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1.
Cell Rep ; 38(8): 110414, 2022 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1700507

ABSTRACT

Inflammasome activation exacerbates infectious disease caused by pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Although these pathogens activate host inflammasomes to regulate pathogen expansion, the mechanisms by which pathogen toxins contribute to inflammasome activation remain poorly understood. Here we show that activation of inflammasomes by Listeria infection is promoted by amino acid residue T223 of listeriolysin O (LLO) independently of its pore-forming activity. LLO T223 is critical for phosphorylation of the inflammasome adaptor ASC at amino acid residue Y144 through Lyn-Syk signaling, which is essential for ASC oligomerization. Notably, a Listeria mutant expressing LLO T223A is impaired in inducing ASC phosphorylation and inflammasome activation. Furthermore, the virulence of LLO T223A mutant is markedly attenuated in vivo due to impaired ability to activate the inflammasome. Our results reveal a function of a pathogen toxin that exacerbates infection by promoting phosphorylation of ASC.


Subject(s)
Bacterial Proteins/metabolism , Bacterial Toxins/metabolism , CARD Signaling Adaptor Proteins/metabolism , Heat-Shock Proteins/metabolism , Hemolysin Proteins/metabolism , Inflammasomes/metabolism , Listeria monocytogenes/pathogenicity , Signal Transduction , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Bacterial Proteins/genetics , Bacterial Toxins/chemistry , Bacterial Toxins/genetics , CARD Signaling Adaptor Proteins/chemistry , CARD Signaling Adaptor Proteins/deficiency , CARD Signaling Adaptor Proteins/genetics , Gene Editing , Heat-Shock Proteins/chemistry , Heat-Shock Proteins/genetics , Hemolysin Proteins/chemistry , Hemolysin Proteins/genetics , Interleukin-18/metabolism , Listeria monocytogenes/metabolism , Macrophages, Peritoneal/cytology , Macrophages, Peritoneal/metabolism , Macrophages, Peritoneal/microbiology , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , Mutagenesis, Site-Directed , Phosphorylation , Syk Kinase/genetics , Syk Kinase/metabolism , Virulence , src-Family Kinases/genetics , src-Family Kinases/metabolism
2.
Front Immunol ; 12: 780804, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1648493

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Currently, cardiovascular risk associated with COVID-19 has been brought to people's attention, but the mechanism is not clear. The aim of this study is to elucidate the mechanisms based on multiple omics data. Methodology: Weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) was used to identify key pathways. Combination analysis with aneurysm and atherosclerosis related pathways, hypoxia induced factor-1 (HIF-1) signaling were identified as key pathways of the increased cardiovascular risk associated with COVID-19. ScMLnet algorithm based on scRNA-seq was used to explore the regulation of HIF-1 pathway by intercellular communication. Proteomic analysis was used to detect the regulatory mechanisms between IL18 and HIF-1 signaling pathway. Pseudo time locus analysis was used to study the regulation of HIF1 signaling pathway in macrophages and vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) phenotypic transformation. The Virtual Inference of protein-activity by Enriched Regulon (VIPER) analysis was used to study the activity of regulatory proteins. Epigenetic analysis based on methylation revealed epigenetic changes in PBMC after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Potential therapeutic compounds were explored by using Cmap algorithm. Results: HIF-1 signaling pathway is a common key pathway for aneurysms, atherosclerosis and SARS-CoV-2 infection. Intercellular communication analysis showed that macrophage-derived interleukin-18 (IL-18) activates the HIF-1 signaling pathway through IL18R1. Proteomic analysis showed that IL18/IL18R1 promote NF-κB entry into the nucleus, and activated the HIF-1 signaling pathway. Macrophage-derived IL18 promoted the M1 polarization of macrophages and the syntactic phenotype transformation of VSMCs. MAP2K1 mediates the functional regulation of HIF-1 signaling pathway in various cell types. Epigenetic changes in PBMC after COVID-19 infection are characterized by activation of the type I interferon pathway. MEK inhibitors are the promising compounds for the treatment of HIF-1 overactivation. Conclusions: The IL18/IL18R1/HIF1A axis is expected to be an therapeutic target for cardiovascular protection after SARS-CoV-2 infection. MEK inhibitors may be an choice for cardiovascular protection after SARS-COV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Aneurysm/etiology , Aneurysm/metabolism , Atherosclerosis/etiology , Atherosclerosis/metabolism , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/complications , Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit/metabolism , Interleukin-18 Receptor alpha Subunit/metabolism , Interleukin-18/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Signal Transduction , Aneurysm/pathology , Atherosclerosis/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Cells, Cultured , Epigenesis, Genetic , Humans , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/metabolism , Macrophages/metabolism , Myocytes, Smooth Muscle/metabolism , NF-kappa B/metabolism , Proteomics/methods , RNA-Seq/methods , Risk Factors , Single-Cell Analysis/methods
3.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(37)2021 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1373495

ABSTRACT

The hallmark of severe COVID-19 is an uncontrolled inflammatory response, resulting from poorly understood immunological dysfunction. We hypothesized that perturbations in FoxP3+ T regulatory cells (Treg), key enforcers of immune homeostasis, contribute to COVID-19 pathology. Cytometric and transcriptomic profiling revealed a distinct Treg phenotype in severe COVID-19 patients, with an increase in Treg proportions and intracellular levels of the lineage-defining transcription factor FoxP3, correlating with poor outcomes. These Tregs showed a distinct transcriptional signature, with overexpression of several suppressive effectors, but also proinflammatory molecules like interleukin (IL)-32, and a striking similarity to tumor-infiltrating Tregs that suppress antitumor responses. Most marked during acute severe disease, these traits persisted somewhat in convalescent patients. A screen for candidate agents revealed that IL-6 and IL-18 may individually contribute different facets of these COVID-19-linked perturbations. These results suggest that Tregs may play nefarious roles in COVID-19, by suppressing antiviral T cell responses during the severe phase of the disease, and by a direct proinflammatory role.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/etiology , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory/physiology , Adult , Aged , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , Female , Forkhead Transcription Factors/genetics , Forkhead Transcription Factors/metabolism , Gene Expression Profiling , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Inflammation/metabolism , Inflammation/virology , Interleukin-18/genetics , Interleukin-18/metabolism , Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit/genetics , Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit/metabolism , Interleukin-6/genetics , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating/physiology , Male , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory/virology , Transcription Factors/genetics , Transcription Factors/metabolism
4.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(11)2021 May 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1273453

ABSTRACT

Acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) are common and devastating clinical disorders with high mortality and no specific therapy. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is usually used intratracheally to induce ALI in mice. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of an ultramicronized preparation of palmitoylethanolamide (um-PEA) in mice subjected to LPS-induced ALI. Histopathological analysis reveals that um-PEA reduced alteration in lung after LPS intratracheal administration. Besides, um-PEA decreased wet/dry weight ratio and myeloperoxidase, a marker of neutrophils infiltration, macrophages and total immune cells number and mast cells degranulation in lung. Moreover, um-PEA could also decrease cytokines release of interleukin (IL)-6, interleukin (IL)-1ß, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-18. Furthermore, um-PEA significantly inhibited the phosphorylation of nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells inhibitor, alpha (IκBα) and nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) activation in ALI, and at the same time decreased extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38/MAPK) expression, that was increased after LPS administration. Our study suggested that um-PEA contrasted LPS-induced ALI, exerting its potential role as an adjuvant anti-inflammatory therapeutic for treating lung injury, maybe also by p38/NF-κB pathway.


Subject(s)
Acute Lung Injury/drug therapy , Amides/pharmacology , Cytokines/metabolism , Ethanolamines/pharmacology , MAP Kinase Signaling System/drug effects , Palmitic Acids/pharmacology , Acute Lung Injury/metabolism , Acute Lung Injury/pathology , Amides/therapeutic use , Animals , Ethanolamines/therapeutic use , Immunohistochemistry , Inflammation/metabolism , Interleukin-18/metabolism , Interleukin-1beta/metabolism , Interleukin-6/metabolism , JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism , Lipopolysaccharides/administration & dosage , Lipopolysaccharides/toxicity , Macrophages/drug effects , Macrophages/immunology , Male , Mast Cells/drug effects , Mast Cells/pathology , Mice , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1/metabolism , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3/metabolism , NF-KappaB Inhibitor alpha/metabolism , NF-kappa B/metabolism , Neutrophils/drug effects , Neutrophils/immunology , Palmitic Acids/therapeutic use , Peroxidase/metabolism , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism , p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism
5.
Science ; 371(6528): 521-526, 2021 01 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1093836

ABSTRACT

Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are innate sensors of viruses and can augment early immune responses and contribute to protection. We hypothesized that MAIT cells may have inherent adjuvant activity in vaccine platforms that use replication-incompetent adenovirus vectors. In mice and humans, ChAdOx1 (chimpanzee adenovirus Ox1) immunization robustly activated MAIT cells. Activation required plasmacytoid dendritic cell (pDC)-derived interferon (IFN)-α and monocyte-derived interleukin-18. IFN-α-induced, monocyte-derived tumor necrosis factor was also identified as a key secondary signal. All three cytokines were required in vitro and in vivo. Activation of MAIT cells positively correlated with vaccine-induced T cell responses in human volunteers and MAIT cell-deficient mice displayed impaired CD8+ T cell responses to multiple vaccine-encoded antigens. Thus, MAIT cells contribute to the immunogenicity of adenovirus vectors, with implications for vaccine design.


Subject(s)
Adenoviridae/immunology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Mucosal-Associated Invariant T Cells/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Animals , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Genetic Vectors/immunology , Humans , Interferon-alpha/metabolism , Interleukin-18/metabolism , Lymphocyte Activation , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism
6.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(3): 100208, 2021 03 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065663

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 causes a spectrum of COVID-19 disease, the immunological basis of which remains ill defined. We analyzed 85 SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals at acute and/or convalescent time points, up to 102 days after symptom onset, quantifying 184 immunological parameters. Acute COVID-19 presented with high levels of IL-6, IL-18, and IL-10 and broad activation marked by the upregulation of CD38 on innate and adaptive lymphocytes and myeloid cells. Importantly, activated CXCR3+cTFH1 cells in acute COVID-19 significantly correlate with and predict antibody levels and their avidity at convalescence as well as acute neutralization activity. Strikingly, intensive care unit (ICU) patients with severe COVID-19 display higher levels of soluble IL-6, IL-6R, and IL-18, and hyperactivation of innate, adaptive, and myeloid compartments than patients with moderate disease. Our analyses provide a comprehensive map of longitudinal immunological responses in COVID-19 patients and integrate key cellular pathways of complex immune networks underpinning severe COVID-19, providing important insights into potential biomarkers and immunotherapies.


Subject(s)
Antibody Formation , COVID-19/immunology , Adaptive Immunity , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , B-Lymphocytes/cytology , B-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Interleukin-18/metabolism , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Receptors, CXCR3/metabolism , Receptors, Interleukin-6/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index , Th1 Cells/cytology , Th1 Cells/metabolism , Young Adult
7.
J Intern Med ; 289(4): 523-531, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-796040

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A high proportion of COVID-19 patients have cardiac involvement, even those without known cardiac disease. Downregulation of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), a receptor for SARS-CoV-2 and the renin-angiotensin system, as well as inflammatory mechanisms have been suggested to play a role. ACE2 is abundant in the gut and associated with gut microbiota composition. We hypothesized that gut leakage of microbial products, and subsequent inflammasome activation could contribute to cardiac involvement in COVID-19 patients. METHODS: Plasma levels of a gut leakage marker (LPS-binding protein, LBP), a marker of enterocyte damage (intestinal fatty acid binding protein, IFABP), a gut homing marker (CCL25, ligand for chemokine receptor CCR9) and markers of inflammasome activation (IL-1ß, IL-18 and their regulatory proteins) were measured at three time points (day 1, 3-5 and 7-10) in 39 hospitalized COVID-19 patients and related to cardiac involvement. RESULTS: Compared to controls, COVID-19 patients had elevated plasma levels of LBP and CCL25 but not IFABP, suggesting impaired gut barrier function and accentuated gut homing of T cells without excessive enterocyte damage. Levels of LBP were twice as high at baseline in patients with elevated cardiac markers compared with those without and remained elevated during hospitalization. Also, markers of inflammasome activation were moderately elevated in patients with cardiac involvement. LBP was associated with higher NT-pro-BNP levels, whereas IL-18, IL-18BP and IL-1Ra were associated with higher troponin levels. CONCLUSION: Patients with cardiac involvement had elevated markers of gut leakage and inflammasome activation, suggestive of a potential gut-heart axis in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chemokines, CC/metabolism , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/immunology , Heart Diseases , Inflammasomes/metabolism , Intestinal Mucosa , SARS-CoV-2 , Acute-Phase Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , Carrier Proteins/metabolism , Correlation of Data , Heart Diseases/immunology , Heart Diseases/virology , Humans , Interleukin-18/metabolism , Interleukin-1beta/metabolism , Intestinal Mucosa/immunology , Intestinal Mucosa/microbiology , Intestinal Mucosa/physiopathology , Membrane Glycoproteins/metabolism , Natriuretic Peptide, Brain/blood , Peptide Fragments/blood , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Troponin/blood
8.
Cell ; 183(4): 982-995.e14, 2020 11 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-756809

ABSTRACT

Initially, children were thought to be spared from disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). However, a month into the epidemic, a novel multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) emerged. Herein, we report on the immune profiles of nine MIS-C cases. All MIS-C patients had evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 exposure, mounting an antibody response with intact neutralization capability. Cytokine profiling identified elevated signatures of inflammation (IL-18 and IL-6), lymphocytic and myeloid chemotaxis and activation (CCL3, CCL4, and CDCP1), and mucosal immune dysregulation (IL-17A, CCL20, and CCL28). Immunophenotyping of peripheral blood revealed reductions of non-classical monocytes, and subsets of NK and T lymphocytes, suggesting extravasation to affected tissues. Finally, profiling the autoantigen reactivity of MIS-C plasma revealed both known disease-associated autoantibodies (anti-La) and novel candidates that recognize endothelial, gastrointestinal, and immune-cell antigens. All patients were treated with anti-IL-6R antibody and/or IVIG, which led to rapid disease resolution.


Subject(s)
Inflammation/pathology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/pathology , Adolescent , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Autoantibodies/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Chemokine CCL3/metabolism , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Inflammation/metabolism , Interleukin-17/metabolism , Interleukin-18/metabolism , Killer Cells, Natural/cytology , Killer Cells, Natural/metabolism , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/immunology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes/cytology , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , Young Adult
9.
JAMA Cardiol ; 5(11): 1281-1285, 2020 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-676377

ABSTRACT

Importance: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can be documented in various tissues, but the frequency of cardiac involvement as well as possible consequences are unknown. Objective: To evaluate the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the myocardial tissue from autopsy cases and to document a possible cardiac response to that infection. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study used data from consecutive autopsy cases from Germany between April 8 and April 18, 2020. All patients had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in pharyngeal swab tests. Exposures: Patients who died of coronavirus disease 2019. Main Outcomes and Measures: Incidence of SARS-CoV-2 positivity in cardiac tissue as well as CD3+, CD45+, and CD68+ cells in the myocardium and gene expression of tumor necrosis growth factor α, interferon γ, chemokine ligand 5, as well as interleukin-6, -8, and -18. Results: Cardiac tissue from 39 consecutive autopsy cases were included. The median (interquartile range) age of patients was 85 (78-89) years, and 23 (59.0%) were women. SARS-CoV-2 could be documented in 24 of 39 patients (61.5%). Viral load above 1000 copies per µg RNA could be documented in 16 of 39 patients (41.0%). A cytokine response panel consisting of 6 proinflammatory genes was increased in those 16 patients compared with 15 patients without any SARS-CoV-2 in the heart. Comparison of 15 patients without cardiac infection with 16 patients with more than 1000 copies revealed no inflammatory cell infiltrates or differences in leukocyte numbers per high power field. Conclusions and Relevance: In this analysis of autopsy cases, viral presence within the myocardium could be documented. While a response to this infection could be reported in cases with higher virus load vs no virus infection, this was not associated with an influx of inflammatory cells. Future investigations should focus on evaluating the long-term consequences of this cardiac involvement.


Subject(s)
Autopsy/methods , COVID-19/complications , Cardiovascular Infections/etiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cardiovascular Infections/metabolism , Cardiovascular Infections/virology , Chemokines/metabolism , Cohort Studies , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Interleukin-18/metabolism , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Interleukin-8/metabolism , Male , Myocarditis/etiology , Myocarditis/metabolism , Myocarditis/virology , Myocardium/immunology , Myocardium/metabolism , Pandemics , Peptide Fragments/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism , Viral Load/statistics & numerical data
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