatorial approaches such as the use of prebiotics, probiotics and symbiotics. Prediction of gut microbiome alterations in SARS-CoV-2 infection may likely permit the development of effective therapeutic strategies. Novel and targeted interventions by manipulating gut microbiota indeed represent a promising therapeutic approach against COVID-19 immunopathogenesis and associated co-morbidities. The impact of SARS-CoV-2 on host innate immune responses associated with gut microbiome profiling is likely to contribute to the development of key strategies for application and has seldom been attempted, especially in the context of symptomatic as well as asymptomatic COVID-19 disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Dysbiosis/microbiology , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/immunology , Gastrointestinal Tract/microbiology , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/biosynthesis , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Bacteria/metabolism , COVID-19/therapy , Cardiovascular Diseases/pathology , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/pathology , Gastrointestinal Tract/immunology , Gastrointestinal Tract/metabolism , Gene Expression/genetics , Humans , Leukocyte L1 Antigen Complex/biosynthesis , Obesity/pathology , Probiotics/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index
4.
EBioMedicine ; 65: 103262, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1124859

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic has cost lives and economic hardships globally. Various studies have found a number of different factors, such as hyperinflammation and exhausted/suppressed T cell responses to the etiological SARS coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), being associated with severe COVID-19. However, sieving the causative from associative factors of respiratory dysfunction has remained rudimentary. METHODS: We postulated that the host responses causative of respiratory dysfunction would track most closely with disease progression and resolution and thus be differentiated from other factors that are statistically associated with but not causative of severe COVID-19. To track the temporal dynamics of the host responses involved, we examined the changes in gene expression in whole blood of 6 severe and 4 non-severe COVID-19 patients across 15 different timepoints spanning the nadir of respiratory function. FINDINGS: We found that neutrophil activation but not type I interferon signaling transcripts tracked most closely with disease progression and resolution. Moreover, transcripts encoding for protein phosphorylation, particularly the serine-threonine kinases, many of which have known T cell proliferation and activation functions, were increased after and may thus contribute to the upswing of respiratory function. Notably, these associative genes were targeted by dexamethasone, but not methylprednisolone, which is consistent with efficacy outcomes in clinical trials. INTERPRETATION: Our findings suggest neutrophil activation as a critical factor of respiratory dysfunction in COVID-19. Drugs that target this pathway could be potentially repurposed for the treatment of severe COVID-19. FUNDING: This study was sponsored in part by a generous gift from The Hour Glass. EEO and JGL are funded by the National Medical Research Council of Singapore, through the Clinician Scientist Awards awarded by the National Research Foundation of Singapore.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Neutrophil Activation/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Disease Progression , Drug Repositioning , Female , Gene Expression/genetics , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neutrophils/immunology , Prospective Studies , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
5.
Nat Immunol ; 22(1): 32-40, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065907

ABSTRACT

A central paradigm of immunity is that interferon (IFN)-mediated antiviral responses precede pro-inflammatory ones, optimizing host protection and minimizing collateral damage1,2. Here, we report that for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) this paradigm does not apply. By investigating temporal IFN and inflammatory cytokine patterns in 32 moderate-to-severe patients with COVID-19 hospitalized for pneumonia and longitudinally followed for the development of respiratory failure and death, we reveal that IFN-λ and type I IFN production were both diminished and delayed, induced only in a fraction of patients as they became critically ill. On the contrary, pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 were produced before IFNs in all patients and persisted for a prolonged time. This condition was reflected in blood transcriptomes wherein prominent IFN signatures were only seen in critically ill patients who also exhibited augmented inflammation. By comparison, in 16 patients with influenza (flu) hospitalized for pneumonia with similar clinicopathological characteristics to those of COVID-19 and 24 nonhospitalized patients with flu with milder symptoms, IFN-λ and type I IFN were robustly induced earlier, at higher levels and independently of disease severity, whereas pro-inflammatory cytokines were only acutely produced. Notably, higher IFN-λ concentrations in patients with COVID-19 correlated with lower viral load in bronchial aspirates and faster viral clearance and a higher IFN-λ to type I IFN ratio correlated with improved outcome for critically ill patients. Moreover, altered cytokine patterns in patients with COVID-19 correlated with longer hospitalization and higher incidence of critical disease and mortality compared to flu. These data point to an untuned antiviral response in COVID-19, contributing to persistent viral presence, hyperinflammation and respiratory failure.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immunity/immunology , Influenza, Human/immunology , Interferon Type I/immunology , Interferons/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antiviral Agents/immunology , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/immunology , Disease Progression , Gene Expression/genetics , Gene Expression/immunology , Gene Expression Profiling/methods , Humans , Immunity/genetics , Inflammation/genetics , Inflammation/immunology , Influenza, Human/genetics , Interferon Type I/genetics , Interferons/genetics , Length of Stay , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Viral Load/genetics , Viral Load/immunology
6.
Nat Immunol ; 22(1): 86-98, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065906

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for an unprecedented global pandemic of COVID-19. Animal models are urgently needed to study the pathogenesis of COVID-19 and to screen vaccines and treatments. We show that African green monkeys (AGMs) support robust SARS-CoV-2 replication and develop pronounced respiratory disease, which may more accurately reflect human COVID-19 cases than other nonhuman primate species. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in mucosal samples, including rectal swabs, as late as 15 days after exposure. Marked inflammation and coagulopathy in blood and tissues were prominent features. Transcriptome analysis demonstrated stimulation of interferon and interleukin-6 pathways in bronchoalveolar lavage samples and repression of natural killer cell- and T cell-associated transcripts in peripheral blood. Despite a slight waning in antibody titers after primary challenge, enhanced antibody and cellular responses contributed to rapid clearance after re-challenge with an identical strain. These data support the utility of AGM for studying COVID-19 pathogenesis and testing medical countermeasures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Reinfection/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Epidemics/prevention & control , Gene Expression/genetics , Gene Expression/immunology , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Interferons/genetics , Interferons/immunology , Interferons/metabolism , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/metabolism , Reinfection/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes/virology
7.
Laryngoscope ; 131(6): E2013-E2017, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-969763

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: Intracellular entry of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) depends on the interaction between its spike protein with the cellular receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and depends on Furin-mediated spike protein cleavage and spike protein priming by host cell proteases, including transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2). As the expression of ACE2, TMPRSS2, and Furin in the middle and inner ear remain unclear, we analyzed the expression of these proteins in mouse ear tissues. STUDY DESIGN: Animal Research. METHODS: We performed immunohistochemical analysis to examine the distribution of ACE2, TMPRSS2, and Furin in the Eustachian tube, middle ear spaces, and cochlea of mice. RESULTS: ACE2 was present in the nucleus of the epithelium of the middle ear and Eustachian tube, as well as in some nuclei of the hair cells in the organ of Corti, in the stria vascularis, and the spiral ganglion cells. ACE2 was also expressed in the cytoplasm of the stria vascularis. TMPRSS2 was expressed in both the nucleus and cytoplasm in the middle spaces, with the expression being stronger in the nucleus in the mucosal epithelium of the middle ear spaces and Eustachian tube. TMPRSS2 was present in the cytoplasm in the organ of Corti and stria vascularis and in the nucleus and cytoplasm in the spiral ganglion. Furin was expressed in the cytoplasm in the middle ear spaces, Eustachian tube, and cochlea. CONCLUSIONS: ACE2, TMPRSS2, and Furin are diffusely present in the Eustachian tube, middle ear spaces, and cochlea, suggesting that these tissues are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: NA Laryngoscope, 131:E2013-E2017, 2021.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , Ear, Inner/pathology , Ear, Middle/pathology , Eustachian Tube/pathology , Furin/genetics , Gene Expression/genetics , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Animals , Cochlea/pathology , Epithelium/pathology , Immunohistochemistry , Mice , Mucous Membrane/pathology , Organ of Corti/pathology , Spiral Ganglion/pathology , Stria Vascularis/pathology , Temporal Bone/pathology
8.
Trials ; 21(1): 876, 2020 Oct 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-886003

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To investigates the effectiveness of curcumin-containing Nanomicelles as a therapeutic supplement in the treatment of patients with COVID-19 and its effect on immune responses balance changes following treatment. TRIAL DESIGN: This study is conducted as a prospective, placebo-controlled with parallel group, single-center randomized clinical trial on COVID-19 patients. PARTICIPANTS: Patients are selected from the COVID-19 ward of Shahid Mohammadi Hospital in Bandar Abbas, Iran. INCLUSION CRITERIA: 1. Real time PCR-approved positive COVID-19 test. 2. Both gender 3. Age between 18 and 75 years 4. Signing a written consent 5. Lack of participation in other clinical trials Exclusion criteria: 1. Pregnancy or lactation 2. Allergy to turmeric or curcumin 3. Smoking 4. Patient connected to the ventilator 5. SaO2 less than 90% or PaO2 less than 8 kPa 6. Having comorbidities (such as severe renal failure, Glomerular filtration rate less than 30 ml/min, liver failure, Congestive heart failure, or Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) 7. History of gallstones 8. History of gastritis or active gastrointestinal ulcer INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: In addition to the routine standard treatments for COVID-19, in the intervention group, 40mg nanomicelles containing curcumin (SinaCurcumin Capsule, Exir Nano Sina Company, Iran), four times per day (after breakfast, lunch, dinner and before bedtime) and in the placebo group as the control group, capsules with the same appearance and characteristics (Placebo capsules, Exir Nano Sina Company, Iran) are prescribed for two weeks. MAIN OUTCOMES: The effectiveness of Nano micelles containing curcumin treatment will be evaluated as daily clinical examinations of patients in both groups and, on days 0, 7 and 14, complete clinical symptoms and laboratory findings including peripheral blood and serum parameters such as inflammatory markers will be measured and recorded. Moreover, in order to evaluate the balance of immune responses changes following treatments, serum level of IFN-γ, IL-17, Il-4 and TGF-ß serum cytokines will be measured in both groups at time points of 0, 7 and 14 days post treatment. Gene expression of t-bet, GATA-3, FoxP3 and ROR- γT will also be measured at mentioned time points to assess the shift of T helper1, T helper2, T regulatory and T helper 17 immune responses following treatment. RANDOMISATION: Randomized trials will be performed on 40 COVID-19 patients which will be randomized using encoded sealed boxes with computer generated random digits with 1:1 allocation ratio. In order to randomization, placebo and SinaCurcumin Capsules will be numbered first by computer generated random digits. SinaCurcumin and placebo will then be stored and numbered in sealed packages based on generated random numbers. Finally, according to the order in which patients enter the study, packages are given to patients based on their number. BLINDING (MASKING): The present study will be blind for all patients, physicians and nurses, laboratory technicians and statisticians. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMISED (SAMPLE SIZE): A total of 40 patients will be included in the study, 20 of them will be randomly assigned to the intervention group and 20 to the placebo group. TRIAL STATUS: This is Version 1.0 of protocol dated 21 May 2020. The recruitment was started June 24, 2020 and is expected to be completed by October 31, 2020. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This present clinical trial has been registered in the Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials (IRCT) with the registration code of "IRCT20200611047735N1", https://www.irct.ir/trial/48843 . Dated: 19 June 2020. FULL PROTOCOL: The full protocol is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest in expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coloring Agents/therapeutic use , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Curcumin/therapeutic use , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Biomarkers/metabolism , COVID-19 , Case-Control Studies , Coloring Agents/adverse effects , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Curcumin/adverse effects , Dietary Supplements/adverse effects , Female , Gene Expression/genetics , Humans , Interleukins/immunology , Iran/epidemiology , Male , Micelles , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Placebos/administration & dosage , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult
9.
Allergy ; 75(11): 2829-2845, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-526792

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 caused by novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is accelerating worldwide, and novel clinical presentations of COVID-19 are often reported. The range of human cells and tissues targeted by SARS-CoV-2, its potential receptors and associated regulating factors are still largely unknown. The aim of our study was to analyze the expression of known and potential SARS-CoV-2 receptors and related molecules in the extensive collection of primary human cells and tissues from healthy subjects of different age and from patients with risk factors and known comorbidities of COVID-19. METHODS: We performed RNA sequencing and explored available RNA-Seq databases to study gene expression and co-expression of ACE2, CD147 (BSG), and CD26 (DPP4) and their direct and indirect molecular partners in primary human bronchial epithelial cells, bronchial and skin biopsies, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, whole blood, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), monocytes, neutrophils, DCs, NK cells, ILC1, ILC2, ILC3, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, B cells, and plasmablasts. We analyzed the material from healthy children and adults, and from adults in relation to their disease or COVID-19 risk factor status. RESULTS: ACE2 and TMPRSS2 were coexpressed at the epithelial sites of the lung and skin, whereas CD147 (BSG), cyclophilins (PPIA andPPIB), CD26 (DPP4), and related molecules were expressed in both epithelium and in immune cells. We also observed a distinct age-related expression profile of these genes in the PBMCs and T cells from healthy children and adults. Asthma, COPD, hypertension, smoking, obesity, and male gender status generally led to the higher expression of ACE2- and CD147-related genes in the bronchial biopsy, BAL, or blood. Additionally, CD147-related genes correlated positively with age and BMI. Interestingly, we also observed higher expression of CD147-related genes in the lesional skin of patients with atopic dermatitis. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest different receptor repertoire potentially involved in the SARS-CoV-2 infection at the epithelial barriers and in the immune cells. Altered expression of these receptors related to age, gender, obesity and smoking, as well as with the disease status, might contribute to COVID-19 morbidity and severity patterns.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Basigin/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Chronic Disease/epidemiology , Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Asthma/epidemiology , Asthma/genetics , Asthma/immunology , Basigin/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Child , Child, Preschool , Comorbidity , Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4/genetics , Female , Gene Expression/genetics , Humans , Hypertension/epidemiology , Hypertension/genetics , Hypertension/immunology , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Obesity/epidemiology , Obesity/genetics , Obesity/immunology , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/epidemiology , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/genetics , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/immunology , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Young Adult
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