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1.
Int Immunopharmacol ; 104: 108502, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1641351

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 infection can lead to the abnormal induction of cytokines and a dysregulated hyperinflammatory state that is implicated in disease severity and risk of death. There are several molecules present in blood associated with immune cellular response, inflammation, and oxidative stress that could be used as severity markers in respiratory viral infections such as COVID-19. However, there is a lack of clinical studies evaluating the role of oxidative stress-related molecules including glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE), high mobility group box-1 protein (HMGB1) and cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) in COVID-19 pathogenesis. AIM: To evaluate the role of oxidative stress-related molecules in COVID-19. METHOD: An observational study with 93 Brazilian participants from September 2020 to April 2021, comprising 23 patients with COVID-19 admitted to intensive care unit (ICU), 19 outpatients with COVID-19 with mild to moderate symptoms, 17 individuals reporting a COVID-19 history, and 34 healthy controls. Blood samples were taken from all participants and western blot assay was used to determine the RAGE, HMGB1, GFAP, and COX-2 immunocontent. RESULTS: We found that GFAP levels were higher in patients with severe or critical COVID-19 compared to outpatients (p = 0.030) and controls (p < 0.001). A significant increase in immunocontents of RAGE (p < 0.001) and HMGB1 (p < 0.001) were also found among patients admitted to the ICU compared to healthy controls, as well as an overexpression of the inducible COX-2 (p < 0.001). In addition, we found a moderate to strong correlation between RAGE, GFAP and HMGB1 proteins. CONCLUSION: SARS-CoV-2 infection induces the upregulation of GFAP, RAGE, HMGB1, and COX-2 in patients with the most severe forms of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Child , Cyclooxygenase 2/blood , Cyclooxygenase 2/metabolism , Female , Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein/blood , Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein/metabolism , HMGB1 Protein/blood , HMGB1 Protein/metabolism , Healthy Volunteers , Humans , Inflammation/blood , Inflammation/diagnosis , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Oxidative Stress/immunology , Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products/blood , Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Up-Regulation/immunology , Young Adult
2.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(9): e3019-e3026, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501050

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Recent findings indicated that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-related neurological manifestations involve cytokine release syndrome along with endothelial activation, blood brain barrier dysfunction, and immune-mediated mechanisms. Very few studies have fully investigated the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) correlates of SARS-CoV-2 encephalitis. METHODS: Patients with polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and encephalitis (COV-Enc), encephalitis without SARS-CoV-2 infection (ENC), and healthy controls (HC) underwent an extended panel of CSF neuronal (neurofilament light chain [NfL], T-tau), glial (glial fibrillary acidic protein [GFAP], soluble triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 [sTREM2], chitinase-3-like protein 1 [YKL-40]) and inflammatory biomarkers (interleukin [IL]-1ß, IL-6, Il-8, tumor necrosis factor [TNF] α, CXCL-13, and ß2-microglobulin). RESULTS: Thirteen COV-Enc, 21 ENC, and 18 HC entered the study. In COV-Enc cases, CSF was negative for SARS-CoV-2 real-time PCR but exhibited increased IL-8 levels independently from presence of pleocytosis/hyperproteinorracchia. COV-Enc patients showed increased IL-6, TNF- α, and ß2-microglobulin and glial markers (GFAP, sTREM2, YKL-40) levels similar to ENC but normal CXCL13 levels. Neuronal markers NfL and T-tau were abnormal only in severe cases. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2-related encephalitis were associated with prominent glial activation and neuroinflammatory markers, whereas neuronal markers were increased in severe cases only. The pattern of CSF alterations suggested a cytokine-release syndrome as the main inflammatory mechanism of SARS-CoV-2-related encephalitis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Encephalitis , Cytokine Release Syndrome , Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
4.
EBioMedicine ; 70: 103512, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1330766

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Neurologic manifestations are well-recognized features of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, the longitudinal association of biomarkers reflecting CNS impact and neurological symptoms is not known. We sought to determine whether plasma biomarkers of CNS injury were associated with neurologic sequelae after COVID-19. METHODS: Patients with confirmed acute COVID-19 were studied prospectively. Neurological symptoms were recorded during the acute phase of the disease and at six months follow-up, and blood samples were collected longitudinally. Healthy age-matched individuals were included as controls. We analysed plasma concentrations of neurofilament light-chain (NfL), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAp), and growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15). FINDINGS: One hundred patients with mild (n = 24), moderate (n = 28), and severe (n = 48) COVID-19 were followed for a median (IQR) of 225 (187-262) days. In the acute phase, patients with severe COVID-19 had higher concentrations of NfL than all other groups (all p < 0·001), and higher GFAp than controls (p < 0·001). GFAp was also significantly increased in moderate disease (p < 0·05) compared with controls. NfL (r = 0·53, p < 0·001) and GFAp (r = 0·39, p < 0·001) correlated with GDF-15 during the acute phase. After six months, NfL and GFAp concentrations had normalized, with no persisting group differences. Despite this, 50 patients reported persistent neurological symptoms, most commonly fatigue (n = 40), "brain-fog" (n = 29), and changes in cognition (n = 25). We found no correlation between persistent neurological symptoms and CNS injury biomarkers in the acute phase. INTERPRETATION: The normalization of CNS injury biomarkers in all individuals, regardless of previous disease severity or persisting neurological symptoms, indicates that post COVID-19 neurological sequelae are not accompanied by ongoing CNS injury. FUNDING: The Swedish State Support for Clinical Research, SciLifeLab Sweden, and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation have provided funding for this project.


Subject(s)
Astrocytes/pathology , Astrocytes/virology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Aged , Astrocytes/metabolism , Biomarkers/blood , Biomarkers/metabolism , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/metabolism , Disease Progression , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein/metabolism , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Neurofilament Proteins/metabolism , Neurons/metabolism , Neurons/pathology , Neurons/virology , Sweden
5.
J Neurol ; 268(12): 4436-4442, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222771

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 range from asymptomatic, to mild, moderate or severe disease evolution including fatal outcome. Thus, early predictors of clinical outcome are highly needed. We investigated markers of neural tissue damage as a possible early sign of multisystem involvement to assess their clinical prognostic value on survival or transfer to intensive care unit (ICU). METHODS: We collected blood from 104 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 the day of admission to the emergency room and measured blood neurofilament light chair (NfL), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), ubiquitin carboxy-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCH-L1), and total tau protein levels. RESULTS: We found that NfL, GFAP, and tau were significantly increased in patients with fatal outcome, while NfL and UCH-L1 in those needing ICU transfer. ROC and Kaplan-Meier curves indicated that total tau levels at admission accurately predict mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Blood neural markers may provide additional prognostic value to conventional biomarkers used to predict COVID-19 outcome.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Intermediate Filaments , Neurofilament Proteins/blood , tau Proteins/blood , Biomarkers , COVID-19/mortality , Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein/blood , Humans , Ubiquitin Thiolesterase/blood
6.
J Neurol ; 268(10): 3574-3583, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1141418

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To test the hypotheses that blood biomarkers for nervous system injury, serum concentrations of neurofilament light chain protein (NfL) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAp) can serve as biomarkers for disease severity in COVID-19 patients. METHODS: Forty-seven inpatients with confirmed COVID-19 had blood samples drawn on admission for assessing serum biomarkers of CNS injury by Single molecule array (Simoa), NfL and GFAp. Concentrations of NfL and GFAp were analyzed in relation to symptoms, clinical signs, inflammatory biomarkers and clinical outcomes. We used multivariate linear models to test for differences in biomarker concentrations in the subgroups, accounting for confounding effects. RESULTS: In total, 21% (n = 10) of the patients were admitted to an intensive care unit, and the overall mortality rate was 13% (n = 6). Non-survivors had higher serum concentrations of NfL (p < 0.001) upon admission than patients who were discharged alive both in adjusted analyses (p = 2.6 × 10-7) and unadjusted analyses (p = 0.001). The concentrations of NfL in non-survivors increased over repeated measurements; whereas, the concentrations in survivors were stable. The GFAp concentration was also significantly higher in non-survivors than survivors (p = 0.02). CONCLUSION: Increased concentrations of NfL and GFAp in COVID-19 patients on admission may indicate increased mortality risk. Measurement of blood biomarkers for nervous system injury can be useful to detect and monitor CNS injury in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Biomarkers , Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein , Humans , Intermediate Filaments , Neurofilament Proteins , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Eur J Neurol ; 28(10): 3324-3331, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1035403

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Neurological symptoms have been frequently reported in hospitalized patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and biomarkers of central nervous system (CNS) injury are reported to be increased in plasma but not extensively studied in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This study examined CSF for biomarkers of CNS injury and other pathology in relation to neurological symptoms and disease severity in patients with neurological manifestations of COVID-19. METHODS: Nineteen patients with neurological symptoms and mild to critical COVID-19 were prospectively included. Extensive analysis of CSF, including measurement of biomarkers of CNS injury (neurofilament light chain [NfL] protein, glial fibrillary acidic protein [GFAp], and total tau), was performed and compared to neurological features and disease severity. RESULTS: Neurological symptoms included altered mental status (42%), headache (42%), and central (21%) and peripheral weakness (32%). Two patients demonstrated minor pleocytosis, and four patients had increased immunoglobulin G levels in CSF. Neuronal autoantibody testing using commercial tests was negative in all patients. Increased CSF levels of NfL protein, total tau, and GFAp were seen in 63%, 37%, and 16% of patients, respectively. Increased NfL protein correlated with disease severity, time in intensive care, and level of consciousness. NfL protein in CSF was higher in patients with central neurological symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Although limited by the small sample size, our data suggest that levels of NfL protein, GFAp, and total tau in CSF are commonly elevated in patients with COVID-19 with neurological symptoms. This is in contrast to the standard CSF workup where pathological findings are scarce. NfL protein, in particular, is associated with central neurological symptoms and disease severity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neurofilament Proteins , Biomarkers , Central Nervous System , Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
8.
Neurology ; 95(10): 445-449, 2020 09 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-999777

ABSTRACT

Here, we report a case of COVID-19-related acute necrotizing encephalopathy where SARS-CoV-2 RNA was found in CSF 19 days after symptom onset after testing negative twice. Although monocytes and protein levels in CSF were only marginally increased, and our patient never experienced a hyperinflammatory state, her neurologic function deteriorated into coma. MRI of the brain showed pathologic signal symmetrically in central thalami, subinsular regions, medial temporal lobes, and brain stem. Extremely high concentrations of the neuronal injury markers neurofilament light and tau, as well as an astrocytic activation marker, glial fibrillary acidic protein, were measured in CSF. Neuronal rescue proteins and other pathways were elevated in the in-depth proteomics analysis. The patient received IV immunoglobulins and plasma exchange. Her neurologic status improved, and she was extubated 4 weeks after symptom onset. This case report highlights the neurotropism of SARS-CoV-2 in selected patients and emphasizes the importance of repeated lumbar punctures and CSF analyses in patients with suspected COVID-19 and neurologic symptoms.


Subject(s)
Brain/diagnostic imaging , Coronavirus Infections/cerebrospinal fluid , Leukoencephalitis, Acute Hemorrhagic/cerebrospinal fluid , Pneumonia, Viral/cerebrospinal fluid , RNA, Viral/cerebrospinal fluid , Acyclovir/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnostic imaging , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Female , Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein/cerebrospinal fluid , Humans , Immunoglobulins, Intravenous/therapeutic use , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , Interleukin-6/cerebrospinal fluid , Leukoencephalitis, Acute Hemorrhagic/diagnostic imaging , Leukoencephalitis, Acute Hemorrhagic/physiopathology , Leukoencephalitis, Acute Hemorrhagic/therapy , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Middle Aged , Neurofilament Proteins/cerebrospinal fluid , Pandemics , Plasma Exchange , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Viral Tropism , tau Proteins/cerebrospinal fluid
9.
Neurology ; 95(12): e1754-e1759, 2020 09 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-601304

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has an impact on the CNS by measuring plasma biomarkers of CNS injury. METHODS: We recruited 47 patients with mild (n = 20), moderate (n = 9), or severe (n = 18) COVID-19 and measured 2 plasma biomarkers of CNS injury by single molecule array, neurofilament light chain protein (NfL; a marker of intra-axonal neuronal injury) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAp; a marker of astrocytic activation/injury), in samples collected at presentation and again in a subset after a mean of 11.4 days. Cross-sectional results were compared with results from 33 age-matched controls derived from an independent cohort. RESULTS: The patients with severe COVID-19 had higher plasma concentrations of GFAp (p = 0.001) and NfL (p < 0.001) than controls, while GFAp was also increased in patients with moderate disease (p = 0.03). In patients with severe disease, an early peak in plasma GFAp decreased on follow-up (p < 0.01), while NfL showed a sustained increase from first to last follow-up (p < 0.01), perhaps reflecting a sequence of early astrocytic response and more delayed axonal injury. CONCLUSION: We show neurochemical evidence of neuronal injury and glial activation in patients with moderate and severe COVID-19. Further studies are needed to clarify the frequency and nature of COVID-19-related CNS damage and its relation to both clinically defined CNS events such as hypoxic and ischemic events and mechanisms more closely linked to systemic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection and consequent immune activation, as well as to evaluate the clinical utility of monitoring plasma NfL and GFAp in the management of this group of patients.


Subject(s)
Astrocytes/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein/blood , Neurofilament Proteins/blood , Neurons/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Betacoronavirus , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19 , Case-Control Studies , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Single Molecule Imaging
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