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1.
Arch Virol ; 166(8): 2285-2289, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1826502

ABSTRACT

Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are considered multipotent progenitors with the capacity to differentiate into mesoderm-like cells in many species. The immunosuppressive properties of MSCs are important for downregulating inflammatory responses. Turkey coronavirus (TCoV) is the etiological agent of a poult mortality syndrome that affects intestinal epithelial cells. In this study, poult MSCs were isolated, characterized, and infected with TCoV after in vitro culture. The poult-derived MSCs showed fibroblast-like morphology and the ability to undergo differentiation into mesodermal-derived cells and to support virus replication. Infection with TCoV resulted in cytopathic effects and the loss of cell viability. TCoV antigens and new viral progeny were detected at high levels, as were transcripts of the pro-inflammatory factors INFγ, IL-6, and IL-8. These findings suggest that the cytokine storm phenomenon is not restricted to one genus of the family Coronaviridae and that MSCs cannot always balance the process.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus, Turkey/physiology , Cytokines/metabolism , Virus Replication , Animals , Cell Differentiation , Cell Survival , Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Interleukin-8/metabolism , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/cytology , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/metabolism , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/virology , Turkeys , Up-Regulation
2.
PLoS One ; 17(4): e0266632, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1779775

ABSTRACT

Interleukin 6 (IL-6) is a cytokine with various biological functions in immune regulation, hematopoiesis, and inflammation. Elevated IL-6 levels have been identified in several severe disorders such as sepsis, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and most recently, COVID-19. The biological activity of IL-6 relies on interactions with its specific receptor, IL-6Rα, including the membrane-bound IL-6 receptor (mIL-6R) and the soluble IL-6 receptor (sIL-6R). Thus, inhibition of the interaction between these two proteins would be a potential treatment for IL-6 related diseases. To date, no orally available small-molecule drug has been approved. This study focuses on finding potential small molecules that can inhibit protein-protein interactions between IL-6 and its receptor IL-6Rα using its crystal structure (PDB ID: 5FUC). First, two pharmacophore models were constructed based on the interactions between key residues of IL-6 (Phe74, Phe78, Leu178, Arg179, Arg182) and IL-6Rα (Phe229, Tyr230, Glu277, Glu278, Phe279). A database of approximately 22 million compounds was screened using 3D-pharmacophore models, molecular docking models, and ADMET properties. By analyzing the interactive capability of successfully docked compounds with important amino acids, 12 potential ligands were selected for further analysis via molecular dynamics simulations. Based on the stability of the complexes, the high interactions rate of each ligand with the key residues of IL-6/IL-6Rα, and the low binding free energy calculation, two compounds ZINC83804241 and ZINC02997430, were identified as the most potential IL-6 inhibitor candidates. These results will pave the way for the design and optimization of more specific compounds to combat cytokine storm in severe coronavirus patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Ligands , Molecular Docking Simulation , Receptors, Interleukin-6/metabolism
3.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(7)2022 Apr 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1776254

ABSTRACT

In the novel pandemic of Coronavirus Disease 2019, high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines lead to endothelial activation and dysfunction, promoting a pro-coagulative state, thrombotic events, and microvasculature injuries. The aim of the present work was to investigate the effect of SARS-CoV-2 on pro-inflammatory cytokines, tissue factor, and chemokine release, with Human Microvascular Endothelial Cells (HMEC-1). ACE2 receptor expression was evaluated by western blot analysis. SARS-CoV-2 infection was assessed by one-step RT-PCR until 7 days post-infection (p.i.), and by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). IL-6, TNF-α, IL-8, IFN-α, and hTF mRNA expression levels were detected by RT-PCR, while cytokine release was evaluated by ELISA. HMEC-1 expressed ACE2 receptor and SARS-CoV-2 infection showed a constant viral load. TEM analysis showed virions localized in the cytoplasm. Expression of IL-6 at 24 h and IFN-α mRNA at 24 h and 48 h p.i. was higher in infected than uninfected HMEC-1 (p < 0.05). IL-6 levels were significantly higher in supernatants from infected HMEC-1 (p < 0.001) at 24 h, 48 h, and 72 h p.i., while IL-8 levels were significantly lower at 24 h p.i. (p < 0.001). These data indicate that in vitro microvascular endothelial cells are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection but slightly contribute to viral amplification. However, SARS-CoV-2 infection might trigger the increase of pro-inflammatory mediators.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Chemokines/genetics , Chemokines/metabolism , Cytokines/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Interleukin-6/genetics , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Interleukin-8/genetics , Interleukin-8/metabolism , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2
4.
J Immunol ; 207(5): 1275-1287, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1771322

ABSTRACT

The airway epithelial cells (AECs) lining the conducting passageways of the lung secrete a variety of immunomodulatory factors. Among these, PGE2 limits lung inflammation and promotes bronchodilation. By contrast, IL-6 drives intense airway inflammation, remodeling, and fibrosis. The signaling that differentiates the production of these opposing mediators is not understood. In this study, we find that the production of PGE2 and IL-6 following stimulation of human AECs by the damage-associated molecular pattern extracellular ATP shares a common requirement for Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channels. ATP-mediated synthesis of PGE2 required activation of metabotropic P2Y2 receptors and CRAC channel-mediated cytosolic phospholipase A2 signaling. By contrast, ATP-evoked synthesis of IL-6 occurred via activation of ionotropic P2X receptors and CRAC channel-mediated calcineurin/NFAT signaling. In contrast to ATP, which elicited the production of both PGE2 and IL-6, the uridine nucleotide, UTP, stimulated PGE2 but not IL-6 production. These results reveal that human AECs employ unique receptor-specific signaling mechanisms with CRAC channels as a signaling nexus to regulate release of opposing immunomodulatory mediators. Collectively, our results identify P2Y2 receptors, CRAC channels, and P2X receptors as potential intervention targets for airway diseases.


Subject(s)
Dinoprostone/metabolism , Inflammation/immunology , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Adenosine Triphosphate/pharmacokinetics , Alarmins/metabolism , Calcium Release Activated Calcium Channels/metabolism , Cells, Cultured , Humans , Immunomodulation , Interleukin-6/genetics , NFATC Transcription Factors/metabolism , Phospholipases A2/metabolism , Receptors, Purinergic P2X/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/pathology , Signal Transduction , Uracil Nucleotides/metabolism
5.
Cell Death Dis ; 13(3): 269, 2022 03 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1764162

ABSTRACT

Stimulator of interferon genes (STING) contributes to immune responses against tumors and may control viral infection including SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, activation of the STING pathway by airway silica or smoke exposure leads to cell death, self-dsDNA release, and STING/type I IFN dependent acute lung inflammation/ARDS. The inflammatory response induced by a synthetic non-nucleotide-based diABZI STING agonist, in comparison to the natural cyclic dinucleotide cGAMP, is unknown. A low dose of diABZI (1 µg by endotracheal route for 3 consecutive days) triggered an acute neutrophilic inflammation, disruption of the respiratory barrier, DNA release with NET formation, PANoptosis cell death, and inflammatory cytokines with type I IFN dependent acute lung inflammation. Downstream upregulation of DNA sensors including cGAS, DDX41, IFI204, as well as NLRP3 and AIM2 inflammasomes, suggested a secondary inflammatory response to dsDNA as a danger signal. DNase I treatment, inhibition of NET formation together with an investigation in gene-deficient mice highlighted extracellular DNA and TLR9, but not cGAS, as central to diABZI-induced neutrophilic response. Therefore, activation of acute cell death with DNA release may lead to ARDS which may be modeled by diABZI. These results show that airway targeting by STING activator as a therapeutic strategy for infection may enhance lung inflammation with severe ARDS. STING agonist diABZI induces neutrophilic lung inflammation and PANoptosis A, Airway STING priming induce a neutrophilic lung inflammation with epithelial barrier damage, double-stranded DNA release in the bronchoalvelolar space, cell death, NETosis and type I interferon release. B, 1. The diamidobenzimidazole (diABZI), a STING agonist is internalized into the cytoplasm through unknown receptor and induce the activation and dimerization of STING followed by TBK1/IRF3 phosporylation leading to type I IFN response. STING activation also leads to NF-kB activation and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNFα and IL-6. 2. The activation of TNFR1 and IFNAR1 signaling pathway results in ZBP1 and RIPK3/ASC/CASP8 activation leading to MLKL phosphorylation and necroptosis induction. 3. This can also leads to Caspase-3 cleavage and apoptosis induction. 4. Self-dsDNA or mtDNA sensing by NLRP3 or AIM2 induces inflammsome formation leading to Gasdermin D cleavage enabling Gasdermin D pore formation and the release mature IL-1ß and pyroptosis. NLRP3 inflammasome formation can be enhanced by the ZBP1/RIPK3/CASP8 complex. 5. A second signal of STING activation with diABZI induces cell death and the release of self-DNA which is sensed by cGAS and form 2'3'-cGAMP leading to STING hyper activation, the amplification of TBK1/IRF3 and NF-kB pathway and the subsequent production of IFN-I and inflammatory TNFα and IL-6. This also leads to IFI204 and DDX41 upregulation thus, amplifying the inflammatory loop. The upregulation of apoptosis, pyroptosis and necroptosis is indicative of STING-dependent PANoptosis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , Animals , Cytokines/metabolism , DNA , Inflammasomes/metabolism , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Mice , NF-kappa B/metabolism , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/metabolism , Nucleotidyltransferases/genetics , Nucleotidyltransferases/metabolism , RNA-Binding Proteins , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism
6.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 4867, 2022 03 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1758369

ABSTRACT

Leucine-rich α-2-glycoprotein 1 (LRG1) is a secreted glycoprotein that under physiological conditions is produced predominantly by the liver. In disease, its local induction promotes pathogenic neovascularisation while its inhibition leads to reduced dysfunctional angiogenesis. Here we examine the role of interleukin-6 (IL-6) in defective angiogenesis mediated by LRG1. IL-6 treatment induced LRG1 expression in endothelial cells and ex vivo angiogenesis cultures and promoted vascular growth with reduced mural cell coverage. In Lrg1-/- explants, however, IL-6 failed to stimulate angiogenesis and vessels exhibited improved mural cell coverage. IL-6 activated LRG1 transcription through the phosphorylation and binding of STAT3 to a conserved consensus site in the LRG1 promoter, the deletion of which abolished activation. Blocking IL-6 signalling in human lung endothelial cells, using the anti-IL6 receptor antibody Tocilizumab, significantly reduced LRG1 expression. Our data demonstrate that IL-6, through STAT3 phosphorylation, activates LRG1 transcription resulting in vascular destabilisation. This observation is especially timely in light of the potential role of IL-6 in COVID-19 patients with severe pulmonary microvascular complications, where targeting IL-6 has been beneficial. However, our data suggest that a therapy directed towards blocking the downstream angiopathic effector molecule LRG1 may be of greater utility.


Subject(s)
Glycoproteins , Interleukin-6 , Neovascularization, Pathologic , STAT3 Transcription Factor , COVID-19 , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Glycoproteins/metabolism , Humans , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Neovascularization, Pathologic/metabolism , STAT3 Transcription Factor/metabolism
7.
J Virol ; 96(5): e0208621, 2022 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1736026

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus infections induce the expression of multiple proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines. We have previously shown that in cells infected with gammacoronavirus infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), interleukin 6 (IL-6), and IL-8 were drastically upregulated, and the MAP kinase p38 and the integrated stress response pathways were implicated in this process. In this study, we report that coronavirus infection activates a negative regulatory loop that restricts the upregulation of a number of proinflammatory genes. As revealed by the initial transcriptomic and subsequent validation analyses, the anti-inflammatory adenine-uridine (AU)-rich element (ARE)-binding protein, zinc finger protein 36 (ZFP36), and its related family members were upregulated in cells infected with IBV and three other coronaviruses, alphacoronaviruses porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-229E), and betacoronavirus HCoV-OC43, respectively. Characterization of the functional roles of ZFP36 during IBV infection demonstrated that ZFP36 promoted the degradation of transcripts coding for IL-6, IL-8, dual-specificity phosphatase 1 (DUSP1), prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (PTGS2) and TNF-α-induced protein 3 (TNFAIP3), through binding to AREs in these transcripts. Consistently, knockdown and inhibition of JNK and p38 kinase activities reduced the expression of ZFP36, as well as the expression of IL-6 and IL-8. On the contrary, overexpression of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 3 (MKK3) and MAPKAP kinase-2 (MK2), the upstream and downstream kinases of p38, respectively, increased the expression of ZFP36 and decreased the expression of IL-8. Taken together, this study reveals an important regulatory role of the MKK3-p38-MK2-ZFP36 axis in coronavirus infection-induced proinflammatory response. IMPORTANCE Excessive and uncontrolled induction and release of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, the so-called cytokine release syndrome (CRS), would cause life-threatening complications and multiple organ failure in severe coronavirus infections, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and COVID-19. This study reveals that coronavirus infection also induces the expression of ZFP36, an anti-inflammatory ARE-binding protein, promoting the degradation of ARE-containing transcripts coding for IL-6 and IL-8 as well as a number of other proteins related to inflammatory response. Furthermore, the p38 MAP kinase, its upstream kinase MKK3 and downstream kinase MK2 were shown to play a regulatory role in upregulation of ZFP36 during coronavirus infection cycles. This MKK3-p38-MK2-ZFP36 axis would constitute a potential therapeutic target for severe coronavirus infections.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Interleukin-8/metabolism , Tristetraprolin/metabolism , p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism , Adenine/metabolism , Animals , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Infectious bronchitis virus/metabolism , Infectious bronchitis virus/pathogenicity , Interleukin-6/genetics , Interleukin-8/genetics , Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/metabolism , Phosphorylation , Transcriptional Activation , Up-Regulation , Uridine/metabolism , Vero Cells
8.
Nat Metab ; 4(2): 170-179, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1713218

ABSTRACT

Extensive research has shown that interleukin 6 (IL-6) is a multifunctional molecule that is both proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory, depending on the context. Here, we combine an evolutionary perspective with physiological data to propose that IL-6's context-dependent effects on metabolism reflect its adaptive role for short-term energy allocation. This energy-allocation role is especially salient during physical activity, when skeletal muscle releases large amounts of IL-6. We predict that during bouts of physical activity, myokine IL-6 fulfills the three main characteristics of a short-term energy allocator: it is secreted from muscle in response to an energy deficit, it liberates somatic energy through lipolysis and it enhances muscular energy uptake and transiently downregulates immune function. We then extend this model of energy allocation beyond myokine IL-6 to reinterpret the roles that IL-6 plays in chronic inflammation, as well as during COVID-19-associated hyperinflammation and multiorgan failure.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interleukin-6 , Exercise , Humans , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Muscle, Skeletal/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2
9.
J Virol ; 96(4): e0162221, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1706888

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection can induce mild to life-threatening symptoms. Especially individuals over 60 years of age or with underlying comorbidities, including heart or lung disease and diabetes, or immunocompromised patients are at a higher risk. Fatal multiorgan damage in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients can be attributed to an interleukin-6 (IL-6)-dominated cytokine storm. Consequently, IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) monoclonal antibody treatment for severe COVID-19 cases has been approved for therapy. High concentrations of soluble IL-6R (sIL-6R) were found in COVID-19 intensive care unit patients, suggesting the involvement of IL-6 trans-signaling in disease pathology. Here, in analogy to bispecific antibodies (bsAbs), we developed the first bispecific IL-6 trans-signaling inhibitor, c19s130Fc, which blocks viral infection and IL-6 trans-signaling. c19s130Fc is a designer protein of the IL-6 trans-signaling inhibitor cs130 fused to a single-domain nanobody directed against the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. c19s130Fc binds with high affinity to IL-6:sIL-6R complexes as well as the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, as shown by surface plasmon resonance. Using cell-based assays, we demonstrate that c19s130Fc blocks IL-6 trans-signaling-induced proliferation and STAT3 phosphorylation in Ba/F3-gp130 cells as well as SARS-CoV-2 infection and STAT3 phosphorylation in Vero cells. Taken together, c19s130Fc represents a new class of bispecific inhibitors consisting of a soluble cytokine receptor fused to antiviral nanobodies and principally demonstrates the multifunctionalization of trans-signaling inhibitors. IMPORTANCE The availability of effective SARS-CoV-2 vaccines is a large step forward in managing the pandemic situation. In addition, therapeutic options, e.g., monoclonal antibodies to prevent viral cell entry and anti-inflammatory therapies, including glucocorticoid treatment, are currently developed or in clinical use to treat already infected patients. Here, we report a novel dual-specificity inhibitor to simultaneously target SARS-CoV-2 infection and virus-induced hyperinflammation. This was achieved by fusing an inhibitor of viral cell entry with a molecule blocking IL-6, a key mediator of SARS-CoV-2-induced hyperinflammation. Through this dual action, this molecule may have the potential to efficiently ameliorate symptoms of COVID-19 in infected individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cytokine Receptor gp130 , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Recombinant Fusion Proteins , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Single-Domain Antibodies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cytokine Receptor gp130/chemistry , Cytokine Receptor gp130/genetics , Humans , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/pharmacology , Single-Domain Antibodies/chemistry , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics , Single-Domain Antibodies/pharmacology , Vero Cells
10.
Biomark Med ; 16(5): 317-330, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1703144

ABSTRACT

Aim: To investigate the serum circulating DPP4 activity in patients with COVID-19 disease. Materials & methods: Serum samples from 102 hospitalized COVID-19 patients and 43 post-COVID-19 plasma donors and 39 SARS-CoV-2 naive controls and their medical data were used. Circulating DPP4 activities according to different COVID-19 disease peak severity (WHO) groups at sampling and at peak were assessed. Results: A significant decrease (p < 0.0001) in serum DPP4 activity was found in study groups of higher disease severity. When the circulating DPP4 activity was assessed as a prognostic marker, the logistic regression (p = 0.0023) indicated that the enzyme activity is a predictor of mortality (median 9.5 days before death) with receiver operating characteristic area under the curves of 73.33% (p[area = 0.5] < 0.0001) as single predictor and 83.45% (p[area = 0.5] < 0.0001) in combination with age among hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Conclusion: Decreased circulating DPP4 activity is associated with severe COVID-19 disease and is a strong prognostic biomarker of mortality.


Subject(s)
Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4/blood , Inpatients/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Biomarkers/metabolism , C-Reactive Protein/metabolism , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4/metabolism , Female , Humans , Interleukin-6/blood , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Multivariate Analysis , Prognosis , ROC Curve , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Severity of Illness Index
11.
J Biol Chem ; 298(3): 101695, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1693314

ABSTRACT

Vascular endothelial cells (ECs) form a critical interface between blood and tissues that maintains whole-body homeostasis. In COVID-19, disruption of the EC barrier results in edema, vascular inflammation, and coagulation, hallmarks of this severe disease. However, the mechanisms by which ECs are dysregulated in COVID-19 are unclear. Here, we show that the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 alone activates the EC inflammatory phenotype in a manner dependent on integrin ⍺5ß1 signaling. Incubation of human umbilical vein ECs with whole spike protein, its receptor-binding domain, or the integrin-binding tripeptide RGD induced the nuclear translocation of NF-κB and subsequent expression of leukocyte adhesion molecules (VCAM1 and ICAM1), coagulation factors (TF and FVIII), proinflammatory cytokines (TNFα, IL-1ß, and IL-6), and ACE2, as well as the adhesion of peripheral blood leukocytes and hyperpermeability of the EC monolayer. In addition, inhibitors of integrin ⍺5ß1 activation prevented these effects. Furthermore, these vascular effects occur in vivo, as revealed by the intravenous administration of spike, which increased expression of ICAM1, VCAM1, CD45, TNFα, IL-1ß, and IL-6 in the lung, liver, kidney, and eye, and the intravitreal injection of spike, which disrupted the barrier function of retinal capillaries. We suggest that the spike protein, through its RGD motif in the receptor-binding domain, binds to integrin ⍺5ß1 in ECs to activate the NF-κB target gene expression programs responsible for vascular leakage and leukocyte adhesion. These findings uncover a new direct action of SARS-CoV-2 on EC dysfunction and introduce integrin ⍺5ß1 as a promising target for treating vascular inflammation in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , NF-kappa B , Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Inflammation , Integrin alpha5beta1 , Interleukin-6/metabolism , NF-kappa B/metabolism , Oligopeptides , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
12.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 26(2): 710-714, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1675569

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To study the utility of Galactomannan (GM) antigen as a screening marker for diagnosing invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The serum samples from patients with severe COVID-19 diseases admitted to the Critical Care Unit were collected on the 5th day of admission for GM screening. The samples were analysed by enzyme linked immune sorbent assay (ELISA) and GM index of more than 1 was considered as positive. All GM positive patients were serially followed until discharge or death. RESULTS: The GM was raised in serum of 12 out of 38 patients, indicating an incidence of possible COVID-19 associated IPA (CAPA) in 31.57% of patients. The median age of these CAPA patients was 56.5 years, males were significantly more affected than females. The inflammatory marker serum ferritin was raised in all 12 patients (median value of 713.74 ng/ml), while IL-6 was raised in 9 patients (median value of 54.13 ng/ml). None of these patients received antifungals. Their median length of hospital stay was 20 days (IQR: 12, 34 days). All these patients succumbed to the illness. CONCLUSIONS: The serum GM appears to be sensitive diagnostic tool to identify early IPA in COVID-19 patients and pre-emptive antifungal therapy could play a role in salvaging these patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Galactose/analogs & derivatives , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis/diagnosis , Mannans/blood , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , Galactose/blood , Humans , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis/complications , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Pilot Projects , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sex Factors
13.
Front Immunol ; 12: 769011, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1650341

ABSTRACT

Asthma patients may increase their susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and the poor prognosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, anti-COVID-19/asthma comorbidity approaches are restricted on condition. Existing evidence indicates that luteolin has antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and immune regulation capabilities. We aimed to evaluate the possibility of luteolin evolving into an ideal drug and explore the underlying molecular mechanisms of luteolin against COVID-19/asthma comorbidity. We used system pharmacology and bioinformatics analysis to assess the physicochemical properties and biological activities of luteolin and further analyze the binding activities, targets, biological functions, and mechanisms of luteolin against COVID-19/asthma comorbidity. We found that luteolin may exert ideal physicochemical properties and bioactivity, and molecular docking analysis confirmed that luteolin performed effective binding activities in COVID-19/asthma comorbidity. Furthermore, a protein-protein interaction network of 538 common targets between drug and disease was constructed and 264 hub targets were obtained. Then, the top 6 hub targets of luteolin against COVID-19/asthma comorbidity were identified, namely, TP53, AKT1, ALB, IL-6, TNF, and VEGFA. Furthermore, the enrichment analysis suggested that luteolin may exert effects on virus defense, regulation of inflammation, cell growth and cell replication, and immune responses, reducing oxidative stress and regulating blood circulation through the Toll-like receptor; MAPK, TNF, AGE/RAGE, EGFR, ErbB, HIF-1, and PI3K-AKT signaling pathways; PD-L1 expression; and PD-1 checkpoint pathway in cancer. The possible "dangerous liaison" between COVID-19 and asthma is still a potential threat to world health. This research is the first to explore whether luteolin could evolve into a drug candidate for COVID-19/asthma comorbidity. This study indicated that luteolin with superior drug likeness and bioactivity has great potential to be used for treating COVID-19/asthma comorbidity, but the predicted results still need to be rigorously verified by experiments.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/metabolism , Antioxidants/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Asthma/epidemiology , Asthma/metabolism , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/metabolism , Immunologic Factors/metabolism , Luteolin/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/chemistry , Antioxidants/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Comorbidity , Computational Biology/methods , Drug Discovery/methods , Humans , Immunologic Factors/chemistry , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Luteolin/chemistry , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protein Interaction Maps/drug effects , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism , Serum Albumin, Human/metabolism , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism , Tumor Suppressor Protein p53/metabolism , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A/metabolism
14.
Mol Biol Rep ; 49(3): 2303-2309, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1648443

ABSTRACT

Global vaccination effort and better understanding of treatment strategies provided a ray of hope for improvement in COVID-19 pandemic, however, in many countries, the disease continues to collect its death toll. The major pathogenic mechanism behind severe cases associated with high mortality is the burst of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF, IL-6, IFNγ and others, resulting in multiple organ failure. Although the exact contribution of each cytokine is not clear, we provide an evidence that the central mediator of cytokine storm and its devastating consequences may be TNF. This cytokine is known to be involved in activated blood clotting, lung damage, insulin resistance, heart failure, and other conditions. A number of currently available pharmaceutical agents such as monoclonal antibodies and soluble TNF receptors can effectively prevent TNF from binding to its receptor(s). Other drugs are known to block NFkB, the major signal transducer molecule used in TNF signaling, or to block kinases involved in downstream activation cascades. Some of these medicines have already been selected for clinical trials, but more work is needed. A simple, rapid, and inexpensive method of directly monitoring TNF levels may be a valuable tool for a timely selection of COVID-19 patients for anti-TNF therapy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/drug therapy , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Biomarkers , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/metabolism , Cytokine Release Syndrome/etiology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/prevention & control , Drug Repositioning , Humans , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Multiple Organ Failure/etiology , Multiple Organ Failure/prevention & control , NF-kappa B/antagonists & inhibitors , NF-kappa B/metabolism , Patient Selection , Protein Kinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protein Kinase Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors/pharmacology , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/antagonists & inhibitors , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/physiology
15.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 1075, 2022 01 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1642005

ABSTRACT

Inflammatory diseases including COVID-19 are associated with a cytokine storm characterized by high interleukin-6 (IL-6) titers. In particular, while recent studies examined COVID-19 associated arrhythmic risks from cardiac injury and/or from pharmacotherapy such as the combination of azithromycin (AZM) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), the role of IL-6 per se in increasing the arrhythmic risk remains poorly understood. The objective is to elucidate the electrophysiological basis of inflammation-associated arrhythmic risk in the presence of AZM and HCQ. IL-6, AZM and HCQ were concomitantly administered to guinea pigs in-vivo and in-vitro. Electrocardiograms, action potentials and ion-currents were analyzed. IL-6 alone or the combination AZM + HCQ induced mild to moderate reduction in heart rate, PR-interval and corrected QT (QTc) in-vivo and in-vitro. Notably, IL-6 alone was more potent than the combination of the two drugs in reducing heart rate, increasing PR-interval and QTc. In addition, the in-vivo or in-vitro combination of IL-6 + AZM + HCQ caused severe bradycardia, conduction abnormalities, QTc prolongation and asystole. These electrocardiographic abnormalities were attenuated in-vivo by tocilizumab (TCZ), a monoclonal antibody against IL-6 receptor, and are due in part to the prolongation of action potential duration and selective inhibition of Na+, Ca2+ and K+ currents. Inflammation confers greater risk for arrhythmia than the drug combination therapy. As such, in the setting of elevated IL-6 during inflammation caution must be taken when co-administering drugs known to predispose to fatal arrhythmias and TCZ could be an important player as a novel anti-arrhythmic agent. Thus, identifying inflammation as a critical culprit is essential for proper management.


Subject(s)
Arrhythmias, Cardiac , Azithromycin/pharmacology , COVID-19 , Hydroxychloroquine/pharmacology , Interleukin-6/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/pharmacology , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/etiology , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/metabolism , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/physiopathology , Arrhythmias, Cardiac/prevention & control , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/physiopathology , Female , Guinea Pigs , Humans , Inflammation/drug therapy , Inflammation/metabolism , Inflammation/physiopathology , Interleukin-6/antagonists & inhibitors , Male
16.
Eur J Med Res ; 26(1): 152, 2021 Dec 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1632541

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 and its related anti-inflammatory treatment (steroids, immunomodulators) may induce the reactivation of latent bacterial, parasitic, and viral infections. According to our knowledge, no case of disseminated HHV-8-related Kaposi sarcoma (KS) after COVID-19 and its treatment has been described so far. Only one case of cutaneous KS concurrently with COVID-19 has been previously reported. CASE PRESENTATION: We describe a case of disseminated KS in a 61-year-old immunocompetent Albanian man after hospitalization for COVID-19. METHODS FOR LITERATURE RESEARCH: We used PubMed as biomedical database for the literature research. We selected keyword combinations including "Kaposi sarcoma," "HHV-8," "immunocompetent," "COVID-19," "SARS-CoV-2," and "steroids." No time or language limitation was set. Titles and abstracts of selected articles were systematically screened. Articles were included in the examination if they were published under free access through the digital library of the University of Brescia (Italy), and provided full text. Articles were excluded if the topic was beyond the aim of our study. Finally, we selected 15 articles. RESULTS: We describe a case of KS in COVID-19 patient and postulate that Interleukin-6 (IL-6) activity and steroid-induced immunodeficiency may play a major role in KS emergence. No published case of disseminated KS following COVID-19 in otherwise healthy individuals was found through the systematic literature review, despite the high incidence of COVID-19 in areas with medium-high prevalence of HHV-8 infection. This observation might be explained by the role of individual genetic susceptibility factors. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 infection and its treatment may lead to reactivation of several latent infections, including HHV-8 and its related clinical syndrome, Kaposi sarcoma.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sarcoma, Kaposi/drug therapy , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/drug therapy , Databases, Chemical , Humans , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Language , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Sarcoma, Kaposi/complications , Sarcoma, Kaposi/genetics
17.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(2)2022 Jan 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1631216

ABSTRACT

Angiotensin II receptor type 1 (AT1R) and endothelin-1 receptor type A (ETAR) are G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) expressed on the surface of a great variety of cells: immune cells, vascular smooth cells, endothelial cells, and fibroblasts express ETAR and AT1R, which are activated by endothelin 1 (ET1) and angiotensin II (AngII), respectively. Certain autoantibodies are specific for these receptors and can regulate their function, thus being known as functional autoantibodies. The function of these antibodies is similar to that of natural ligands, and it involves not only vasoconstriction, but also the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines (such as interleukin-6 (IL6), IL8 and TNF-α), collagen production by fibroblasts, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) release by fibroblasts and neutrophils. The role of autoantibodies against AT1R and ETAR (AT1R-AAs and ETAR-AAs, respectively) is well described in the pathogenesis of many medical conditions (e.g., systemic sclerosis (SSc) and SSc-associated pulmonary hypertension, cystic fibrosis, and allograft dysfunction), but their implications in cardiovascular diseases are still unclear. This review summarizes the current evidence regarding the effects of AT1R-AAs and ETAR-AAs in cardiovascular pathologies, highlighting their roles in heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory support, preeclampsia, and acute coronary syndromes.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies/metabolism , Cardiovascular Diseases/immunology , Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1/immunology , Receptor, Endothelin A/immunology , Cardiovascular Diseases/metabolism , Cardiovascular Diseases/pathology , Collagen/metabolism , Humans , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Interleukin-8/metabolism , Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism , Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1/metabolism , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism
18.
Epigenomics ; 14(3): 153-162, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622527

ABSTRACT

Smoking could predispose individuals to a more severe COVID-19 by upregulating a particular gene known as mdig, which is mediated through a number of well-known histone modifications. Smoking might regulate the transcription-activating H3K4me3 mark, along with the transcription-repressing H3K9me3 and H3K27me3 marks, in a way to favor SARS-CoV-2 entry by enhancing the expression of ACE2, NRP1 and NRP2, AT1R, CTSD and CTSL, PGE2 receptors 2-4, SLC6A20 and IL-6, all of which interact either directly or indirectly with important receptors, facilitating viral entry in COVID-19.


Lay abstract The role of smoking in development of several respiratory diseases has been clearly established. A significant proportion of these deleterious effects is mediated through epigenetic mechanisms, particularly histone modifications. Recent evidence indicates that smoking induces the expression of a mediator known as mdig, which in turn alters the transcription of several key proteins that have been implicated in development of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Dioxygenases/genetics , Epigenesis, Genetic , Histone Demethylases/genetics , Histones/genetics , Nuclear Proteins/genetics , Protein Processing, Post-Translational , Smoking/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cathepsin D/genetics , Cathepsin D/metabolism , Cathepsin L/genetics , Cathepsin L/metabolism , Dioxygenases/metabolism , Histone Demethylases/metabolism , Histones/metabolism , Humans , Interleukin-6/genetics , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Membrane Transport Proteins/genetics , Membrane Transport Proteins/metabolism , Methylation , Neuropilin-1/genetics , Neuropilin-1/metabolism , Neuropilin-2/genetics , Neuropilin-2/metabolism , Nuclear Proteins/metabolism , Protein Isoforms/genetics , Protein Isoforms/metabolism , Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1/genetics , Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1/metabolism , Receptors, Prostaglandin E/genetics , Receptors, Prostaglandin E/metabolism , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Smoking/metabolism , Smoking/pathology , Virus Internalization
19.
Nutrients ; 14(2)2022 Jan 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613925

ABSTRACT

Despite the ongoing vaccination efforts, there is still an urgent need for safe and effective treatments to help curb the debilitating effects of COVID-19 disease. This systematic review aimed to investigate the efficacy of supplemental curcumin treatment on clinical outcomes and inflammation-related biomarker profiles in COVID-19 patients. We searched PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, EMBASE, ProQuest, and Ovid databases up to 30 June 2021 to find studies that assessed the effects of curcumin-related compounds in mild to severe COVID-19 patients. Six studies were identified which showed that curcumin supplementation led to a significant decrease in common symptoms, duration of hospitalization and deaths. In addition, all of these studies showed that the intervention led to amelioration of cytokine storm effects thought to be a driving force in severe COVID-19 cases. This was seen as a significant (p < 0.05) decrease in proinflammatory cytokines such as IL1ß and IL6, with a concomitant significant (p < 0.05) increase in anti-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-10, IL-35 and TGF-α. Taken together, these findings suggested that curcumin exerts its beneficial effects through at least partial restoration of pro-inflammatory/anti-inflammatory balance. In conclusion, curcumin supplementation may offer an efficacious and safe option for improving COVID-19 disease outcomes. We highlight the point that future clinical studies of COVID-19 disease should employ larger cohorts of patients in different clinical settings with standardized preparations of curcumin-related compounds.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Curcumin/administration & dosage , Dietary Supplements , Hospitalization , Phytotherapy/methods , Curcumin/pharmacology , Cytokines/metabolism , Female , Humans , Inflammation Mediators/metabolism , Interleukin-10/metabolism , Interleukin-1beta/metabolism , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Interleukins/metabolism , Male , Patient Acuity , Transforming Growth Factor alpha/metabolism , Treatment Outcome
20.
Iran J Immunol ; 18(4): 331-337, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594484

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: According to the World Health Organization, Mexico presents one of the highest mortality rates due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The "cytokine storm" phenomenon has been proposed as a pathological hallmark of severe COVID-19. OBJECTIVE: To determine the association of serum cytokine levels with COVID-19 severity. METHODS: We studied the cytokines IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, TNF-α, and the IFN-γ serum levels through flow cytometry in 56 COVID-19 patients (24 critical and 32 non-critical) from Northwest Mexico. RESULTS: We observed a significant increase in the IL-6 and the IL-10 levels in the sera of critical patients. These cytokines were also associated with mechanical ventilation necessity and death, IL-6 showing AUC values above 0.7 for both variables; and correlated with Na+, creatinine, and platelet levels. On the other hand, no association was found between IL-2, IL-4, TNF-α, and IFN-γ with tested variables. CONCLUSION: Our results corroborate previous observations regarding IL-6 and IL-10 involvement in the severity of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/physiopathology , Interleukin-10/metabolism , Interleukin-6/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/blood , Cytokine Release Syndrome/pathology , Female , Humans , Interleukin-10/blood , Interleukin-6/blood , Male , Mexico , Patient Acuity
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