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1.
Theranostics ; 12(14): 6422-6436, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2203053

ABSTRACT

Rationale: Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine outperforms other kinds of cancer immunotherapy due to its high response rates, easy preparation, and wide applicability, which is considered as one of the most promising forms of next-generation cancer therapies. However, the inherent instability and insufficient protein expression duration of mRNA limit the efficacy and widespread application of the vaccine. Methods: Here, we first tested the possibility of a novel circular RNA (circRNA) platform for protein expression and compare its duration with linear RNA. Then, we developed a lipid nanoparticle (LNP) system for circRNA delivery in vitro and in vivo. Next, the innate and adaptive immune response of circRNA-LNP complex was evaluated in vivo. The anti-tumor efficacy of circRNA-LNP was further confirmed in three tumor models. Finally, the possibility of combination therapy with circRNA-LNP and adoptive cell transfer therapy was further investigated in a late-stage tumor model. Results: We successfully increased the stability of the RNA vaccine by circularizing the linear RNA molecules to form highly stable circRNA molecules which exhibited durable protein expression ability. By encapsulating the antigen-coding circRNA in LNP enabling in vivo expression, we established a novel circRNA vaccine platform, which was capable of triggering robust innate and adaptive immune activation and showed superior anti-tumor efficacy in multiple mouse tumor models. Conclusions: Overall, our circRNA vaccine platform provides a novel prospect for the development of cancer RNA vaccines in a wide range of hard-to-treat malignancies.


Subject(s)
Cancer Vaccines , Nanoparticles , Neoplasms , Animals , Liposomes , Mice , Neoplasms/therapy , RNA/genetics , RNA, Circular/genetics , RNA, Messenger/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
2.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(17)2022 Aug 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2200287

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has negatively impacted millions of lives, despite several vaccine interventions and strict precautionary measures. The main causative organism of this disease is the severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) which infects the host via two key players: the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and the transmembrane protease, serine 2 (TMPRSS2). Some reports revealed that patients with glycemic dysregulation could have increased susceptibility to developing COVID-19 and its related neurological complications. However, no previous studies have looked at the involvement of these key molecules within the hypothalamus, which is the central regulator of glucose in the brain. By exposing embryonic mouse hypothalamic neurons to varying glucose concentrations, we aimed to investigate the expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 using quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction and western blotting. A significant and time-dependent increase and decrease was observed on the viability of hypothalamic neurons with increasing and decreasing glucose concentrations, respectively (p < 0.01 and p < 0.001, respectively). Under the same increasing and decreasing glucose conditions, the expression of hypothalamic ACE2 also revealed a significant and time-dependent increase (p < 0.01). These findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 invades the hypothalamic circuitry. In addition, it highlights the importance of strict glycemic control for COVID-19 in diabetic patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/complications , Glucose , Hypothalamus/metabolism , Mice , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2
3.
PLoS Pathog ; 18(1): e1010219, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2197167

ABSTRACT

Excessive inflammation is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in many viral infections including influenza. Therefore, there is a need for therapeutic interventions that dampen and redirect inflammatory responses and, ideally, exert antiviral effects. Itaconate is an immunomodulatory metabolite which also reprograms cell metabolism and inflammatory responses when applied exogenously. We evaluated effects of endogenous itaconate and exogenous application of itaconate and its variants dimethyl- and 4-octyl-itaconate (DI, 4OI) on host responses to influenza A virus (IAV). Infection induced expression of ACOD1, the enzyme catalyzing itaconate synthesis, in monocytes and macrophages, which correlated with viral replication and was abrogated by DI and 4OI treatment. In IAV-infected mice, pulmonary inflammation and weight loss were greater in Acod1-/- than in wild-type mice, and DI treatment reduced pulmonary inflammation and mortality. The compounds reversed infection-triggered interferon responses and modulated inflammation in human cells supporting non-productive and productive infection, in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and in human lung tissue. All three itaconates reduced ROS levels and STAT1 phosphorylation, whereas AKT phosphorylation was reduced by 4OI and DI but increased by itaconate. Single-cell RNA sequencing identified monocytes as the main target of infection and the exclusive source of ACOD1 mRNA in peripheral blood. DI treatment silenced IFN-responses predominantly in monocytes, but also in lymphocytes and natural killer cells. Ectopic synthesis of itaconate in A549 cells, which do not physiologically express ACOD1, reduced infection-driven inflammation, and DI reduced IAV- and IFNγ-induced CXCL10 expression in murine macrophages independent of the presence of endogenous ACOD1. The compounds differed greatly in their effects on cellular gene homeostasis and released cytokines/chemokines, but all three markedly reduced release of the pro-inflammatory chemokines CXCL10 (IP-10) and CCL2 (MCP-1). Viral replication did not increase under treatment despite the dramatically repressed IFN responses. In fact, 4OI strongly inhibited viral transcription in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and the compounds reduced viral titers (4OI>Ita>DI) in A549 cells whereas viral transcription was unaffected. Taken together, these results reveal itaconates as immunomodulatory and antiviral interventions for influenza virus infection.


Subject(s)
Influenza A virus/immunology , Macrophages/immunology , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/drug therapy , Succinates/pharmacology , A549 Cells , Animals , Carboxy-Lyases/deficiency , Carboxy-Lyases/immunology , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/immunology , Humans , Macrophages/virology , Mice , Mice, Knockout , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/genetics , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/immunology , THP-1 Cells
4.
Drug Deliv ; 29(1): 386-398, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2187330

ABSTRACT

The potential of nucleic acid therapeutics to treat diseases by targeting specific cells has resulted in its increasing number of uses in clinical settings. However, the major challenge is to deliver bio-macromolecules into target cells and/or subcellular locations of interest ahead in the development of delivery systems. Although, supercharged residues replaced protein 36 + GFP can facilitate itself and cargoes delivery, its efficiency is still limited. Therefore, we combined our recent progress to further improve 36 + GFP based delivery efficiency. We found that the penetration efficacy of 36 + GFP protein was significantly improved by fusion with CPP-Dot1l or treatment with penetration enhancer dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) in vitro. After safely packaged with plasmid DNA, we found that the efficacy of in vitro and in vivo transfection mediated by 36 + GFP-Dot1l fusion protein is also significantly improved than 36 + GFP itself. Our findings illustrated that fusion with CPP-Dot1l or incubation with DMSO is an alternative way to synergically promote 36 + GFP mediated plasmid DNA delivery in vitro and in vivo.


Subject(s)
Cell-Penetrating Peptides/pharmacokinetics , Drug Delivery Systems/methods , Green Fluorescent Proteins/pharmacokinetics , Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase/pharmacokinetics , Nucleic Acids/administration & dosage , Animals , Cell Line, Tumor , Cell Survival/drug effects , Dimethyl Sulfoxide/chemistry , Green Fluorescent Proteins/chemistry , Hemolysis/drug effects , Humans , Mice , Particle Size , Surface Properties , Transfection/methods
5.
J Microbiol Biotechnol ; 30(3): 427-438, 2020 Mar 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2163802

ABSTRACT

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infects the lower respiratory airway of humans, leading to severe acute respiratory failure. Unlike human dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (hDPP4), a receptor for MERS-CoV, mouse DPP4 (mDPP4) failed to support MERS-CoV infection. Consequently, diverse transgenic mouse models expressing hDPP4 have been developed using diverse methods, although some models show no mortality and/or only transient and mild-to-moderate clinical signs following MERS-CoV infection. Additionally, overexpressed hDPP4 is associated with neurological complications and breeding difficulties in some transgenic mice, resulting in impeding further studies. Here, we generated stable hDPP4-transgenic mice that were sufficiently susceptible to MERS-CoV infection. The transgenic mice showed weight loss, decreased pulmonary function, and increased mortality with minimal perturbation of overexpressed hDPP4 after MERS-CoV infection. In addition, we observed histopathological signs indicative of progressive pulmonary fibrosis, including thickened alveolar septa, infiltration of inflammatory monocytes, and macrophage polarization as well as elevated expression of profibrotic molecules and acute inflammatory response in the lung of MERS-CoV-infected hDPP4-transgenic mice. Collectively, we suggest that this hDPP4-transgenic mouse is useful in understanding the pathogenesis of MERS-CoV infection and for antiviral research and vaccine development against the virus.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4/immunology , Lung/pathology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , Animals , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4/genetics , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Pulmonary Fibrosis/etiology
6.
Front Immunol ; 13: 1011185, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2154729

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 remains a global health crisis even with effective vaccines and the availability of FDA approved therapies. Efforts to understand the complex disease pathology and develop effective strategies to limit mortality and morbidity are needed. Recent studies reveal circulating Galectin-9 (gal-9), a soluble beta-galactoside binding lectin with immunoregulatory properties, are elevated in SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals with moderate to severe disease. Moreover, in silico studies demonstrate gal-9 can potentially competitively bind the ACE2 receptor on susceptible host cells. Here, we determined whether early introduction of exogenous gal-9 following SARS-CoV-2 infection in humanized ACE2 transgenic mice (K18-hACE2) may reduce disease severity. Mice were infected and treated with a single dose of a human recombinant form of gal-9 (rh-gal-9) and monitored for morbidity. Subgroups of mice were humanely euthanized at 2- and 5- days post infection (dpi) for viral levels by plaque assay, immune changes measures by flow cytometry, and soluble mediators by protein analysis from lung tissue and bronchoalveolar Lavage fluid (BALF). Mice treated with rh-gal-9 during acute infection had improved survival compared to PBS treated controls. At 5 dpi, rh-gal-9 treated mice had enhanced viral clearance in the BALF, but not in the lung parenchyma. Increased T and dendritic cells and decreased neutrophil frequencies in the lung at 5 dpi were observed, whereas BALF had elevated levels of type-I interferons and proinflammatory cytokines. These results suggest a role for rh-gal-9 in limiting acute COVID-19. Further studies are required to determine the optimal design of gal-9 treatment to effectively ameliorate COVID-19 disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mice , Humans , Animals , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , SARS-CoV-2 , Mice, Transgenic , Galectins
7.
Front Immunol ; 13: 984476, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2154723

ABSTRACT

Regulatory T cells that express the transcription factor Foxp3 (Treg cells) are a highly heterogenous population of immunoregulatory cells critical for maintaining immune homeostasis and preventing immunopathology during infections. Tissue resident Treg (TR-Treg) cells are maintained within nonlymphoid tissues and have been shown to suppress proinflammatory tissue resident T cell responses and promote tissue repair. Human populations are repetitively exposed to influenza infections and lung tissue resident effector T cell responses are associated with flu-induced long-term pulmonary sequelae. The kinetics of TR-Treg cell development and molecular features of TR-Treg cells during repeated and/or long-term flu infections are unclear. Utilizing a Foxp3RFP/IL-10GFP dual reporter mouse model along with intravascular fluorescent in vivo labeling, we characterized the TR-Treg cell responses to repetitive heterosubtypic influenza infections. We found lung tissue resident Treg cells accumulated and expressed high levels of co-inhibitory and co-stimulatory receptors post primary and secondary infections. Blockade of PD-1 or ICOS signaling reveals that PD-1 and ICOS signaling pathways counter-regulate TR-Treg cell expansion and IL-10 production, during secondary influenza infection. Furthermore, the virus-specific TR-Treg cell response displayed distinct kinetics, when compared to conventional CD4+ tissue resident memory T cells, during secondary flu infection. Our results provide insight into the tissue resident Foxp3+ regulatory T cell response during repetitive flu infections, which may be applicable to other respiratory infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and COVID.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Animals , Forkhead Transcription Factors/metabolism , Humans , Inducible T-Cell Co-Stimulator Protein/metabolism , Interleukin-10 , Mice , Orthomyxoviridae Infections , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory
8.
Front Immunol ; 13: 954339, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2154721

ABSTRACT

The vast diversity of microbial communities reside in various locations of the human body, and they are collectively named as the 'Human Microbiota.' The majority of those microbes are found in the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. The microorganisms present in the gastrointestinal and the respiratory tracts are called the gut microbiota and the airway microbiota, respectively. These microbial communities are known to affect both the metabolic functions and the immune responses of the host. Among multiple factors determining the composition of gut microbiota, diet has played a pivotal role. The gut microbes possess enzymatic machinery for assimilating dietary fibers and releasing different metabolites, primarily short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). The SCFAs modulate the immune responses of not only the gut but other distal mucosal sites as well, such as the lungs. Dysbiosis in normal gut flora is one of the factors involved in the development of asthma and other respiratory disorders. Of note, several human and murine studies have indicated significant cross-talk between gut microbiota and lung immunity, known as the gut-lung axis. Here, in this review, we summarize the recent state of the field concerning the effect of dietary metabolites, particularly SCFAs, on the "gut-lung axis" as well as discuss its impact on lung health. Moreover, we have highlighted the role of the "gut-lung axis" in SARS-CoV-2 mediated inflammation. Also, to analyze the global research progress on the gut-lung axis and to identify the knowledge gap in this field, we have also utilized the bibliographic tools Dimension database and VOS viewer analysis software. Through network mapping and visualization analysis, we can predict the present research trend and the possibility to explore new directions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Humans , Animals , Mice , SARS-CoV-2 , Fatty Acids, Volatile/metabolism , Lung/metabolism , Homeostasis , Dietary Fiber , Immunity
9.
Front Immunol ; 13: 945583, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2154720

ABSTRACT

Severe coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is accompanied by acute respiratory distress syndrome and pulmonary pathology, and is presented mostly with an inflammatory cytokine release, a dysregulated immune response, a skewed neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio, and a hypercoagulable state. Though vaccinations have proved effective in reducing the COVID-19-related mortality, the limitation of the use of vaccine against immunocompromised individuals, those with comorbidity, and emerging variants remains a concern. In the current study, we investigate for the first time the efficacy of the Glycyrrhiza glabra (GG) extract, a potent immunomodulator, against SARS-CoV-2 infection in hamsters. Prophylactic treatment with GG showed protection against loss in body weight and a 35%-40% decrease in lung viral load along with reduced lung pathology in the hamster model. Remarkably, GG reduced the mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). In vitro, GG acted as a potent immunomodulator by reducing Th2 and Th17 differentiation and IL-4 and IL-17A cytokine production. In addition, GG also showed robust potential to suppress ROS, mtROS, and NET generation in a concentration-dependent manner in both human polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) and murine bone marrow-derived neutrophils (BMDNs). Taken together, we provide evidence for the protective efficacy of GG against COVID-19 and its putative mechanistic insight through its immunomodulatory properties. Our study provides the proof of concept for GG efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 using a hamster model and opens the path for further studies aimed at identifying the active ingredients of GG and its efficacy in COVID-19 clinical cases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Glycyrrhiza , Animals , Cricetinae , Cytokines/metabolism , Glycyrrhiza/metabolism , Humans , Interleukin-17 , Interleukin-4 , Mice , Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1 , RNA, Messenger , Reactive Oxygen Species , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Virol Sin ; 37(5): 731-739, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2150803

ABSTRACT

Latent varicella-zoster virus (VZV) may be reactivated to cause herpes zoster, which affects one in three people during their lifetime. The currently available subunit vaccine Shingrix™ is superior to the attenuated vaccine Zostavax® in terms of both safety and efficacy, but the supply of its key adjuvant component QS21 is limited. With ionizable lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) that were recently approved by the FDA for COVID-19 mRNA vaccines as carriers, and oligodeoxynucleotides containing CpG motifs (CpG ODNs) approved by the FDA for a subunit hepatitis B vaccine as immunostimulators, we developed a LNP vaccine encapsulating VZV-glycoprotein E (gE) and CpG ODN, and compared its immunogenicity with Shingrix™ in C57BL/6J mice. The results showed that the LNP vaccine induced comparable levels of gE-specific IgG antibodies to Shingrix™ as determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Most importantly, the LNP vaccine induced comparable levels of cell-mediated immunity (CMI) that plays decisive roles in the efficacy of zoster vaccines to Shingrix™ in a VZV-primed mouse model that was adopted for preclinical studies of Shingrix™. Number of IL-2 and IFN-γ secreting splenocytes and proportion of T helper 1 (Th1) cytokine-expressing CD4+ T cells in LNP-CpG-adjuvanted VZV-gE vaccinated mice were similar to that of Shingrix™ boosted mice. All of the components in this LNP vaccine can be artificially and economically synthesized in large quantities, indicating the potential of LNP-CpG-adjuvanted VZV-gE as a more cost-effective zoster vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Herpes Zoster Vaccine , Herpes Zoster , Viral Envelope Proteins/immunology , Adjuvants, Immunologic , Animals , Antibodies, Viral , Hepatitis B Vaccines , Herpes Zoster/prevention & control , Herpesvirus 3, Human/genetics , Immunoglobulin G , Interleukin-2 , Liposomes , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Nanoparticles , Oligodeoxyribonucleotides , Vaccines, Attenuated , Vaccines, Subunit
11.
J Biomed Sci ; 29(1): 55, 2022 Jul 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1965824

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Infections by viruses including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 could cause organ inflammations such as myocarditis, pneumonia and encephalitis. Innate immunity to viral nucleic acids mediates antiviral immunity as well as inflammatory organ injury. However, the innate immune mechanisms that control viral induced organ inflammations are unclear. METHODS: To understand the role of the E3 ligase TRIM18 in controlling viral myocarditis and organ inflammation, wild-type and Trim18 knockout mice were infected with coxsackievirus B3 for inducing viral myocarditis, influenza A virus PR8 strain and human adenovirus for inducing viral pneumonia, and herpes simplex virus type I for inducing herpes simplex encephalitis. Mice survivals were monitored, and heart, lung and brain were harvested for histology and immunohistochemistry analysis. Real-time PCR, co-immunoprecipitation, immunoblot, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, luciferase assay, flow cytometry, over-expression and knockdown techniques were used to understand the molecular mechanisms of TRIM18 in regulating type I interferon (IFN) production after virus infection in this study. RESULTS: We find that knockdown or deletion of TRIM18 in human or mouse macrophages enhances production of type I IFN in response to double strand (ds) RNA and dsDNA or RNA and DNA virus infection. Importantly, deletion of TRIM18 protects mice from viral myocarditis, viral pneumonia, and herpes simplex encephalitis due to enhanced type I IFN production in vivo. Mechanistically, we show that TRIM18 recruits protein phosphatase 1A (PPM1A) to dephosphorylate TANK binding kinase 1 (TBK1), which inactivates TBK1 to block TBK1 from interacting with its upstream adaptors, mitochondrial antiviral signaling (MAVS) and stimulator of interferon genes (STING), thereby dampening antiviral signaling during viral infections. Moreover, TRIM18 stabilizes PPM1A by inducing K63-linked ubiquitination of PPM1A. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that TRIM18 serves as a negative regulator of viral myocarditis, lung inflammation and brain damage by downregulating innate immune activation induced by both RNA and DNA viruses. Our data reveal that TRIM18 is a critical regulator of innate immunity in viral induced diseases, thereby identifying a potential therapeutic target for treatment.


Subject(s)
Encephalitis, Herpes Simplex , Myocarditis , Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases , Virus Diseases , Animals , Antiviral Agents , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Inflammation/genetics , Mice , Myocarditis/genetics , Myocarditis/virology , Protein Phosphatase 2C , RNA , Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases/genetics
12.
J Am Soc Nephrol ; 33(2): 326-341, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141035

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Hereditary renal hypouricemia type 1 (RHUC1) is caused by URAT1/SLC22A12 dysfunction, resulting in urolithiasis and exercise-induced AKI (EIAKI). However, because there is no useful experimental RHUC1 animal model, the precise pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying EIAKI have yet to be elucidated. We established a high HPRT activity Urat1-Uox double knockout (DKO) mouse as a novel RHUC1 animal model for investigating the cause of EIAKI and the potential therapeutic effect of xanthine oxidoreductase inhibitors (XOIs). METHODS: The novel Urat1-Uox DKO mice were used in a forced swimming test as loading exercise to explore the onset mechanism of EIAKI and evaluate related purine metabolism and renal injury parameters. RESULTS: Urat1-Uox DKO mice had uricosuric effects and elevated levels of plasma creatinine and BUN as renal injury markers, and decreased creatinine clearance observed in a forced swimming test. In addition, Urat1-Uox DKO mice had increased NLRP3 inflammasome activity and downregulated levels of Na+-K+-ATPase protein in the kidney, as Western blot analysis showed. Finally, we demonstrated that topiroxostat and allopurinol, XOIs, improved renal injury and functional parameters of EIAKI. CONCLUSIONS: Urat1-Uox DKO mice are a useful experimental animal model for human RHUC1. The pathogenic mechanism of EIAKI was found to be due to increased levels of IL-1ß via NLRP3 inflammasome signaling and Na+-K+-ATPase dysfunction associated with excessive urinary urate excretion. In addition, XOIs appear to be a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of EIAKI.


Subject(s)
Acute Kidney Injury/drug therapy , Hypoxanthine Phosphoribosyltransferase/metabolism , Organic Anion Transporters/deficiency , Urate Oxidase/deficiency , Xanthine Dehydrogenase/antagonists & inhibitors , Acute Kidney Injury/etiology , Acute Kidney Injury/metabolism , Allopurinol/pharmacology , Animals , Disease Models, Animal , Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Hypoxanthine Phosphoribosyltransferase/genetics , Kidney/drug effects , Kidney/metabolism , Kidney/pathology , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/metabolism , Nitriles/pharmacology , Organic Anion Transporters/genetics , Physical Exertion , Pyridines/pharmacology , Renal Tubular Transport, Inborn Errors/drug therapy , Renal Tubular Transport, Inborn Errors/etiology , Renal Tubular Transport, Inborn Errors/metabolism , Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase/metabolism , Urate Oxidase/genetics , Urinary Calculi/drug therapy , Urinary Calculi/etiology , Urinary Calculi/metabolism
13.
Immun Inflamm Dis ; 10(12): e748, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2127751

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is ongoing as a global epidemic and there is still a need to develop much safer and more effective new vaccines that can also be easily adapted to important variants of the pathogen. In the present study in this direction, we developed a new COVID-19 vaccine, composed of two critical antigenic fragments of the S1 and S2 region of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 as well as the whole nucleocapsid protein (N), which was formulated with either alum or alum plus monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA) adjuvant combinations. METHODS: From within the spike protein S1 region, a fragmented protein P1 (MW:33 kDa) which includes the receptor-binding domain (RBD), another fragment protein P2 (MW:17.6) which contains important antigenic epitopes within the spike protein S2 region, and N protein (MW:46 kDa) were obtained after recombinant expression of the corresponding gene regions in Escherichia coli BL21. For use in immunization studies, three proteins were adsorbed with aluminum hydroxide gel and with the combination of aluminum hydroxide gel plus MPLA. RESULTS: Each of the three protein antigens produced strong reactions in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and Western blot analysis studies performed with convalescent COVID-19 patient sera. In mice, these combined protein vaccine candidates elicited high titer anti-P1, anti-P2, and anti-N IgG and IgG2a responses. These also induced highly neutralizing antibodies and elicited significant cell-mediated immunity as demonstrated by enhanced antigen-specific levels of interferon-γ (INF-γ) in the splenocytes of immunized mice. CONCLUSION: The results of this study showed that formulations of the three proteins with Alum or Alum + MPLA are effective in terms of humoral and cellular responses. However, since the Alum + MPLA formulation appears to be superior in Th1 response, this vaccine candidate may be recommended mainly for the elderly and immunocompromised individuals. We also believe that the alum-only formulation will provide great benefits for adults, young adolescents, and children.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Mice , Animals , Humans , Nucleocapsid Proteins , COVID-19/prevention & control , Aluminum Hydroxide , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccines, Subunit
14.
Zhonghua Liu Xing Bing Xue Za Zhi ; 43(11): 1691-1698, 2022 Nov 10.
Article in Chinese | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2127269

ABSTRACT

2019-nCoV Omicron variant has become predominant in the world. New subvariants with further mutations in their spike proteins are continuously emerging. Compared with the wild type and other variants of concern, Omicron variant exhibits altered etiological and epidemiological characteristics, with weakened pathogenicity and toxicity in laboratory mice and hamsters as well as enhanced immune escape capacity. The human infections are more likely to be asymptomatic and mild characterized by upper respiratory tract symptoms with reduced risk of hospitalization and death. In addition, Omicron variant can transmit more rapidly and shows shorter incubation period to cause infection, and the variant is more likely to transmit through contamination of object surfaces and aerosols spread. This paper summarizes the etiological and epidemiological characteristics of Omicron variant to provide a reference for the effective prevention and control of Omicron variant infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Cricetinae , Mice , Humans , Causality , Hospitalization
15.
Viruses ; 14(11)2022 Nov 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2143699

ABSTRACT

Small molecular nucleic acid drugs produce antiviral effects by activating pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). In this study, a small molecular nucleotide containing 5'triphosphoric acid (5'PPP) and possessing a double-stranded structure was designed and named nCoV-L. nCoV-L was found to specifically activate RIG-I, induce interferon responses, and inhibit duplication of four RNA viruses (Human enterovirus 71, Human poliovirus 1, Human coxsackievirus B5 and Influenza A virus) in cells. In vivo, nCoV-L quickly induced interferon responses and protected BALB/c suckling mice from a lethal dose of the enterovirus 71. Additionally, prophylactic administration of nCoV-L was found to reduce mouse death and relieve morbidity symptoms in a K18-hACE2 mouse lethal model of SARS-CoV-2. In summary, these findings indicate that nCoV-L activates RIG-I and quickly induces effective antiviral signals. Thus, it has potential as a broad-spectrum antiviral drug.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Mice , Animals , DEAD-box RNA Helicases/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , Cell Line , DEAD Box Protein 58 , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Interferons
16.
Viruses ; 14(10)2022 09 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2143661

ABSTRACT

Interferon gamma (IFN-γ) may be potential adjuvant immunotherapy for COVID-19 patients. In this work, we assessed gene expression profiles associated with the IFN-γ pathway in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Employing a case-control study from SARS-CoV-2-positive and -negative patients, we identified IFN-γ-associated pathways to be enriched in positive patients. Bioinformatics analyses showed upregulation of MAP2K6, CBL, RUNX3, STAT1, and JAK2 in COVID-19-positive vs. -negative patients. A positive correlation was observed between STAT1/JAK2, which varied alongside the patient's viral load. Expression of MX1, MX2, ISG15, and OAS1 (four well-known IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs)) displayed upregulation in COVID-19-positive vs. -negative patients. Integrative analyses showcased higher levels of ISGs, which were associated with increased viral load and STAT1/JAK2 expression. Confirmation of ISGs up-regulation was performed in vitro using the A549 lung cell line treated with Poly (I:C), a synthetic analog of viral double-stranded RNA; and in different pulmonary human cell lines and ferret tracheal biopsies infected with SARS-CoV-2. A pre-clinical murine model of Coronavirus infection confirmed findings displaying increased ISGs in the liver and lungs from infected mice. Altogether, these results demonstrate the role of IFN-γ and ISGs in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection, highlighting alternative druggable targets that can boost the host response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Animals , Mice , Interferon-gamma/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Case-Control Studies , RNA, Double-Stranded , Ferrets , MAP Kinase Kinase 6/genetics
17.
Cells ; 11(22)2022 Nov 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2142561

ABSTRACT

Alveolar macrophage (AM) proliferation and self-renewal play an important role in the lung tissue microenvironment. However, the impact of immune cells, especially the neutrophils, on AM homeostasis or function is not well characterized. In this study, we induced in vivo migration of neutrophils into bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid and lung using CXCL1, and then co-cultured these with AMs in vitro. Neutrophils in the BAL (BAL-neutrophils), rather than neutrophils of bone marrow (BM-neutrophils), were found to inhibit AM proliferation. Analysis of publicly available data showed high heterogeneity of lung neutrophils with distinct molecular signatures of BM- and blood-neutrophils. Unexpectedly, BAL-neutrophils from influenza virus PR8-infected mice (PR8-neutrophils) did not inhibit the proliferation of AMs. Bulk RNA sequencing further revealed that co-culture of AMs with PR8-neutrophils induced IFN-α and -γ responses and inflammatory response, and AMs co-cultured with BAL-neutrophils showed higher expression of metabolism- and ROS-associated genes; in addition, BAL-neutrophils from PR8-infected mice modulated AM polarization and phagocytosis. BAL-neutrophil-mediated suppression of AM proliferation was abrogated by a combination of inhibitors of different neutrophil death pathways. Collectively, our findings suggest that multiple cell death pathways of neutrophils regulate the proliferation of AMs. Targeting neutrophil death may represent a potential therapeutic strategy for improving AM homeostasis during respiratory diseases.


Subject(s)
Macrophages, Alveolar , Neutrophils , Mice , Animals , Macrophages, Alveolar/metabolism , Neutrophils/metabolism , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid , Lung , Cell Proliferation
18.
Front Immunol ; 13: 1028613, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2142034

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection causes a variety of physiological responses in the lung, and understanding how the expression of SARS-CoV-2 receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), and its proteolytic activator, transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2), are affected in patients with underlying disease such as interstitial pneumonia will be important in considering COVID-19 progression. We examined the expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 in an induced usual interstitial pneumonia (iUIP) mouse model and patients with IPF as well as the changes in whole-lung ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression under physiological conditions caused by viral infection. Histopathological and biochemical characteristics were analyzed using human specimens from patients with IPF and precision-cut lung slices (PCLS) from iUIP mouse model showing UIP with honeycombing and severe fibrosis after non-specific interstitial pneumonia. ACE2 expression decreased with acute lung inflammation and increased in the abnormal lung epithelium of the iUIP mouse model. ACE2 is also expressed in metaplastic epithelial cells. Poly(I:C), interferons, and cytokines associated with fibrosis decreased ACE2 expression in PCLS in the iUIP model. Hypoxia also decreases ACE2 via HIF1α in PCLS. Antifibrotic agent, nintedanib attenuates ACE2 expression in invasive epithelial cells. Patients with IPF are at a higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection due to the high expression of ACE2. However, ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression is decreased by immune intermediaries, including interferons and cytokines that are associated with viral infection and upon administration of antifibrotic agents, suggesting that most of the viral infection-induced pathophysiological responses aid the development of resistance against SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis , Lung Diseases , Humans , Mice , Animals , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Lung/pathology , Lung Diseases/pathology , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , Cytokines , Interferons , Fibrosis
19.
Front Immunol ; 13: 1023255, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2142030

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 vaccines currently in use have contributed to controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. Notwithstanding, the high mutation rate, fundamentally in the spike glycoprotein (S), is causing the emergence of new variants. Solely utilizing this antigen is a drawback that may reduce the efficacy of these vaccines. Herein we present a DNA vaccine candidate that contains the genes encoding the S and the nucleocapsid (N) proteins implemented into the non-replicative mammalian expression plasmid vector, pPAL. This plasmid lacks antibiotic resistance genes and contains an alternative selectable marker for production. The S gene sequence was modified to avoid furin cleavage (Sfs). Potent humoral and cellular immune responses were observed in C57BL/6J mice vaccinated with pPAL-Sfs + pPAL-N following a prime/boost regimen by the intramuscular route applying in vivo electroporation. The immunogen fully protected K18-hACE2 mice against a lethal dose (105 PFU) of SARS-CoV-2. Viral replication was completely controlled in the lungs, brain, and heart of vaccinated mice. Therefore, pPAL-Sfs + pPAL-N is a promising DNA vaccine candidate for protection from COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines, DNA , Viral Vaccines , Mice , Animals , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Pandemics , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Inbred C57BL , COVID-19/prevention & control , Anti-Bacterial Agents , Mammals
20.
Front Immunol ; 13: 948335, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141981

ABSTRACT

For a vaccine to achieve durable immunity and optimal efficacy, many require a multi-dose primary vaccination schedule that acts to first "prime" naive immune systems and then "boost" initial immune responses by repeated immunizations (ie, prime-boost regimens). In the context of the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), 2-dose primary vaccination regimens were often selected with short intervals between doses to provide rapid protection while still inducing robust immunity. However, emerging post-authorization evidence has suggested that longer intervals between doses 1 and 2 for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines may positively impact robustness and durability of immune responses. Here, the dosing interval for mRNA-1273, a messenger RNA based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine administered on a 2-dose primary schedule with 4 weeks between doses, was evaluated in mice by varying the dose interval between 1 and 8 weeks and examining immune responses through 24 weeks after dose 2. A dosing interval of 6 to 8 weeks generated the highest level of antigen-specific serum immunoglobulin G binding antibody titers. Differences in binding antibody titers between mRNA-1273 1 µg and 10 µg decreased over time for dosing intervals of ≥4 weeks, suggesting a potential dose-sparing effect. Longer intervals (≥4 weeks) also increased antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity activity and numbers of antibody-secreting cells (including long-lived plasma cells) after the second dose. An interval of 6 to 8 weeks elicited the strongest CD8+ T-cell responses, while an interval of 3 weeks elicited the strongest CD4+ T-cell response. Overall, these results suggest that in a non-pandemic setting, a longer interval (≥6 weeks) between the doses of the primary series for mRNA-1273 may induce more durable immune responses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Mice , Humans , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines , 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273 , SARS-CoV-2 , Immunity
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