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1.
Cardiovasc Res ; 117(14): 2807-2820, 2021 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1596913

ABSTRACT

AIMS: Anticoagulation was associated with improved survival of hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients in large-scale studies. Yet, the development of COVID-19-associated coagulopathy (CAC) and the mechanism responsible for improved survival of anticoagulated patients with COVID-19 remain largely elusive. This investigation aimed to explore the effects of anticoagulation and low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) in particular on patient outcome, CAC development, thromboinflammation, cell death, and viral persistence. METHODS AND RESULTS: Data of 586 hospitalized COVID-19 patients from three different regions of Austria were evaluated retrospectively. Of these, 419 (71.5%) patients received LMWH and 62 (10.5%) received non-vitamin-K oral anticoagulants (NOACs) during hospitalization. Plasma was collected at different time points in a subset of 106 patients in order to evaluate markers of thromboinflammation (H3Cit-DNA) and the cell death marker cell-free DNA (cfDNA). Use of LMWH was associated with improved survival upon multivariable Cox regression (hazard ratio = 0.561, 95% confidence interval: 0.348-0.906). Interestingly, neither LMWH nor NOAC was associated with attenuation of D-dimer increase over time, or thromboinflammation. In contrast, anticoagulation was associated with a decrease in cfDNA during hospitalization, and curtailed viral persistence was observed in patients using LMWH leading to a 4-day reduction of virus positivity upon quantitative polymerase chain reaction [13 (interquartile range: 6-24) vs. 9 (interquartile range: 5-16) days, P = 0.009]. CONCLUSION: Time courses of haemostatic and thromboinflammatory biomarkers were similar in patients with and without LMWH, indicating either no effects of LMWH on haemostasis or that LMWH reduced hypercoagulability to levels of patients without LMWH. Nonetheless, anticoagulation with LMWH was associated with reduced mortality, improved markers of cell death, and curtailed viral persistence, indicating potential beneficial effects of LMWH beyond haemostasis, which encourages use of LMWH in COVID-19 patients without contraindications.


Subject(s)
Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/therapeutic use , /virology , Aged , Anticoagulants/pharmacology , Austria/epidemiology , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Female , Hemostasis , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/pharmacology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Predictive Value of Tests , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , /prevention & control
2.
Cardiovasc Res ; 117(14): 2807-2820, 2021 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450385

ABSTRACT

AIMS: Anticoagulation was associated with improved survival of hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients in large-scale studies. Yet, the development of COVID-19-associated coagulopathy (CAC) and the mechanism responsible for improved survival of anticoagulated patients with COVID-19 remain largely elusive. This investigation aimed to explore the effects of anticoagulation and low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) in particular on patient outcome, CAC development, thromboinflammation, cell death, and viral persistence. METHODS AND RESULTS: Data of 586 hospitalized COVID-19 patients from three different regions of Austria were evaluated retrospectively. Of these, 419 (71.5%) patients received LMWH and 62 (10.5%) received non-vitamin-K oral anticoagulants (NOACs) during hospitalization. Plasma was collected at different time points in a subset of 106 patients in order to evaluate markers of thromboinflammation (H3Cit-DNA) and the cell death marker cell-free DNA (cfDNA). Use of LMWH was associated with improved survival upon multivariable Cox regression (hazard ratio = 0.561, 95% confidence interval: 0.348-0.906). Interestingly, neither LMWH nor NOAC was associated with attenuation of D-dimer increase over time, or thromboinflammation. In contrast, anticoagulation was associated with a decrease in cfDNA during hospitalization, and curtailed viral persistence was observed in patients using LMWH leading to a 4-day reduction of virus positivity upon quantitative polymerase chain reaction [13 (interquartile range: 6-24) vs. 9 (interquartile range: 5-16) days, P = 0.009]. CONCLUSION: Time courses of haemostatic and thromboinflammatory biomarkers were similar in patients with and without LMWH, indicating either no effects of LMWH on haemostasis or that LMWH reduced hypercoagulability to levels of patients without LMWH. Nonetheless, anticoagulation with LMWH was associated with reduced mortality, improved markers of cell death, and curtailed viral persistence, indicating potential beneficial effects of LMWH beyond haemostasis, which encourages use of LMWH in COVID-19 patients without contraindications.


Subject(s)
Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/therapeutic use , /virology , Aged , Anticoagulants/pharmacology , Austria/epidemiology , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Female , Hemostasis , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/pharmacology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Predictive Value of Tests , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , /prevention & control
3.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(19)2021 Oct 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1444234

ABSTRACT

Our objective is to reveal the molecular mechanism of the anti-inflammatory action of low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) based on its influence on the activity of two key cytokines, IFNγ and IL-6. The mechanism of heparin binding to IFNγ and IL-6 and the resulting inhibition of their activity were studied by means of extensive molecular-dynamics simulations. The effect of LMWH on IFNγ signalling inside stimulated WISH cells was investigated by measuring its antiproliferative activity and the translocation of phosphorylated STAT1 in the nucleus. We found that LMWH binds with high affinity to IFNγ and is able to fully inhibit the interaction with its cellular receptor. It also influences the biological activity of IL-6 by binding to either IL-6 or IL-6/IL-6Rα, thus preventing the formation of the IL-6/IL-6Rα/gp130 signalling complex. These findings shed light on the molecular mechanism of the anti-inflammatory action of LMWH and underpin its ability to influence favourably conditions characterised by overexpression of these two cytokines. Such conditions are not only associated with autoimmune diseases, but also with inflammatory processes, in particular with COVID-19. Our results put forward heparin as a promising means for the prevention and suppression of severe CRS and encourage further investigations on its applicability as an anti-inflammatory agent.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacology , Anticoagulants/pharmacology , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/pharmacology , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Interleukin-6/immunology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Line , Humans , Models, Molecular , Receptors, Interleukin-6/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
4.
EMBO J ; 40(20): e106765, 2021 10 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1436404

ABSTRACT

The current pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and outbreaks of new variants highlight the need for preventive treatments. Here, we identified heparan sulfate proteoglycans as attachment receptors for SARS-CoV-2. Notably, neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 isolated from COVID-19 patients interfered with SARS-CoV-2 binding to heparan sulfate proteoglycans, which might be an additional mechanism of antibodies to neutralize infection. SARS-CoV-2 binding to and infection of epithelial cells was blocked by low molecular weight heparins (LMWH). Although dendritic cells (DCs) and mucosal Langerhans cells (LCs) were not infected by SARS-CoV-2, both DC subsets efficiently captured SARS-CoV-2 via heparan sulfate proteoglycans and transmitted the virus to ACE2-positive cells. Notably, human primary nasal cells were infected by SARS-CoV-2, and infection was blocked by pre-treatment with LMWH. These data strongly suggest that heparan sulfate proteoglycans are important attachment receptors facilitating infection and transmission, and support the use of LMWH as prophylaxis against SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans/metabolism , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Chlorocebus aethiops , Dendritic Cells/metabolism , Dendritic Cells/virology , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Mucous Membrane/cytology , Mucous Membrane/virology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Syndecan-1/metabolism , Syndecan-4/metabolism , Vero Cells
5.
Cerebrovasc Dis ; 50(3): 245-261, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1147303

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has placed a tremendous strain on healthcare services. This study, prepared by a large international panel of stroke experts, assesses the rapidly growing research and personal experience with COVID-19 stroke and offers recommendations for stroke management in this challenging new setting: modifications needed for prehospital emergency rescue and hyperacute care; inpatient intensive or stroke units; posthospitalization rehabilitation; follow-up including at-risk family and community; and multispecialty departmental developments in the allied professions. SUMMARY: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 uses spike proteins binding to tissue angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-2 receptors, most often through the respiratory system by virus inhalation and thence to other susceptible organ systems, leading to COVID-19. Clinicians facing the many etiologies for stroke have been sobered by the unusual incidence of combined etiologies and presentations, prominent among them are vasculitis, cardiomyopathy, hypercoagulable state, and endothelial dysfunction. International standards of acute stroke management remain in force, but COVID-19 adds the burdens of personal protections for the patient, rescue, and hospital staff and for some even into the postdischarge phase. For pending COVID-19 determination and also for those shown to be COVID-19 affected, strict infection control is needed at all times to reduce spread of infection and to protect healthcare staff, using the wealth of well-described methods. For COVID-19 patients with stroke, thrombolysis and thrombectomy should be continued, and the usual early management of hypertension applies, save that recent work suggests continuing ACE inhibitors and ARBs. Prothrombotic states, some acute and severe, encourage prophylactic LMWH unless bleeding risk is high. COVID-19-related cardiomyopathy adds risk of cardioembolic stroke, where heparin or warfarin may be preferable, with experience accumulating with DOACs. As ever, arteritis can prove a difficult diagnosis, especially if not obvious on the acute angiogram done for clot extraction. This field is under rapid development and may generate management recommendations which are as yet unsettled, even undiscovered. Beyond the acute management phase, COVID-19-related stroke also forces rehabilitation services to use protective precautions. As with all stroke patients, health workers should be aware of symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and/or distress developing in their patients and caregivers. Postdischarge outpatient care currently includes continued secondary prevention measures. Although hoping a COVID-19 stroke patient can be considered cured of the virus, those concerned for contact safety can take comfort in the increasing use of telemedicine, which is itself a growing source of patient-physician contacts. Many online resources are available to patients and physicians. Like prior challenges, stroke care teams will also overcome this one. Key Messages: Evidence-based stroke management should continue to be provided throughout the patient care journey, while strict infection control measures are enforced.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists/pharmacology , COVID-19/complications , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Stroke/etiology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Stroke/diagnosis
6.
Br J Pharmacol ; 178(3): 626-635, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066635

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Currently, there are no licensed vaccines and limited antivirals for the treatment of COVID-19. Heparin (delivered systemically) is currently used to treat anticoagulant anomalies in COVID-19 patients. Additionally, in the United Kingdom, Brazil and Australia, nebulised unfractionated heparin (UFH) is being trialled in COVID-19 patients as a potential treatment. A systematic comparison of the potential antiviral effect of various heparin preparations on live wild type SARS-CoV-2, in vitro, is needed. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: Seven different heparin preparations including UFH and low MW heparins (LMWH) of porcine or bovine origin were screened for antiviral activity against live SARS-CoV-2 (Australia/VIC01/2020) using a plaque inhibition assay with Vero E6 cells. Interaction of heparin with spike protein RBD was studied using differential scanning fluorimetry and the inhibition of RBD binding to human ACE2 protein using elisa assays was examined. KEY RESULTS: All the UFH preparations had potent antiviral effects, with IC50 values ranging between 25 and 41 µg·ml-1 , whereas LMWHs were less inhibitory by ~150-fold (IC50 range 3.4-7.8 mg·ml-1 ). Mechanistically, we observed that heparin binds and destabilizes the RBD protein and furthermore, we show heparin directly inhibits the binding of RBD to the human ACE2 protein receptor. CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS: This comparison of clinically relevant heparins shows that UFH has significantly stronger SARS-CoV-2 antiviral activity compared to LMWHs. UFH acts to directly inhibit binding of spike protein to the human ACE2 protein receptor. Overall, the data strongly support further clinical investigation of UFH as a potential treatment for patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Heparin/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Chlorocebus aethiops , Heparin/metabolism , Heparin/therapeutic use , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/pharmacology , Protein Binding/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Viral Plaque Assay
7.
Eur J Pharmacol ; 882: 173328, 2020 Sep 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-959744

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus, later identified as SARS-CoV-2, originating from Wuhan in China in November 2019, quickly spread around the world becoming a pandemic. Despite the knowledge of previous coronaviruses, such as those responsible for the SARS and MERS-CoV epidemic, there is no drug or prophylaxis treatment to this day. The rapid succession of scientific findings on SARS-CoV-2 provides a significant number of potential drug targets. Nevertheless, at the same time, the high quantity of clinical data, generated by a large number of rapidly infected people, require accurate tests regarding effective medical treatments. Several in vitro and in vivo studies were rapidly initiated after the outbreak of the pandemic COVID-19. Initial clinical studies revealed the promising potential of remdesivir that demonstrated a powerful and specific in vitro antiviral activity for COVID-19. Promising effects appear to be attributable to hydroxychloroquine. Remdesivir and hydroxychloroquine are being tested in ongoing randomized trials. In contrast, oseltamivir was not effective and corticosteroids are not currently recommended. However, few data from ongoing clinical trials are identifying low molecular weight heparins, innate immune system stimulating agents, and inflammatory modulating agents as potential effective agents. The authors assume that the current pandemic will determine the need for a systematic approach based on big data analysis for identifying effective drugs to defeat SARS-Cov-2. This work is aimed to be a general reference point and to provide an overview as comprehensive as possible regarding the main clinical trials in progress at the moment.


Subject(s)
Adjuvants, Immunologic/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Inflammation Mediators/pharmacology , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Adjuvants, Immunologic/therapeutic use , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Alanine/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Clinical Trials as Topic , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Glucocorticoids/pharmacology , Glucocorticoids/therapeutic use , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/pharmacology , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/therapeutic use , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/pharmacology , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Immunity, Innate/drug effects , Inflammation Mediators/therapeutic use , Oseltamivir/pharmacology , Oseltamivir/therapeutic use , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
8.
EBioMedicine ; 59: 102969, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-728523

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) is associated with severe inflammation in mainly the lung, and kidney. Reports suggest a beneficial effect of the use of heparin/low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) on mortality in COVID-19. In part, this beneficial effect could be explained by the anticoagulant properties of heparin/LMWH. Here, we summarise potential beneficial, non-anticoagulant mechanisms underlying treatment of COVID-19 patients with heparin/LMWH, which include: (i) Inhibition of heparanase activity, responsible for endothelial leakage; (ii) Neutralisation of chemokines, and cytokines; (iii) Interference with leukocyte trafficking; (iv) Reducing viral cellular entry, and (v) Neutralisation of extracellular cytotoxic histones. Considering the multiple inflammatory and pathogenic mechanisms targeted by heparin/LMWH, it is warranted to conduct clinical studies that evaluate therapeutic doses of heparin/LMWH in COVID-19 patients. In addition, identification of specific heparin-derived sequences that are functional in targeting non-anticoagulant mechanisms may have even higher therapeutic potential for COVID-19 patients, and patients suffering from other inflammatory diseases.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Heparin/therapeutic use , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/metabolism , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Glucuronidase/antagonists & inhibitors , Glucuronidase/metabolism , Heparin/metabolism , Heparin/pharmacology , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/metabolism , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/pharmacology , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/therapeutic use , Histones/blood , Histones/metabolism , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Internalization/drug effects
9.
Am J Kidney Dis ; 76(3): 431-435, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-436397

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a contagious life-threatening infection caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Recent findings indicate an increased risk for acute kidney injury during COVID-19 infection. The pathophysiologic mechanisms leading to acute kidney injury in COVID-19 infection are unclear but may include direct cytopathic effects of the virus on kidney tubular and endothelial cells, indirect damage caused by virus-induced cytokine release, and kidney hypoperfusion due to a restrictive fluid strategy. In this report of 2 cases, we propose an additional pathophysiologic mechanism. We describe 2 cases in which patients with COVID-19 infection developed a decrease in kidney function due to kidney infarction. These patients did not have atrial fibrillation. One of these patients was treated with therapeutic doses of low-molecular-weight heparin, after which no further deterioration in kidney function was observed. Our findings implicate that the differential diagnosis of acute kidney injury in COVID-19-infected patients should include kidney infarction, which may have important preventive and therapeutic implications.


Subject(s)
Acute Kidney Injury/diagnostic imaging , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/diagnostic imaging , Infarction/diagnostic imaging , Kidney/blood supply , Kidney/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Acute Kidney Injury/drug therapy , Acute Kidney Injury/etiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Diagnosis, Differential , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/pharmacology , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/therapeutic use , Humans , Infarction/drug therapy , Infarction/etiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Med Hypotheses ; 142: 109743, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-88380

ABSTRACT

Currently, our world is facing the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and tremendous efforts are made for developing drugs to treat and vaccines to prevent the disease. At present, there is no specific antiviral drug or vaccine for COVID-19. The pathogenic infectivity of the virus requires the S1 subunit of the spike (S) protein to bind the host cell receptor, angiontensin converting enzyme (ACE2). While the binding to host cell receptor is the first step of infection, the entrance of the virus into the cell needs the cleavage of S1-S2 subunits to expose S2 for fusion to cell membrane via host proteases including cathepsins, cell surface transmembrane protease/serine (TMPRSS) proteases, furin, trypsin and factor Xa. Previous in vitro studies have shown that factor Xa inhibition can decrease viral infectivity. We suppose that host cell proteases including furin (as expressed highly in lungs), factor Xa and cathepsin are possible targets to decrease viral burden, therefore unfractioned heparin and low molecular weight heparin-LMWH (specifically dalteparin and tinzaparin for their anti inflammatory action) can be potential inhibitors of multiple endoproteases involved in virus infectivity. Our hypothesis needs to be tested in in vitro and clinical studies, however as we are in an urgent situation as the burden of SARS-CoV2 is increasing all around the world, we recommend the usage of unfractioned heparin or LMWH in intensive care unit (ICU) and non-ICU hospitalized patients with the risk-benefit judgement of the clinician. Whether our hypothesis is clinically applicable and successful in decreasing viral infection will be evaluated for further studies.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/pharmacology , Heparin/pharmacology , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Drug Administration Schedule , Factor Xa/metabolism , Humans , Models, Theoretical , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
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