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1.
Eur J Immunol ; 51(12): 3194-3201, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1437042

ABSTRACT

Accelerate lung repair in SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia is essential for pandemic handling. Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are likely players, given their role in mucosal protection and tissue homeostasis. We studied ILC subpopulations at two time points in a cohort of patients admitted in the hospital due to SARS-CoV-2 infection. COVID-19 patients with moderate/severe respiratory failure featured profound depletion of circulating ILCs at hospital admission, in agreement with overall lymphocyte depletion. However, ILCs recovered in direct correlation with lung function improvement as measured by oxygenation index and in negative association with inflammatory and lung/endothelial damage markers like RAGE. While both ILC1 and ILC2 expanded, ILC2 showed the most striking phenotype changes, with CCR10 upregulation in strong correlation with these parameters. Overall, CCR10+ ILC2 emerge as relevant contributors to SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia recovery.


Subject(s)
Biomarkers/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , Lung/pathology , Lymphocytes/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Receptors, CCR10/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adult , Aged , Antigens, Neoplasm/metabolism , Cell Proliferation , Cytokines/metabolism , Female , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Male , Middle Aged , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism , Recovery of Function , Th2 Cells/immunology , Up-Regulation
2.
J Virol ; 95(23): e0139621, 2021 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1434896

ABSTRACT

Emerging evidence suggests that endothelial activation plays a central role in the pathogenesis of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multiorgan failure in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, the molecular mechanisms underlying endothelial activation in COVID-19 patients remain unclear. In this study, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viral proteins that potently activate human endothelial cells were screened to elucidate the molecular mechanisms involved in endothelial activation. It was found that nucleocapsid protein (NP) of SARS-CoV-2 significantly activated human endothelial cells through Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2)/NF-κB and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways. Moreover, by screening a natural microbial compound library containing 154 natural compounds, simvastatin was identified as a potent inhibitor of NP-induced endothelial activation. Remarkably, though the protein sequences of N proteins from coronaviruses are highly conserved, only NP from SARS-CoV-2 induced endothelial activation. The NPs from other coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), HUB1-CoV, and influenza virus H1N1 did not activate endothelial cells. These findings are consistent with the results from clinical investigations showing broad endotheliitis and organ injury in severe COVID-19 patients. In conclusion, the study provides insights on SARS-CoV-2-induced vasculopathy and coagulopathy and suggests that simvastatin, an FDA-approved lipid-lowering drug, may help prevent the pathogenesis and improve the outcome of COVID-19 patients. IMPORTANCE Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the betacoronavirus SARS-CoV-2, is a worldwide challenge for health care systems. The leading cause of mortality in patients with COVID-19 is hypoxic respiratory failure from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). To date, pulmonary endothelial cells (ECs) have been largely overlooked as a therapeutic target in COVID-19, yet emerging evidence suggests that these cells contribute to the initiation and propagation of ARDS by altering vessel barrier integrity, promoting a procoagulative state, inducing vascular inflammation and mediating inflammatory cell infiltration. Therefore, a better mechanistic understanding of the vasculature is of utmost importance. In this study, we screened the SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins that potently activate human endothelial cells and found that nucleocapsid protein (NP) significantly activated human endothelial cells through TLR2/NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways. Moreover, by screening a natural microbial compound library containing 154 natural compounds, simvastatin was identified as a potent inhibitor of NP-induced endothelial activation. Our results provide insights on SARS-CoV-2-induced vasculopathy and coagulopathy, and suggests that simvastatin, an FDA-approved lipid-lowering drug, may benefit to prevent the pathogenesis and improve the outcome of COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/drug effects , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Signal Transduction , Simvastatin/pharmacology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells , Humans , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism , NF-kappa B/metabolism , Toll-Like Receptor 2/metabolism
3.
Cells ; 10(9)2021 09 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403545

ABSTRACT

Stroke is the third leading cause of mortality in women and it kills twice as many women as breast cancer. A key role in the pathophysiology of stroke plays the disruption of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) within the neurovascular unit. While estrogen induces vascular protective actions, its influence on stroke remains unclear. Moreover, experiments assessing its impact on endothelial cells to induce barrier integrity are non-conclusive. Since pericytes play an active role in regulating BBB integrity and function, we hypothesize that estradiol may influence BBB by regulating their activity. In this study using human brain vascular pericytes (HBVPs) we investigated the impact of estradiol on key pericyte functions known to influence BBB integrity. HBVPs expressed estrogen receptors (ER-α, ER-ß and GPER) and treatment with estradiol (10 nM) inhibited basal cell migration but not proliferation. Since pericyte migration is a hallmark for BBB disruption following injury, infection and inflammation, we investigated the effects of estradiol on TNFα-induced PC migration. Importantly, estradiol prevented TNFα-induced pericyte migration and this effect was mimicked by PPT (ER-α agonist) and DPN (ER-ß agonist), but not by G1 (GPR30 agonist). The modulatory effects of estradiol were abrogated by MPP and PHTPP, selective ER-α and ER-ß antagonists, respectively, confirming the role of ER-α and ER-ß in mediating the anti-migratory actions of estrogen. To delineate the intracellular mechanisms mediating the inhibitory actions of estradiol on PC migration, we investigated the role of AKT and MAPK activation. While estradiol consistently reduced the TNFα-induced MAPK and Akt phosphorylation, only the inhibition of MAPK, but not Akt, significantly abrogated the migratory actions of TNFα. In transendothelial electrical resistance measurements, estradiol induced barrier function (TEER) in human brain microvascular endothelial cells co-cultured with pericytes, but not in HBMECs cultured alone. Importantly, transcriptomics analysis of genes modulated by estradiol in pericytes showed downregulation of genes known to increase cell migration and upregulation of genes known to inhibit cell migration. Taken together, our findings provide the first evidence that estradiol modulates pericyte activity and thereby improves endothelial integrity.


Subject(s)
Brain/blood supply , Cell Movement/drug effects , Estradiol/pharmacology , Gene Expression Profiling , Pericytes/cytology , Cell Movement/genetics , Cell Proliferation/drug effects , Cells, Cultured , Endothelial Cells/drug effects , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects , Humans , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism , Pericytes/drug effects , Pericytes/metabolism , Phosphorylation/drug effects , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism , Receptors, Estrogen/metabolism , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism
4.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 5(1): 218, 2020 10 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387198

Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Cardiac Glycosides/pharmacology , Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Biological Products/chemistry , Biological Products/pharmacology , Bufanolides/chemistry , Bufanolides/pharmacology , COVID-19 , Cardiac Glycosides/chemistry , Cell Survival/drug effects , Chlorocebus aethiops , Chloroquine/chemistry , Chloroquine/pharmacology , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Digoxin/chemistry , Digoxin/pharmacology , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Janus Kinases/antagonists & inhibitors , Janus Kinases/genetics , Janus Kinases/metabolism , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/antagonists & inhibitors , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/genetics , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism , NF-E2-Related Factor 2/antagonists & inhibitors , NF-E2-Related Factor 2/genetics , NF-E2-Related Factor 2/metabolism , NF-kappa B/antagonists & inhibitors , NF-kappa B/genetics , NF-kappa B/metabolism , Pandemics , Phenanthrenes/chemistry , Phenanthrenes/pharmacology , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Signal Transduction , Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase/antagonists & inhibitors , Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase/genetics , Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase/metabolism , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
5.
Front Immunol ; 12: 683879, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1369666

ABSTRACT

Diseases caused by pathogenic bacteria in animals (e.g., bacterial pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis) and plants (e.g., bacterial wilt, angular spot and canker) lead to high prevalence and mortality, and decomposition of plant leaves, respectively. Melatonin, an endogenous molecule, is highly pleiotropic, and accumulating evidence supports the notion that melatonin's actions in bacterial infection deserve particular attention. Here, we summarize the antibacterial effects of melatonin in vitro, in animals as well as plants, and discuss the potential mechanisms. Melatonin exerts antibacterial activities not only on classic gram-negative and -positive bacteria, but also on members of other bacterial groups, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Protective actions against bacterial infections can occur at different levels. Direct actions of melatonin may occur only at very high concentrations, which is at the borderline of practical applicability. However, various indirect functions comprise activation of hosts' defense mechanisms or, in sepsis, attenuation of bacterially induced inflammation. In plants, its antibacterial functions involve the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway; in animals, protection by melatonin against bacterially induced damage is associated with inhibition or activation of various signaling pathways, including key regulators such as NF-κB, STAT-1, Nrf2, NLRP3 inflammasome, MAPK and TLR-2/4. Moreover, melatonin can reduce formation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS, RNS), promote detoxification and protect mitochondrial damage. Altogether, we propose that melatonin could be an effective approach against various pathogenic bacterial infections.


Subject(s)
Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Inflammasomes/metabolism , Melatonin/pharmacology , Sepsis/metabolism , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Animals , Humans , Inflammasomes/drug effects , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/drug effects , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism , NF-kappa B/drug effects , NF-kappa B/metabolism , Plant Leaves , Reactive Oxygen Species , Sepsis/genetics , Sepsis/immunology
6.
Biomarkers ; 26(2): 114-118, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1165038

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) with lung involvement frequently causes morbidity and mortality. Advanced age appears to be the most important risk factor. The receptor for advanced glycation end-product (RAGE) pathway is considered to play important roles in the physiological aging and pathogenesis of lung diseases. This study aimed to investigate the possible relationship between COVID-19 and RAGE pathway. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study included 23 asymptomatic patients and 35 patients with lung involvement who were diagnosed with COVID-19 as well as 22 healthy volunteers. Lung involvement was determined using computed tomography. Serum soluble-RAGE (sRAGE) levels were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. RESULTS: The sRAGE levels were significantly higher in the asymptomatic group than in the control group. Age, fibrinogen, C-reactive protein, and ferritin levels were higher and the sRAGE level was lower in the patients with lung involvement than in the asymptomatic patients. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, patients with high sRAGE levels were younger and had asymptomatic COVID-19. Patients with low sRAGE levels were elderly patients with lung involvement, which indicates that the RAGE pathway plays an important role in the aggravation of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Neoplasm/metabolism , COVID-19/physiopathology , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism , Signal Transduction , Adult , Aged , Aging , COVID-19/complications , Case-Control Studies , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia/etiology , Tomography, X-Ray Computed
7.
FASEB J ; 34(11): 14103-14119, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-787296

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has provoked major stresses on the health-care systems of several countries, and caused the death of more than a quarter of a million people globally, mainly in the elderly population with preexisting pathologies. Previous studies with coronavirus (SARS-CoV) point to gender differences in infection and disease progression with increased susceptibility in male patients, indicating that estrogens may be associated with physiological protection against the coronavirus. Therefore, the objectives of this work are threefold. First, we aim to summarize the SARS-CoV-2 infection pathway and the roles both the virus and patient play in COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease 2019) progression, clinical symptomatology, and mortality. Second, we detail the effect estrogen has on viral infection and host infection response, including its role in both the regulation of key viral receptor expression and the mediation of inflammatory activity. Finally, we describe how ERs (estrogen receptors) and RAGE (receptor for advanced glycation end-products) play a critical role in metabolic pathways, which we envisage could maintain a close interplay with SARS-CoV and COVID-19 mortality rates, despite a current lack of research directly determining how. Taken together, we present the current state of the field regarding SARS-CoV-2 research and illuminate where research is needed to better define the role both estrogen and metabolic comorbidities have in the COVID-19 disease state, which can be key in screening potential therapeutic options as the search for effective treatments continue.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Age Factors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antigens, Neoplasm/metabolism , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Disease Susceptibility , Estrogens/metabolism , Female , Humans , Lung/pathology , Male , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Receptors, Estrogen/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Factors , Signal Transduction
8.
Mol Cell ; 80(1): 164-174.e4, 2020 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-709380

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infections are rapidly spreading around the globe. The rapid development of therapies is of major importance. However, our lack of understanding of the molecular processes and host cell signaling events underlying SARS-CoV-2 infection hinders therapy development. We use a SARS-CoV-2 infection system in permissible human cells to study signaling changes by phosphoproteomics. We identify viral protein phosphorylation and define phosphorylation-driven host cell signaling changes upon infection. Growth factor receptor (GFR) signaling and downstream pathways are activated. Drug-protein network analyses revealed GFR signaling as key pathways targetable by approved drugs. The inhibition of GFR downstream signaling by five compounds prevents SARS-CoV-2 replication in cells, assessed by cytopathic effect, viral dsRNA production, and viral RNA release into the supernatant. This study describes host cell signaling events upon SARS-CoV-2 infection and reveals GFR signaling as a central pathway essential for SARS-CoV-2 replication. It provides novel strategies for COVID-19 treatment.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/genetics , Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase/genetics , Receptors, Growth Factor/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics , Adrenal Cortex Hormones/therapeutic use , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Caco-2 Cells , Gene Expression Regulation , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/antagonists & inhibitors , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism , Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase/metabolism , Phosphoproteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Phosphorylation , Receptors, Growth Factor/antagonists & inhibitors , Receptors, Growth Factor/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Signal Transduction , Viral Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication/drug effects
9.
Sci Rep ; 10(1): 7257, 2020 04 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-154662

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses that cause severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) are speculated to have originated in bats. The mechanisms by which these viruses are maintained in individuals or populations of reservoir bats remain an enigma. Mathematical models have predicted long-term persistent infection with low levels of periodic shedding as a likely route for virus maintenance and spillover from bats. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that bat cells and MERS coronavirus (CoV) can co-exist in vitro. To test our hypothesis, we established a long-term coronavirus infection model of bat cells that are persistently infected with MERS-CoV. We infected cells from Eptesicus fuscus with MERS-CoV and maintained them in culture for at least 126 days. We characterized the persistently infected cells by detecting virus particles, protein and transcripts. Basal levels of type I interferon in the long-term infected bat cells were higher, relative to uninfected cells, and disrupting the interferon response in persistently infected bat cells increased virus replication. By sequencing the whole genome of MERS-CoV from persistently infected bat cells, we identified that bat cells repeatedly selected for viral variants that contained mutations in the viral open reading frame 5 (ORF5) protein. Furthermore, bat cells that were persistently infected with ΔORF5 MERS-CoV were resistant to superinfection by wildtype virus, likely due to reduced levels of the virus receptor, dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) and higher basal levels of interferon in these cells. In summary, our study provides evidence for a model of coronavirus persistence in bats, along with the establishment of a unique persistently infected cell culture model to study MERS-CoV-bat interactions.


Subject(s)
Chiroptera/virology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Fibroblasts/virology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Open Reading Frames/genetics , Point Mutation , Animals , Chiroptera/anatomy & histology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins , Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4/metabolism , Fibroblasts/metabolism , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/genetics , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/metabolism , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Kidney/cytology , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/genetics , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism , Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Transfection , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/genetics , Whole Genome Sequencing
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