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1.
J Immunol ; 211(2): 252-260, 2023 07 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20241408

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has caused an estimated 7 million deaths worldwide to date. A secreted SARS-CoV-2 accessory protein, known as open reading frame 8 (ORF8), elicits inflammatory pulmonary cytokine responses and is associated with disease severity in COVID-19 patients. Recent reports proposed that ORF8 mediates downstream signals in macrophages and monocytes through the IL-17 receptor complex (IL-17RA, IL-17RC). However, generally IL-17 signals are found to be restricted to the nonhematopoietic compartment, thought to be due to rate-limiting expression of IL-17RC. Accordingly, we revisited the capacity of IL-17 and ORF8 to induce cytokine gene expression in mouse and human macrophages and monocytes. In SARS-CoV-2-infected human and mouse lungs, IL17RC mRNA was undetectable in monocyte/macrophage populations. In cultured mouse and human monocytes and macrophages, ORF8 but not IL-17 led to elevated expression of target cytokines. ORF8-induced signaling was fully preserved in the presence of anti-IL-17RA/RC neutralizing Abs and in Il17ra-/- cells. ORF8 signaling was also operative in Il1r1-/- bone marrow-derived macrophages. However, the TLR/IL-1R family adaptor MyD88, which is dispensable for IL-17R signaling, was required for ORF8 activity yet MyD88 is not required for IL-17 signaling. Thus, we conclude that ORF8 transduces inflammatory signaling in monocytes and macrophages via MyD88 independently of the IL-17R.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Monocytes , Humans , Mice , Animals , Monocytes/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Myeloid Differentiation Factor 88/genetics , Myeloid Differentiation Factor 88/metabolism , Receptors, Interleukin-17/genetics , Receptors, Interleukin-17/metabolism , Open Reading Frames , COVID-19/genetics , Macrophages/metabolism , Cytokines/metabolism
2.
Eur J Pharm Sci ; 187: 106489, 2023 Aug 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20241144

ABSTRACT

Despite several vaccines that are currently approved for human use to control the pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), there is an urgent medical need for therapeutic and prophylactic options. SARS-CoV-2 binding and entry in human cells involves interactions of its spike (S) protein with several host cell surface factors, including heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs), transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2), and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). In this paper we investigated the potential of sulphated Hyaluronic Acid (sHA), a HSPG mimicking polymer, to inhibit the binding of SARS-CoV-2 S protein to human ACE2 receptor. After the assessment of different sulfation degree of sHA backbone, a series of sHA functionalized with different hydrophobic side chains were synthesized and screened. The compound showing the highest binding affinity to the viral S protein was further characterized by surface plasmon resonance (SPR) towards ACE2 and viral S protein binding domain. Selected compounds were formulated as solutions for nebulization and, after being characterized in terms of aerosolization performance and droplet size distribution, their efficacy was assessed in vivo using the K18 human (h)ACE2 transgenic mouse model of SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Mice , Humans , Hyaluronic Acid , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Sulfates , Mice, Transgenic
3.
J Am Chem Soc ; 145(24): 13261-13272, 2023 06 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20240992

ABSTRACT

Activating antigen-presenting cells is essential to generate adaptive immunity, while the efficacy of conventional activation strategies remains unsatisfactory due to suboptimal antigen-specific priming. Here, in situ polymerization-mediated antigen presentation (IPAP) is described, in which antigen-loaded nanovaccines are spontaneously formed and efficiently anchored onto the surface of dendritic cells in vivo through co-deposition with dopamine. The resulting chemically bound nanovaccines can promote antigen presentation by elevating macropinocytosis-based cell uptake and reducing lysosome-related antigen degradation. IPAP is able to prolong the duration of antigen reservation in the injection site and enhance subsequent accumulation in the draining lymph nodes, thereby eliciting robust antigen-specific cellular and humoral immune responses. IPAP is also applicable for different antigens and capable of circumventing the disadvantages of complicated preparation and purification. By implementation with ovalbumin, IPAP induces a significant protective immunity against ovalbumin-overexpressing tumor cell challenge in a prophylactic murine model. The use of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein S1 subunit also remarkably increases the production of S1-specific immunoglobulin G in mice. IPAP offers a unique strategy for stimulating antigen-presenting cells to boost antigen-specific adaptive responses and proposes a facile yet versatile method for immunization against various diseases.


Subject(s)
Antigen Presentation , COVID-19 , Mice , Humans , Animals , Ovalbumin , Polymerization , Dendritic Cells , COVID-19/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Antigens , Mice, Inbred C57BL
5.
Sci Adv ; 9(23): eadg2248, 2023 06 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239375

ABSTRACT

Numerous viruses use specialized surface molecules called fusogens to enter host cells. Many of these viruses, including the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), can infect the brain and are associated with severe neurological symptoms through poorly understood mechanisms. We show that SARS-CoV-2 infection induces fusion between neurons and between neurons and glia in mouse and human brain organoids. We reveal that this is caused by the viral fusogen, as it is fully mimicked by the expression of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein or the unrelated fusogen p15 from the baboon orthoreovirus. We demonstrate that neuronal fusion is a progressive event, leads to the formation of multicellular syncytia, and causes the spread of large molecules and organelles. Last, using Ca2+ imaging, we show that fusion severely compromises neuronal activity. These results provide mechanistic insights into how SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses affect the nervous system, alter its function, and cause neuropathology.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Animals , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Neurons , Brain , Neuroglia
6.
Aging (Albany NY) ; 15(11): 4625-4641, 2023 06 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239369

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The severity of COVID-19 increases with each decade of life, a phenomenon that suggest that organismal aging contributes to the fatality of the disease. In this regard, we and others have previously shown that COVID-19 severity correlates with shorter telomeres, a molecular determinant of aging, in patient's leukocytes. Lung injury is a predominant feature of acute SARS-CoV-2 infection that can further progress to lung fibrosis in post-COVID-19 patients. Short or dysfunctional telomeres in Alveolar type II (ATII) cells are sufficient to induce pulmonary fibrosis in mouse and humans. Here, we analyze telomere length and the histopathology of lung biopsies from a cohort of alive post-COVID-19 patients and a cohort of age-matched controls with lung cancer. We found loss of ATII cellularity and shorter telomeres in ATII cells concomitant with a marked increase in fibrotic lung parenchyma remodeling in post- COVID-19 patients compared to controls. These findings reveal a link between presence of short telomeres in ATII cells and long-term lung fibrosis sequel in Post-COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Pulmonary Fibrosis , Humans , Mice , Animals , Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , COVID-19/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Alveolar Epithelial Cells , Lung/pathology , Neoplasms/pathology , Telomere/pathology
7.
Life Sci Alliance ; 6(8)2023 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239304

ABSTRACT

Critical COVID-19 is characterized by lack of early type I interferon-mediated host defense and subsequent hyper-inflammation in the lungs. Aberrant activation of macrophages and neutrophils has been reported to lead to excessive activation of innate immunological pathways. It has recently been suggested that the DNA-sensing cGAS-STING pathway drives pathology in the SARS-CoV-2-infected lungs, but mechanistic understanding from in vivo models is needed. Here, we tested whether STING is involved in COVID-19-like disease using the K18-hACE2 mouse model. We report that disease development after SARS-CoV-2 infection is unaltered in STING-deficient K18-hACE2 mice. In agreement with this, STING deficiency did not affect control of viral replication or production of interferons and inflammatory cytokines. This was accompanied by comparable profiles of infiltrating immune cells into the lungs of infected mice. These data do not support a role for STING in COVID-19 pathology and calls for further investigation into the pathogenesis of critical COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interferon Type I , Mice , Animals , Immunity, Innate , Signal Transduction , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Interferon Type I/metabolism
8.
Front Immunol ; 14: 1195299, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239018

ABSTRACT

Introduction: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron variant has rapidly spread around the globe. With a substantial number of mutations in its Spike protein, the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant is prone to immune evasion and led to the reduced efficacy of approved vaccines. Thus, emerging variants have brought new challenges to the prevention of COVID-19 and updated vaccines are urgently needed to provide better protection against the Omicron variant or other highly mutated variants. Materials and methods: Here, we developed a novel bivalent mRNA vaccine, RBMRNA-405, comprising a 1:1 mix of mRNAs encoding both Delta-derived and Omicron-derived Spike proteins. We evaluated the immunogenicity of RBMRNA-405 in BALB/c mice and compared the antibody response and prophylactic efficacy induced by monovalent Delta or Omicron-specific vaccine with the bivalent RBMRNA-405 vaccine in the SARSCoV-2 variant challenge. Results: Results showed that the RBMRNA-405 vaccine could generate broader neutralizing antibody responses against both Wuhan-Hu-1 and other SARS-CoV-2 variants, including Delta, Omicron, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma. RBMRNA-405 efficiently blocked infectious viral replication and lung injury in both Omicron- and Delta-challenged K18-ACE2 mice. Conclusion: Our data suggest that RBMRNA-405 is a promising bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine with broad-spectrum efficacy for further clinical development.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Animals , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/prevention & control , Mice, Inbred BALB C , RNA, Messenger , Vaccines, Combined , mRNA Vaccines
9.
Int J Mol Sci ; 24(11)2023 Jun 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20238934

ABSTRACT

Post-intensive care syndrome (PICS) poses a serious threat to the health of intensive care unit (ICU) survivors, and effective treatment options are currently lacking. With increasing survival rates of ICU patients worldwide, there is a rising interest in developing methods to alleviate PICS symptoms. This study aimed to explore the potential of using Hyaluronan (HA) with different molecular weights as potential drugs for treating PICS in mice. Cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) were used to establish a PICS mice model, and high molecular weight HA (HMW-HA) or oligo-HA were used as therapeutic agents. Pathological and physiological changes of PICS mice in each group were monitored. 16S rRNA sequencing was performed to dissect gut microbiota discrepancies. The results showed that both molecular weights of HA could increase the survival rate of PICS mice at the experimental endpoint. Specifically, 1600 kDa-HA can alleviate PICS in a short time. In contrast, 3 kDa-HA treatment decreased PICS model survivability in the early stages of the experiment. Further, via 16S rRNA sequence analysis, we observed the changes in the gut microbiota in PICS mice, thereby impairing intestinal structure and increasing inflammation. Additionally, both types of HA can reverse this change. Moreover, compared to 1600 kDa-HA, 3 kDa-HA can significantly elevate the proportion of probiotics and reduce the abundance of pathogenic bacteria (Desulfovibrionaceae and Enterobacteriaceae). In conclusion, HA holds the advantage of being a potential therapeutic drug for PICS, but different molecular weights can lead to varying effects. Moreover, 1600 kDa-HA showed promise as a protective agent in PICS mice, and caution should be taken to its timing when considering using 3 kDa-HA.


Subject(s)
Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Hyaluronic Acid , Mice , Animals , Molecular Weight , RNA, Ribosomal, 16S/genetics
10.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 13: 1105872, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20238927

ABSTRACT

Tuberculosis (TB) caused by the complex Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is the main cause of death by a single bacterial agent. Last year, TB was the second leading infectious killer after SARS-CoV-2. Nevertheless, many biological and immunological aspects of TB are not completely elucidated, such as the complex process of immunoregulation mediated by regulatory T cells (Treg cells) and the enzymes indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) and heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1). In this study, the contribution of these immunoregulatory factors was compared in mice infected with Mtb strains with different levels of virulence. First Balb/c mice were infected by intratracheal route, with a high dose of mild virulence reference strain H37Rv or with a highly virulent clinical isolate (strain 5186). In the lungs of infected mice, the kinetics of Treg cells during the infection were determined by cytofluorometry and the expression of IDO and HO-1 by RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. Then, the contribution of immune-regulation mediated by Treg cells, IDO and HO-1, was evaluated by treating infected animals with specific cytotoxic monoclonal antibodies for Treg cells depletion anti-CD25 (PC61 clone) or by blocking IDO and HO-1 activity using specific inhibitors (1-methyl-D,L-tryptophan or zinc protoporphyrin-IX, respectively). Mice infected with the mild virulent strain showed a progressive increment of Treg cells, showing this highest number at the beginning of the late phase of the infection (28 days), the same trend was observed in the expression of both enzymes being macrophages the cells that showed the highest immunostaining. Animals infected with the highly virulent strain showed lower survival (34 days) and higher amounts of Treg cells, as well as higher expression of IDO and HO-1 one week before. In comparison with non-treated animals, mice infected with strain H37Rv with depletion of Treg cells or treated with the enzymes blockers during late infection showed a significant decrease of bacilli loads, higher expression of IFN-g and lower IL-4 but with a similar extension of inflammatory lung consolidation determined by automated morphometry. In contrast, the depletion of Treg cells in infected mice with the highly virulent strain 5186 produced diffuse alveolar damage that was similar to severe acute viral pneumonia, lesser survival and increase of bacillary loads, while blocking of both IDO and HO-1 produced high bacillary loads and extensive pneumonia with necrosis. Thus, it seems that Treg cells, IDO and HO-1 activities are detrimental during late pulmonary TB induced by mild virulence Mtb, probably because these factors decrease immune protection mediated by the Th1 response. In contrast, Treg cells, IDO and HO-1 are beneficial when the infection is produced by a highly virulent strain, by regulation of excessive inflammation that produced alveolar damage, pulmonary necrosis, acute respiratory insufficiency, and rapid death.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mycobacterium tuberculosis , Tuberculosis, Pulmonary , Mice , Animals , Heme Oxygenase-1 , Mycobacterium tuberculosis/metabolism , Indoleamine-Pyrrole 2,3,-Dioxygenase/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory , Virulence , COVID-19/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Lung/microbiology , Necrosis/metabolism
11.
Viruses ; 15(5)2023 04 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20238821

ABSTRACT

Porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV) causes diarrhea and vomiting in neonatal piglets worldwide and has the potential for cross-species transmission. Therefore, virus-like particles (VLPs) are promising vaccine candidates because of their safety and strong immunogenicity. To the best of our knowledge, the present study reported for the first time the generation of PDCoV VLPs using a baculovirus expression vector system, and electron micrograph analyses revealed that PDCoV VLPs appeared as spherical particles with a diameter similar to that of the native virions. Furthermore, PDCoV VLPs effectively induced mice to produce PDCoV-specific IgG and neutralizing antibodies. In addition, VLPs could stimulate mouse splenocytes to produce high levels of cytokines IL-4 and IFN-γ. Moreover, the combination of PDCoV VLPs and Freund's adjuvant could improve the level of the immune response. Together, these data showed that PDCoV VLPs could effectively elicit humoral and cellular immunity in mice, laying a solid foundation for developing VLP-based vaccines to prevent PDCoV infections.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Coronavirus , Swine Diseases , Animals , Mice , Swine , Baculoviridae/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Coronavirus/genetics , Immunity , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/veterinary
12.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 120(25): e2207210120, 2023 06 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20238795

ABSTRACT

The classical manifestation of COVID-19 is pulmonary infection. After host cell entry via human angiotensin-converting enzyme II (hACE2), the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus can infect pulmonary epithelial cells, especially the AT2 (alveolar type II) cells that are crucial for maintaining normal lung function. However, previous hACE2 transgenic models have failed to specifically and efficiently target the cell types that express hACE2 in humans, especially AT2 cells. In this study, we report an inducible, transgenic hACE2 mouse line and showcase three examples for specifically expressing hACE2 in three different lung epithelial cells, including AT2 cells, club cells, and ciliated cells. Moreover, all these mice models develop severe pneumonia after SARS-CoV-2 infection. This study demonstrates that the hACE2 model can be used to precisely study any cell type of interest with regard to COVID-19-related pathologies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Animals , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , SARS-CoV-2 , Epithelial Cells , Alveolar Epithelial Cells , Disease Models, Animal
13.
Commun Biol ; 6(1): 592, 2023 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20238609

ABSTRACT

Neutralizing antibodies exert a potent inhibitory effect on viral entry; however, they are less effective in therapeutic models than in prophylactic models, presumably because of their limited efficacy in eliminating virus-producing cells via Fc-mediated cytotoxicity. Herein, we present a SARS-CoV-2 spike-targeting bispecific T-cell engager (S-BiTE) strategy for controlling SARS-CoV-2 infection. This approach blocks the entry of free virus into permissive cells by competing with membrane receptors and eliminates virus-infected cells via powerful T cell-mediated cytotoxicity. S-BiTE is effective against both the original and Delta variant of SARS-CoV2 with similar efficacy, suggesting its potential application against immune-escaping variants. In addition, in humanized mouse model with live SARS-COV-2 infection, S-BiTE treated mice showed significantly less viral load than neutralization only treated group. The S-BiTE strategy may have broad applications in combating other coronavirus infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Animals , Mice , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Neutralization Tests , RNA, Viral , T-Lymphocytes
14.
J Med Virol ; 95(6): e28863, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20238042

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 has not only caused millions of deaths worldwide, but it has also led to economic recession and the collapse of public health systems. The vaccines and antivirals developed in response to the pandemic have improved the situation markedly; however, the pandemic is still not under control with recurring surges. Thus, it is still necessary to develop therapeutic agents. In our previous studies, we designed and synthesized a series of novel 2-anilinoquinazolin-4(3H)-one derivatives, and demonstrated inhibitory activity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and MERS-CoV in vitro. We then conducted in vivo studies using modified compounds that are suitable for oral administration. These compounds demonstrated no toxicity in rats and inhibited viral entry. Here, we investigated the in vivo efficacy of these drug candidates against SARS-CoV-2. Three candidate drugs, 7-chloro-2-((3,5-dichlorophenyl)amino)quinazolin-4(3H)-one (1), N-(7-chloro-4-oxo-3,4-dihydroquinazolin-2-yl)-N-(3,5-dichlorophenyl)acetamide (2), and N-(7-chloro-4-oxo-3,4-dihydroquinazolin-2-yl)-N-(3,5-difluorophenyl)acetamide (3) were administered orally to hACE2 transgenic mice at a dose of 100 mg/kg. All three drugs improved survival rate and reduced the viral load in the lungs. These results show that the derivatives possess in vivo antiviral efficacy similar to that of molnupiravir, which is currently being used to treat COVID-19. Overall, our data suggest that 2-anilinoquinazolin-4(3H)-one derivatives are promising as potential oral antiviral drug candidates against SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Humans , Mice , Rats , Acetamides , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/therapy , Disease Models, Animal , Mice, Transgenic , Quinazolines/pharmacology , Quinazolines/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
15.
Viruses ; 15(5)2023 05 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20237578

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant human health and economic consequences. Due to the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to spread rapidly and to cause severe disease and mortality in certain population groups, vaccines are essential for controlling the pandemic in the future. Several licensed vaccines have shown improved protection against SARS-CoV-2 after extended-interval prime-boost immunizations in humans. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to compare the immunogenicity of our two Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) based COVID-19 candidate vaccines MVA-SARS-2-S and MVA-SARS-2-ST after short- and long-interval prime-boost immunization schedules in mice. We immunized BALB/c mice using 21-day (short-interval) or 56-day (long-interval) prime-boost vaccination protocols and analyzed spike (S)-specific CD8 T cell immunity and humoral immunity. The two schedules induced robust CD8 T cell responses with no significant differences in their magnitude. Furthermore, both candidate vaccines induced comparable levels of total S, and S2-specific IgG binding antibodies. However, MVA-SARS-2-ST consistently elicited higher amounts of S1-, S receptor binding domain (RBD), and SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies in both vaccination protocols. Overall, we found very comparable immune responses following short- or long-interval immunization. Thus, our results suggest that the chosen time intervals may not be suitable to observe potential differences in antigen-specific immunity when testing different prime-boost intervals with our candidate vaccines in the mouse model. Despite this, our data clearly showed that MVA-SARS-2-ST induced superior humoral immune responses relative to MVA-SARS-2-S after both immunization schedules.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Animals , Mice , Pandemics , COVID-19/prevention & control , Vaccinia virus , Vaccination/methods , Antibodies, Viral , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral
16.
Int J Mol Sci ; 24(11)2023 May 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20237382

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic highlights the urgent need for effective antiviral agents and vaccines. Drug repositioning, which involves modifying existing drugs, offers a promising approach for expediting the development of novel therapeutics. In this study, we developed a new drug, MDB-MDB-601a-NM, by modifying the existing drug nafamostat (NM) with the incorporation of glycyrrhizic acid (GA). We assessed the pharmacokinetic profiles of MDB-601a-NM and nafamostat in Sprague-Dawley rats, revealing rapid clearance of nafamostat and sustained drug concentration of MDB-601a-NM after subcutaneous administration. Single-dose toxicity studies showed potential toxicity and persistent swelling at the injection site with high-dose administration of MDB-601a-NM. Furthermore, we evaluated the efficacy of MDB-601a-NM in protecting against SARS-CoV-2 infection using the K18 hACE-2 transgenic mouse model. Mice treated with 60 mg/kg and 100 mg/kg of MDB-601a-NM exhibited improved protectivity in terms of weight loss and survival rates compared to the nafamostat-treated group. Histopathological analysis revealed dose-dependent improvements in histopathological changes and enhanced inhibitory efficacy in MDB-601a-NM-treated groups. Notably, no viral replication was detected in the brain tissue when mice were treated with 60 mg/kg and 100 mg/kg of MDB-601a-NM. Our developed MDB-601a-NM, a modified Nafamostat with glycyrrhizic acid, shows improved protectivity against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Its sustained drug concentration after subcutaneous administration and dose-dependent improvements makes it a promising therapeutic option.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Rats , Humans , Animals , Mice , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Glycyrrhizic Acid/pharmacology , Glycyrrhizic Acid/therapeutic use , Pandemics , Disease Models, Animal , Rats, Sprague-Dawley
17.
Nat Commun ; 14(1): 3500, 2023 06 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20236856

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron subvariants BA.1 and BA.2 exhibit reduced lung cell infection relative to previously circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants, which may account for their reduced pathogenicity. However, it is unclear whether lung cell infection by BA.5, which displaced these variants, remains attenuated. Here, we show that the spike (S) protein of BA.5 exhibits increased cleavage at the S1/S2 site and drives cell-cell fusion and lung cell entry with higher efficiency than its counterparts from BA.1 and BA.2. Increased lung cell entry depends on mutation H69Δ/V70Δ and is associated with efficient replication of BA.5 in cultured lung cells. Further, BA.5 replicates in the lungs of female Balb/c mice and the nasal cavity of female ferrets with much higher efficiency than BA.1. These results suggest that BA.5 has acquired the ability to efficiently infect lung cells, a prerequisite for causing severe disease, suggesting that evolution of Omicron subvariants can result in partial loss of attenuation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Animals , Female , Mice , Ferrets , SARS-CoV-2 , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Lung
18.
Viruses ; 15(5)2023 05 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20236421

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic, has given rise to many new variants with increased transmissibility and the ability to evade vaccine protection. The 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP78) is a major endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperone that has been recently implicated as an essential host factor for SARS-CoV-2 entry and infection. In this study, we investigated the efficacy of YUM70, a small molecule inhibitor of GRP78, to block SARS-CoV-2 viral entry and infection in vitro and in vivo. Using human lung epithelial cells and pseudoviral particles carrying spike proteins from different SARS-CoV-2 variants, we found that YUM70 was equally effective at blocking viral entry mediated by original and variant spike proteins. Furthermore, YUM70 reduced SARS-CoV-2 infection without impacting cell viability in vitro and suppressed viral protein production following SARS-CoV-2 infection. Additionally, YUM70 rescued the cell viability of multi-cellular human lung and liver 3D organoids transfected with a SARS-CoV-2 replicon. Importantly, YUM70 treatment ameliorated lung damage in transgenic mice infected with SARS-CoV-2, which correlated with reduced weight loss and longer survival. Thus, GRP78 inhibition may be a promising approach to augment existing therapies to block SARS-CoV-2, its variants, and other viruses that utilize GRP78 for entry and infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Mice , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Endoplasmic Reticulum Chaperone BiP , Virus Internalization , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Pandemics , Lung
19.
Elife ; 122023 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20236082

ABSTRACT

We sought to define the mechanism underlying lung microvascular regeneration in a model of severe acute lung injury (ALI) induced by selective lung endothelial cell ablation. Intratracheal instillation of DT in transgenic mice expressing human diphtheria toxin (DT) receptor targeted to ECs resulted in ablation of >70% of lung ECs, producing severe ALI with near complete resolution by 7 days. Using single-cell RNA sequencing, eight distinct endothelial clusters were resolved, including alveolar aerocytes (aCap) ECs expressing apelin at baseline and general capillary (gCap) ECs expressing the apelin receptor. At 3 days post-injury, a novel gCap EC population emerged characterized by de novo expression of apelin, together with the stem cell marker, protein C receptor. These stem-like cells transitioned at 5 days to proliferative endothelial progenitor-like cells, expressing apelin receptor together with the pro-proliferative transcription factor, Foxm1, and were responsible for the rapid replenishment of all depleted EC populations by 7 days post-injury. Treatment with an apelin receptor antagonist prevented ALI resolution and resulted in excessive mortality, consistent with a central role for apelin signaling in EC regeneration and microvascular repair. The lung has a remarkable capacity for microvasculature EC regeneration which is orchestrated by newly emergent apelin-expressing gCap endothelial stem-like cells that give rise to highly proliferative, apelin receptor-positive endothelial progenitors responsible for the regeneration of the lung microvasculature.


Subject(s)
Acute Lung Injury , Transcriptome , Mice , Animals , Humans , Apelin/metabolism , Apelin Receptors/metabolism , Lung , Mice, Transgenic , Endothelial Cells/metabolism
20.
J Med Virol ; 95(5): e28768, 2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20234815

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: New strategies are needed to improve the treatment of patients with breast cancer (BC). Oncolytic virotherapy is a promising new tool for cancer treatment but still has a limited overall durable antitumor response. A novel replicable recombinant oncolytic herpes simplex virus type 1 called VG161 has been developed and has demonstrated antitumor effects in several cancers. Here, we explored the efficacy and the antitumor immune response of VG161 cotreatment with paclitaxel (PTX) which as a novel oncolytic viral immunotherapy for BC. METHODS: The antitumor effect of VG161 and PTX was confirmed in a BC xenograft mouse model. The immunostimulatory pathways were tested by RNA-seq and the remodeling of tumor microenvironment was detected by Flow cytometry analysis or Immunohistochemistry. Pulmonary lesions were analyzed by the EMT6-Luc BC model. RESULTS: In this report, we demonstrate that VG161 can significantly represses BC growth and elicit a robust antitumor immune response in a mouse model. The effect is amplified when combined with PTX treatment. The antitumor effect is associated with the infiltration of lymphoid cells, including CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells, and NK cells (expressing TNF and IFN-γ), and myeloid cells, including macrophages, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, and dendritic cell cells. Additionally, VG161 cotreatment with PTX showed a significant reduction in BC lung metastasis, which may result from the enhanced CD4+ and CD8+ T cell-mediated responses. CONCLUSIONS: The combination of PTX and VG161 is effective for repressing BC growth by inducing proinflammatory changes in the tumor microenvironment and reducing BC pulmonary metastasis. These data will provide a new strategy and valuable insight for oncolytic virus therapy applications in primary solid or metastatic BC tumors.


Subject(s)
Herpesvirus 1, Human , Neoplasms , Oncolytic Virotherapy , Oncolytic Viruses , Humans , Animals , Mice , Paclitaxel/therapeutic use , Paclitaxel/pharmacology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Oncolytic Viruses/genetics , Neoplasms/pathology , Cell Line, Tumor , Tumor Microenvironment
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