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Cell ; 184(26): 6243-6261.e27, 2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1536467


COVID-19-induced "acute respiratory distress syndrome" (ARDS) is associated with prolonged respiratory failure and high mortality, but the mechanistic basis of lung injury remains incompletely understood. Here, we analyze pulmonary immune responses and lung pathology in two cohorts of patients with COVID-19 ARDS using functional single-cell genomics, immunohistology, and electron microscopy. We describe an accumulation of CD163-expressing monocyte-derived macrophages that acquired a profibrotic transcriptional phenotype during COVID-19 ARDS. Gene set enrichment and computational data integration revealed a significant similarity between COVID-19-associated macrophages and profibrotic macrophage populations identified in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. COVID-19 ARDS was associated with clinical, radiographic, histopathological, and ultrastructural hallmarks of pulmonary fibrosis. Exposure of human monocytes to SARS-CoV-2, but not influenza A virus or viral RNA analogs, was sufficient to induce a similar profibrotic phenotype in vitro. In conclusion, we demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 triggers profibrotic macrophage responses and pronounced fibroproliferative ARDS.

COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/virology , Macrophages/pathology , Macrophages/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Antigens, CD/metabolism , Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic/metabolism , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Cell Communication , Cohort Studies , Fibroblasts/pathology , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/diagnostic imaging , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/genetics , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/pathology , Phenotype , Proteome/metabolism , Receptors, Cell Surface/metabolism , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/diagnostic imaging , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/pathology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Transcription, Genetic
J Pathol Clin Res ; 7(5): 446-458, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1224964


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) poses a serious threat to healthcare systems worldwide. Binding of the virus to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is an important step in the infection mechanism. However, it is unknown if ACE2 expression in patients with chronic lung diseases (CLDs), such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH), or pulmonary fibrosis (PF), is changed as compared to controls. We used lung samples from patients with COPD (n = 28), IPAH (n = 10), and PF (n = 10) as well as healthy control donor (n = 10) tissue samples to investigate the expression of ACE2 and related cofactors that might influence the course of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Expression levels of the ACE2 receptor, the putative receptor CD147/BSG, and the viral entry cofactors TMPRSS2 (transmembrane serine protease 2), EZR, and FURIN were determined by quantitative PCR and in open-access RNA sequencing datasets. Immunohistochemical and single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq) analyses were used for localization and coexpression, respectively. Soluble ACE2 (sACE2) plasma levels were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. In COPD as compared to donor, IPAH, and PF lung tissue, gene expression of ACE2, TMPRSS2, and EZR was significantly elevated, but circulating sACE2 levels were significantly reduced in COPD and PF plasma compared to healthy control and IPAH plasma samples. Lung tissue expressions of FURIN and CD147/BSG were downregulated in COPD. None of these changes were associated with changes in pulmonary hemodynamics. Histological analysis revealed coexpression of ACE2, TMPRSS2, and Ezrin in bronchial regions and epithelial cells. This was confirmed by scRNAseq analysis. There were no significant expression changes of the analyzed molecules in the lung tissue of IPAH and idiopathic PF as compared to control. In conclusion, we reveal increased ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression in lung tissue with a concomitant decrease of protective sACE2 in COPD patients. These changes represent the possible risk factors for an increased susceptibility of COPD patients to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Familial Primary Pulmonary Hypertension/pathology , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Adult , Aged , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Basigin/genetics , Basigin/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Disease Susceptibility , Familial Primary Pulmonary Hypertension/enzymology , Familial Primary Pulmonary Hypertension/virology , Female , Furin/genetics , Furin/metabolism , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/metabolism , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/virology , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/metabolism , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/virology , Risk Factors , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Virus Internalization
Mol Med ; 26(1): 95, 2020 10 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-873932


Pulmonary fibrosis arises from the repeated epithelial mild injuries and insufficient repair lead to over activation of fibroblasts and excessive deposition of extracellular matrix, which result in a mechanical stretched niche. However, increasing mechanical stress likely exists before the establishment of fibrosis since early micro injuries increase local vascular permeability and prompt cytoskeletal remodeling which alter cellular mechanical forces. It is noteworthy that COVID-19 patients with severe hypoxemia will receive mechanical ventilation as supportive treatment and subsequent pathology studies indicate lung fibrosis pattern. At advanced stages, mechanical stress originates mainly from the stiff matrix since boundaries between stiff and compliant parts of the tissue could generate mechanical stress. Therefore, mechanical stress has a significant role in the whole development process of pulmonary fibrosis. The alveoli are covered by abundant capillaries and function as the main gas exchange unit. Constantly subject to variety of damages, the alveolar epithelium injuries were recently recognized to play a vital role in the onset and development of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. In this review, we summarize the literature regarding the effects of mechanical stress on the fundamental cells constituting the alveoli in the process of pulmonary fibrosis, particularly on epithelial cells, capillary endothelial cells, fibroblasts, mast cells, macrophages and stem cells. Finally, we briefly review this issue from a more comprehensive perspective: the metabolic and epigenetic regulation.

Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Epigenesis, Genetic/immunology , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/immunology , Mechanotransduction, Cellular/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pulmonary Embolism/immunology , Respiratory Insufficiency/immunology , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/immunology , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/pathology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Biomechanical Phenomena , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/immunology , Endothelial Cells/immunology , Endothelial Cells/pathology , Fibroblasts/immunology , Fibroblasts/pathology , Humans , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/genetics , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/virology , Lung/blood supply , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , Macrophages/immunology , Macrophages/pathology , Mechanotransduction, Cellular/genetics , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Pulmonary Embolism/genetics , Pulmonary Embolism/pathology , Pulmonary Embolism/virology , Respiratory Insufficiency/genetics , Respiratory Insufficiency/pathology , Respiratory Insufficiency/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress, Mechanical