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1.
Front Immunol ; 12: 807134, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604257

ABSTRACT

ORF8 is a viral immunoglobulin-like (Ig-like) domain protein encoded by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA genome. It tends to evolve rapidly and interfere with immune responses. However, the structural characteristics of various coronavirus ORF8 proteins and their subsequent effects on biological functions remain unclear. Herein, we determined the crystal structures of SARS-CoV-2 ORF8 (S84) (one of the epidemic isoforms) and the bat coronavirus RaTG13 ORF8 variant at 1.62 Å and 1.76 Å resolution, respectively. Comparison of these ORF8 proteins demonstrates that the 62-77 residues in Ig-like domain of coronavirus ORF8 adopt different conformations. Combined with mutagenesis assays, the residue Cys20 of ORF8 is responsible for forming the covalent disulfide-linked dimer in crystal packing and in vitro biochemical conditions. Furthermore, immune cell-binding assays indicate that various ORF8 (SARS-CoV-2 ORF8 (L84), ORF8 (S84), and RaTG13 ORF8) proteins have different interaction capabilities with human CD14+ monocytes in human peripheral blood. These results provide new insights into the specific characteristics of various coronavirus ORF8 and suggest that ORF8 variants may influence disease-related immune responses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Chiroptera/immunology , Immunity/immunology , Immunoglobulin Domains/immunology , Viral Proteins/immunology , Animals , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Chiroptera/genetics , Chiroptera/metabolism , Crystallography, X-Ray , Humans , Immunity/genetics , Immunoglobulin Domains/genetics , Lipopolysaccharide Receptors/immunology , Lipopolysaccharide Receptors/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Monocytes/immunology , Monocytes/metabolism , Mutation , Protein Binding , Species Specificity , Viral Proteins/classification , Viral Proteins/genetics
2.
J Exp Med ; 219(2)2022 02 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594167

ABSTRACT

In rare instances, pediatric SARS-CoV-2 infection results in a novel immunodysregulation syndrome termed multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). We compared MIS-C immunopathology with severe COVID-19 in adults. MIS-C does not result in pneumocyte damage but is associated with vascular endotheliitis and gastrointestinal epithelial injury. In MIS-C, the cytokine release syndrome is characterized by IFNγ and not type I interferon. Persistence of patrolling monocytes differentiates MIS-C from severe COVID-19, which is dominated by HLA-DRlo classical monocytes. IFNγ levels correlate with granzyme B production in CD16+ NK cells and TIM3 expression on CD38+/HLA-DR+ T cells. Single-cell TCR profiling reveals a skewed TCRß repertoire enriched for TRBV11-2 and a superantigenic signature in TIM3+/CD38+/HLA-DR+ T cells. Using NicheNet, we confirm IFNγ as a central cytokine in the communication between TIM3+/CD38+/HLA-DR+ T cells, CD16+ NK cells, and patrolling monocytes. Normalization of IFNγ, loss of TIM3, quiescence of CD16+ NK cells, and contraction of patrolling monocytes upon clinical resolution highlight their potential role in MIS-C immunopathogenesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Hepatitis A Virus Cellular Receptor 2/metabolism , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Monocytes/metabolism , Receptors, IgG/metabolism , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adolescent , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/pathology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Blood Vessels/pathology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Cell Proliferation , Child , Cohort Studies , Complement Activation , Cytokines/metabolism , Enterocytes/pathology , Female , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Inflammation/pathology , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Interleukin-15/metabolism , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Male , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Superantigens/metabolism , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/pathology
3.
Dis Markers ; 2021: 6803510, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443673

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is currently the most significant public health threat worldwide. Patients with severe COVID-19 usually have pneumonia concomitant with local inflammation and sometimes a cytokine storm. Specific components of the SARS-CoV-2 virus trigger lung inflammation, and recruitment of immune cells to the lungs exacerbates this process, although much remains unknown about the pathogenesis of COVID-19. Our study of lung type II pneumocyte cells (A549) demonstrated that ORF7, an open reading frame (ORF) in the genome of SARS-CoV-2, induced the production of CCL2, a chemokine that promotes the chemotaxis of monocytes, and decreased the expression of IL-8, a chemokine that recruits neutrophils. A549 cells also had an increased level of IL-6. The results of our chemotaxis Transwell assay suggested that ORF7 augmented monocyte infiltration and reduced the number of neutrophils. We conclude that the ORF7 of SARS-CoV-2 may have specific effects on the immunological changes in tissues after infection. These results suggest that the functions of other ORFs of SARS-CoV-2 should also be comprehensively examined.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Chemotaxis , Monocytes/pathology , Neutrophils/pathology , Open Reading Frames/physiology , Pneumonia/pathology , Viral Proteins/metabolism , A549 Cells , Chemokine CCL2/metabolism , Humans , In Vitro Techniques , Monocytes/immunology , Monocytes/metabolism , Neutrophils/immunology , Neutrophils/metabolism , Pneumonia/immunology , Pneumonia/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Proteins/genetics
4.
Cell Rep ; 37(1): 109773, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1442298

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection in children is less severe than it is in adults. We perform a longitudinal analysis of the early innate responses in children and adults with mild infection within household clusters. Children display fewer symptoms than adults do, despite similar initial viral load, and mount a robust anti-viral immune signature typical of the SARS-CoV-2 infection and characterized by early interferon gene responses; increases in cytokines, such as CXCL10 and GM-CSF; and changes in blood cell numbers. When compared with adults, the antiviral response resolves faster (within a week of symptoms), monocytes and dendritic cells are more transiently activated, and genes associated with B cell activation appear earlier in children. Nonetheless, these differences do not have major effects on the quality of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody responses. Our findings reveal that better early control of inflammation as observed in children may be key for rapidly controlling infection and limiting the disease course.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/metabolism , Immunity, Innate , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Transcriptome , Adaptive Immunity , Adolescent , Adult , B-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Chemokine CXCL10/metabolism , Child , Child, Preschool , Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor/metabolism , Humans , Infant , Inflammation/virology , Interferons/metabolism , Longitudinal Studies , Middle Aged , Monocytes/metabolism , Sequence Analysis, RNA , Viral Load , Young Adult
5.
Curr Issues Mol Biol ; 43(3): 1212-1225, 2021 Sep 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438531

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is the cause of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Most SARS-CoV-2 infections are mild or even asymptomatic. However, a small fraction of infected individuals develops severe, life-threatening disease, which is caused by an uncontrolled immune response resulting in hyperinflammation. However, the factors predisposing individuals to severe disease remain poorly understood. Here, we show that levels of CD47, which is known to mediate immune escape in cancer and virus-infected cells, are elevated in SARS-CoV-2-infected Caco-2 cells, Calu-3 cells, and air-liquid interface cultures of primary human bronchial epithelial cells. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2 infection increases SIRPalpha levels, the binding partner of CD47, on primary human monocytes. Systematic literature searches further indicated that known risk factors such as older age and diabetes are associated with increased CD47 levels. High CD47 levels contribute to vascular disease, vasoconstriction, and hypertension, conditions that may predispose SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals to COVID-19-related complications such as pulmonary hypertension, lung fibrosis, myocardial injury, stroke, and acute kidney injury. Hence, age-related and virus-induced CD47 expression is a candidate mechanism potentially contributing to severe COVID-19, as well as a therapeutic target, which may be addressed by antibodies and small molecules. Further research will be needed to investigate the potential involvement of CD47 and SIRPalpha in COVID-19 pathology. Our data should encourage other research groups to consider the potential relevance of the CD47/ SIRPalpha axis in their COVID-19 research.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Differentiation/metabolism , CD47 Antigen/metabolism , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/metabolism , Pandemics , Receptors, Immunologic/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Severity of Illness Index , Signal Transduction/immunology , Blood Donors , Blotting, Western/methods , Bronchi/cytology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Caco-2 Cells , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/virology , Healthy Volunteers , Humans , Monocytes/metabolism , Monocytes/virology , Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
6.
Biomolecules ; 11(9)2021 09 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1408458

ABSTRACT

Systemic vascular damage with micro/macro-thrombosis is a typical feature of severe COVID-19. However, the pathogenesis of this damage and its predictive biomarkers remain poorly defined. For this reason, in this study, serum monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-2 and P- and E-selectin levels were analyzed in 204 patients with COVID-19. Serum MCP-2 and P-selectin were significantly higher in hospitalized patients compared with asymptomatic patients. Furthermore, MCP-2 increased with the WHO stage in hospitalized patients. After 1 week of hospitalization, MCP-2 levels were significantly reduced, while P-selectin increased in patients in WHO stage 3 and decreased in patients in WHO stages 5-7. Serum E-selectin was not significantly different between asymptomatic and hospitalized patients. The lower MCP-2 levels after 1 week suggest that endothelial damage triggered by monocytes occurs early in COVID-19 disease progression. MCP-2 may also predict COVID-19 severity. The increase in P-selectin levels, which further increased in mild patients and reduced in severe patients after 1 week of hospitalization, suggests that the inactive form of the protein produced by the cleavage of the active protein from the platelet membrane is present. This may be used to identify a subset of patients that would benefit from targeted therapies. The unchanged levels of E-selectin in these patients suggest that endothelial damage is less relevant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chemokine CCL8/blood , E-Selectin/blood , Endothelium, Vascular , P-Selectin/blood , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/pathology , Endothelium, Vascular/injuries , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/pathology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/metabolism , Monocytes/pathology
7.
Rev Physiol Biochem Pharmacol ; 180: 1-47, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1396975

ABSTRACT

Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are a family of 18 members that participate in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression. In addition to histones, some HDACs also deacetylate transcription factors and specific cytoplasmic proteins.Monocytes, as part of the innate immune system, maintain tissue homeostasis and help fight infections and cancer. In these cells, HDACs are involved in multiple processes including proliferation, migration, differentiation, inflammatory response, infections, and tumorigenesis. Here, a systematic description of the role that most HDACs play in these functions is reviewed. Specifically, some HDACs induce a pro-inflammatory response and play major roles in host defense. Conversely, other HDACs reprogram monocytes and macrophages towards an immunosuppressive phenotype. The right balance between both types helps monocytes to respond correctly to the different physiological/pathological stimuli. However, aberrant expressions or activities of specific HDACs are associated with autoimmune diseases along with other chronic inflammatory diseases, infections, or cancer.This paper critically reviews the interesting and extensive knowledge regarding the role of some HDACs in these pathologies. It also shows that as yet, very little progress has been made toward the goal of finding effective HDAC-targeted therapies. However, given their obvious potential, we conclude that it is worth the effort to develop monocyte-specific drugs that selectively target HDAC subtypes with the aim of finding effective treatments for diseases in which our innate immune system is involved.


Subject(s)
Histone Deacetylases , Monocytes , Epigenesis, Genetic , Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors , Histone Deacetylases/genetics , Histone Deacetylases/metabolism , Histones/metabolism , Monocytes/metabolism
8.
BMJ Open Respir Res ; 7(1)2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388517

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is the major cause of mortality in patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia. It appears that development of 'cytokine storm' in patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia precipitates progression to ARDS. However, severity scores on admission do not predict severity or mortality in patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia. Our objective was to determine whether patients with SARS-CoV-2 ARDS are clinically distinct, therefore requiring alternative management strategies, compared with other patients with ARDS. We report a single-centre retrospective study comparing the characteristics and outcomes of patients with ARDS with and without SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: Two intensive care unit (ICU) cohorts of patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham were analysed: SARS-CoV-2 patients admitted between 11 March and 21 April 2020 and all patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) from bacterial or viral infection who developed ARDS between 1 January 2017 and 1 November 2019. All data were routinely collected on the hospital's electronic patient records. RESULTS: A greater proportion of SARS-CoV-2 patients were from an Asian ethnic group (p=0.002). SARS-CoV-2 patients had lower circulating leucocytes, neutrophils and monocytes (p<0.0001), but higher CRP (p=0.016) on ICU admission. SARS-CoV-2 patients required a longer duration of mechanical ventilation (p=0.01), but had lower vasopressor requirements (p=0.016). DISCUSSION: The clinical syndromes and respiratory mechanics of SARS-CoV-2 and CAP-ARDS are broadly similar. However, SARS-CoV-2 patients initially have a lower requirement for vasopressor support, fewer circulating leukocytes and require prolonged ventilation support. Further studies are required to determine whether the dysregulated inflammation observed in SARS-CoV-2 ARDS may contribute to the increased duration of respiratory failure.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Critical Care/methods , Patient Outcome Assessment , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/blood , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , C-Reactive Protein/metabolism , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Leukocytes/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/metabolism , Neutrophils/metabolism , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , Respiratory Mechanics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Time , United Kingdom , Vasoconstrictor Agents/therapeutic use
9.
J Med Virol ; 93(9): 5555-5559, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1363698

ABSTRACT

We aimed to find the most useful biomarker by examining the prognostic effect of neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), lymphocyte-monocyte ratio (LMR), platelet-lymphocyte ratio (PLR), and lymphocyte-C reactive protein ratio (LCR) in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Three hundred and four patients diagnosed with COVID-19 infection in our hospital within 5 months (April-August 2020) were examined. Laboratory values and demographic findings of the patients were analyzed retrospectively. Thirty-six patients were diagnosed with severe cases. The ratio of NLR, LMR, PLR, and LCR of patients with severe and those with nonsevere clinical symptoms were statistically analyzed. The NLR and PLR ratios of those with severe clinical symptoms were significantly higher (p < 0.001), the LCR rate was significantly lower (p < 0.001), and there was no significant difference in the LMR rate (p = 0.199). When we examined other peripheral blood parameters, we found that CRP was high, lymphocyte and monocyte were low (p < 0.001), but neutrophil (p = 0.416) and platelet (p = 0.998) were not statistically different between the groups. According to the results, routine blood values are abnormal in patients with COVID-19. NLR, PLR, and LCR ratios can be used as more significant biomarkers than other values in predicting the prognosis of patients.


Subject(s)
Blood Platelets , COVID-19/blood , Lymphocytes , Monocytes , Neutrophils , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , C-Reactive Protein/analysis , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/metabolism , Prognosis , Retrospective Studies
10.
JCI Insight ; 6(13)2021 06 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1346128

ABSTRACT

We explored the potential link between chronic inflammatory arthritis and COVID-19 pathogenic and resolving macrophage pathways and their role in COVID-19 pathogenesis. We found that bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) macrophage clusters FCN1+ and FCN1+SPP1+ predominant in severe COVID-19 were transcriptionally related to synovial tissue macrophage (STM) clusters CD48hiS100A12+ and CD48+SPP1+ that drive rheumatoid arthritis (RA) synovitis. BALF macrophage cluster FABP4+ predominant in healthy lung was transcriptionally related to STM cluster TREM2+ that governs resolution of synovitis in RA remission. Plasma concentrations of SPP1 and S100A12 (key products of macrophage clusters shared with active RA) were high in severe COVID-19 and predicted the need for Intensive Care Unit transfer, and they remained high in the post-COVID-19 stage. High plasma levels of SPP1 were unique to severe COVID-19 when compared with other causes of severe pneumonia, and IHC localized SPP1+ macrophages in the alveoli of COVID-19 lung. Investigation into SPP1 mechanisms of action revealed that it drives proinflammatory activation of CD14+ monocytes and development of PD-L1+ neutrophils, both hallmarks of severe COVID-19. In summary, COVID-19 pneumonitis appears driven by similar pathogenic myeloid cell pathways as those in RA, and their mediators such as SPP1 might be an upstream activator of the aberrant innate response in severe COVID-19 and predictive of disease trajectory including post-COVID-19 pathology.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Monocytes/immunology , Neutrophils/immunology , Osteopontin/immunology , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/metabolism , B7-H1 Antigen/immunology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology , CD48 Antigen/immunology , COVID-19/chemically induced , COVID-19/metabolism , Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins/immunology , Humans , Lectins/immunology , Lipopolysaccharide Receptors/immunology , Lipopolysaccharide Receptors/metabolism , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Lung/immunology , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Macrophages/immunology , Macrophages/metabolism , Membrane Glycoproteins/immunology , Monocytes/metabolism , Neutrophils/metabolism , Osteopontin/blood , Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases/metabolism , Receptors, Immunologic/immunology , S100A12 Protein/immunology , S100A12 Protein/metabolism , Synovial Membrane/immunology , Tomography, X-Ray Computed
11.
EMBO J ; 40(18): e108249, 2021 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1323479

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is an emerging coronavirus that causes dysfunctions in multiple human cells and tissues. Studies have looked at the entry of SARS-CoV-2 into host cells mediated by the viral spike protein and human receptor ACE2. However, less is known about the cellular immune responses triggered by SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins. Here, we show that the nucleocapsid of SARS-CoV-2 inhibits host pyroptosis by blocking Gasdermin D (GSDMD) cleavage. SARS-CoV-2-infected monocytes show enhanced cellular interleukin-1ß (IL-1ß) expression, but reduced IL-1ß secretion. While SARS-CoV-2 infection promotes activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome and caspase-1, GSDMD cleavage and pyroptosis are inhibited in infected human monocytes. SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein associates with GSDMD in cells and inhibits GSDMD cleavage in vitro and in vivo. The nucleocapsid binds the GSDMD linker region and hinders GSDMD processing by caspase-1. These insights into how SARS-CoV-2 antagonizes cellular inflammatory responses may open new avenues for treating COVID-19 in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/metabolism , Nucleocapsid/metabolism , Phosphate-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Pyroptosis/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Caspase 1/immunology , Caspase 1/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Inflammasomes/immunology , Inflammasomes/metabolism , Interleukin-1beta/immunology , Interleukin-1beta/metabolism , Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/immunology , Mice , Monocytes/metabolism , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/immunology , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/metabolism , Phosphate-Binding Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , THP-1 Cells
12.
Front Immunol ; 12: 676828, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1320577

ABSTRACT

In coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), ulcerative lesions have been episodically reported in various segments of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, including the oral cavity, oropharynx, esophagus, stomach and bowel. In this report, we describe an autopsy case of a COVID-19 patient who showed two undiagnosed ulcers at the level of the anterior and posterior walls of the hypopharynx. Molecular testing of viruses involved in pharyngeal ulcers demonstrated the presence of severe acute respiratory syndrome - coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA, together with herpes simplex virus 1 DNA. Histopathologic analysis demonstrated full-thickness lympho-monocytic infiltration (mainly composed of CD68-positive cells), with hemorrhagic foci and necrosis of both the mucosal layer and deep skeletal muscle fibers. Fibrin and platelet microthrombi were also found. Cytological signs of HSV-1 induced damage were not found. Cells expressing SARS-CoV-2 spike subunit 1 were immunohistochemically identified in the inflammatory infiltrations. Immunohistochemistry for HSV1 showed general negativity for inflammatory infiltration, although in the presence of some positive cells. Thus, histopathological, immunohistochemical and molecular findings supported a direct role by SARS-CoV-2 in producing local ulcerative damage, although a possible contributory role by HSV-1 reactivation cannot be excluded. From a clinical perspective, this autopsy report of two undiagnosed lesions put the question if ulcers along the GI tract could be more common (but frequently neglected) in COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Hypopharynx/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Ulcer/pathology , Aged , Antigens, CD/metabolism , Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic/metabolism , Autopsy , Blood Platelets/metabolism , Blood Platelets/pathology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Gastrointestinal Tract/pathology , Herpesvirus 1, Human/genetics , Herpesvirus 1, Human/isolation & purification , Humans , Hypopharynx/virology , Immunohistochemistry , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/metabolism , Inflammation/virology , Lymphocytes/metabolism , Monocytes/metabolism , Mucous Membrane/pathology , Muscle, Skeletal/pathology , Necrosis/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Thrombosis/pathology , Ulcer/virology
13.
Cells ; 10(7)2021 07 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1302161

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is associated with increased incidence of preterm birth (PTB). We assessed pathways by which SARS-CoV-2 could access the placenta. Placentae, from PTB with or without chorioamnionitis (ChA), or from term pregnancies (n = 12/13/group) were collected. Peripheral blood was collected from healthy pregnant women (n = 6). Second trimester placental explants (16-20 weeks, n = 5/group) were treated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS, to mimic bacterial infection) and ACE2, CCL2, IL-6/8 and TNFα mRNA was assessed. ChA-placentae exhibited increased ACE2 and CCL2 mRNA expression (p < 0.05). LPS increased cytokine and ACE2 mRNA in placental explants. Placental ACE2 protein localized to syncytiotrophoblast, fetal endothelium, extravillous trophoblast and in immune cells-subsets (M1/M2 macrophage and neutrophils) within the villous stroma. Significantly increased numbers of M1 macrophage and neutrophils were present in the ChA-placenta (p < 0.001). Subsets of peripheral immune cells from pregnant women express the ACE2 mRNA and protein. A greater fraction of granulocytes was positive for ACE2 protein expression compared to lymphocytes or monocytes. These data suggest that in pregnancies complicated by ChA, ACE2 positive immune cells in the maternal circulation have the potential to traffic SARS-CoV-2 virus to the placenta and increase the risk of vertical transmission to the placenta/fetus.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Gene Expression , Placenta/metabolism , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/genetics , Premature Birth/etiology , Adult , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/transmission , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Lymphocytes/metabolism , Monocytes/metabolism , Placenta/cytology , Pregnancy , Premature Birth/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
14.
Front Immunol ; 12: 625732, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1291351

ABSTRACT

The etiological agent of COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2, is primarily a pulmonary-tropic coronavirus. Infection of alveolar pneumocytes by SARS-CoV-2 requires virus binding to the angiotensin I converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) monocarboxypeptidase. ACE2, present on the surface of many cell types, is known to be a regulator of blood pressure homeostasis through its ability to catalyze the proteolysis of Angiotensin II (Ang II) into Angiotensin-(1-7) [Ang-(1-7)]. We therefore hypothesized that SARS-CoV-2 could trigger variations of ACE2 expression and Ang II plasma concentration in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. We report here, that circulating blood cells from COVID-19 patients express less ACE2 mRNA than cells from healthy volunteers. At the level of circulating cells, this ACE2 gene dysregulation mainly affects the monocytes, which also show a lower expression of membrane ACE2 protein. Moreover, soluble ACE2 (sACE2) plasma concentrations are lower in prolonged viral shedders than in healthy controls, while the concentration of sACE2 returns to normal levels in short viral shedders. In the plasma of prolonged viral shedders, we also found higher concentrations of Ang II and angiotensin I (Ang I). On the other hand, the plasma levels of Ang-(1-7) remains almost stable in prolonged viral shedders but seems insufficient to prevent the adverse effects of Ang II accumulation. Altogether, these data evidence that the SARS-CoV-2 may affect the expression of blood pressure regulators with possible harmful consequences on COVID-19 outcome.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin II/blood , Angiotensin I/blood , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/blood , COVID-19/blood , Peptide Fragments/blood , Adult , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Female , Gene Expression Profiling , HLA-DR Antigens , Humans , Lipopolysaccharide Receptors , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/immunology , Monocytes/metabolism , Pilot Projects , Prospective Studies , RNA, Messenger , Virus Shedding
15.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(13)2021 Jun 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1288903

ABSTRACT

The vulnerability of humankind to SARS-CoV-2 in the absence of a pre-existing immunity, the unpredictability of the infection outcome, and the high transmissibility, broad tissue tropism, and ability to exploit and subvert the immune response pose a major challenge and are likely perpetuating the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, this peculiar infectious scenario provides researchers with a unique opportunity for studying, with the latest immunological techniques and understandings, the immune response in SARS-CoV-2 naïve versus recovered subjects as well as in SARS-CoV-2 vaccinees. Interestingly, the current understanding of COVID-19 indicates that the combined action of innate immune cells, cytokines, and chemokines fine-tunes the outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection and the related immunopathogenesis. Indeed, the emerging picture clearly shows that the excessive inflammatory response against this virus is among the main causes of disease severity in COVID-19 patients. In this review, the innate immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection is described not only in light of its capacity to influence the adaptive immune response towards a protective phenotype but also with the intent to point out the multiple strategies exploited by SARS-CoV-2 to antagonize host antiviral response and, finally, to outline inborn errors predisposing individuals to COVID-19 disease severity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Immunity, Innate , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Chemokines/metabolism , Cytokines/metabolism , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural/cytology , Killer Cells, Natural/metabolism , Monocytes/cytology , Monocytes/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index
16.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(26)2021 06 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1276011

ABSTRACT

Patients with severe COVID-19 infection exhibit a low level of oxygen in affected tissue and blood. To understand the pathophysiology of COVID-19 infection, it is therefore necessary to understand cell function during hypoxia. We investigated aspects of human monocyte activation under hypoxic conditions. HMGB1 is an alarmin released by stressed cells. Under normoxic conditions, HMGB1 activates interferon regulatory factor (IRF)5 and nuclear factor-κB in monocytes, leading to expression of type I interferon (IFN) and inflammatory cytokines including tumor necrosis factor α, and interleukin 1ß, respectively. When hypoxic monocytes are activated by HMGB1, they produce proinflammatory cytokines but fail to produce type I IFN. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α, induced by hypoxia, functions as a direct transcriptional repressor of IRF5 and IRF3. As hypoxia is a stressor that induces secretion of HMGB1 by epithelial cells, hypoxia establishes a microenvironment that favors monocyte production of inflammatory cytokines but not IFN. These findings have implications for the pathogenesis of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Cell Hypoxia/immunology , Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit/immunology , Monocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cells, Cultured , Cytokines/immunology , Humans , Interferon Regulatory Factors/metabolism , Interferon Type I/immunology , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Interleukin-1beta/metabolism , Monocytes/metabolism , NF-kappa B/immunology , NF-kappa B/metabolism , Oxygen/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism
17.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 25(10): 3886-3897, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1264765

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Platelets, blood coagulation along with fibrinolysis are greatly involved in the pathophysiology of infectious diseases induced by bacteria, parasites and virus. This phenomenon is not surprising since both the innate immunity and the hemostatic systems are two ancestral mechanisms which closely cooperate favoring host's defense against foreign invaders. However, the excessive response of these systems may be dangerous for the host itself. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We searched and retrieved the articles, using the following electronic database: MedLine and Embase. We limited our search to articles published in English, but no restrictions in terms of article type, publication year, and geography were adopted. RESULTS: The hemostatic phenotype of the infectious diseases is variable depending on the points of attack of the different involved pathogens. Infectious diseases which show a prothrombotic phenotype are bacterial sepsis, SARS-CoV-2 and malaria. However, among the bacterial sepsis, Yersinia Pestis is characterized by a profibrinolytic behavior. On the contrary, the hemorrhagic fevers, due to Dengue and Ebola virus, mainly exploit the activation of fibrinolysis secondary to a huge endothelial damage which can release a large amount of t-PA in the early phase of the diseases. CONCLUSIONS: Blood coagulation and fibrinolysis are greatly activated based on the strategy of the different infectious agents which exploit the excess of response of both systems to achieve the greatest possible virulence.


Subject(s)
Blood Coagulation , COVID-19/pathology , Fibrinolysis , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Endothelial Cells/cytology , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/virology , Erythrocytes/cytology , Erythrocytes/metabolism , Erythrocytes/parasitology , Humans , Monocytes/cytology , Monocytes/metabolism , Monocytes/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Thromboplastin/metabolism , Viruses/pathogenicity
18.
Front Immunol ; 12: 665773, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1264333

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused more than three million deaths globally. The severity of the disease is characterized, in part, by a dysregulated immune response. CD16+ monocytes are innate immune cells involved in inflammatory responses to viral infections, and tissue repair, among other functions. We characterized the transcriptional changes in CD16+ monocytes from PBMC of people with COVID-19, and from healthy individuals using publicly available single cell RNA sequencing data. CD16+ monocytes from people with COVID-19 compared to those from healthy individuals expressed transcriptional changes indicative of increased cell activation, and induction of a migratory phenotype. We also analyzed COVID-19 cases based on severity of the disease and found that mild cases were characterized by upregulation of interferon response and MHC class II related genes, whereas the severe cases had dysregulated expression of mitochondrial and antigen presentation genes, and upregulated inflammatory, cell movement, and apoptotic gene signatures. These results suggest that CD16+ monocytes in people with COVID-19 contribute to a dysregulated host response characterized by decreased antigen presentation, and an elevated inflammatory response with increased monocytic infiltration into tissues. Our results show that there are transcriptomic changes in CD16+ monocytes that may impact the functions of these cells, contributing to the pathogenesis and severity of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Monocytes/virology , Receptors, IgG/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Transcription, Genetic , Transcriptome , Adult , Aged , Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins/genetics , Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , Case-Control Studies , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/metabolism , Female , GPI-Linked Proteins/metabolism , Gene Expression Profiling , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Inflammation Mediators/metabolism , Interferon Regulatory Factors/genetics , Interferon Regulatory Factors/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Mitochondrial Proteins/genetics , Mitochondrial Proteins/metabolism , Monocytes/immunology , Monocytes/metabolism , RNA-Seq , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Single-Cell Analysis , Young Adult
19.
Nat Cell Biol ; 23(6): 620-630, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1263492

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection often causes severe complications and even death. However, asymptomatic infection has also been reported, highlighting the difference in immune responses among individuals. Here we performed single-cell chromatin accessibility and T cell-receptor analyses of peripheral blood mononuclear cells collected from individuals convalescing from COVID-19 and healthy donors. Chromatin remodelling was observed in both innate and adaptive immune cells in the individuals convalescing from COVID-19. Compared with healthy donors, recovered individuals contained abundant TBET-enriched CD16+ and IRF1-enriched CD14+ monocytes with sequential trained and activated epigenomic states. The B-cell lineage in recovered individuals exhibited an accelerated developmental programme from immature B cells to antibody-producing plasma cells. Finally, an integrated analysis of single-cell T cell-receptor clonality with the chromatin accessibility landscape revealed the expansion of putative SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T cells with epigenomic profiles that promote the differentiation of effector or memory cells. Overall, our data suggest that immune cells of individuals convalescing from COVID-19 exhibit global remodelling of the chromatin accessibility landscape, indicative of the establishment of immunological memory.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Epigenesis, Genetic , Epigenomics , Genes, T-Cell Receptor , Immunologic Memory , Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , Monocytes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Cell Analysis , Adaptive Immunity , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/metabolism , B-Lymphocytes/virology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Cell Differentiation , Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly , Female , Gene Expression Profiling , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Lymphocyte Subsets/metabolism , Lymphocyte Subsets/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/metabolism , Monocytes/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Young Adult
20.
EMBO Mol Med ; 13(6): e14045, 2021 06 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1219070

ABSTRACT

The immune responses and mechanisms limiting symptom progression in asymptomatic cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection remain unclear. We comprehensively characterized transcriptomic profiles, cytokine responses, neutralization capacity of antibodies, and cellular immune phenotypes of asymptomatic patients with acute SARS-CoV-2 infection to identify potential protective mechanisms. Compared to symptomatic patients, asymptomatic patients had higher counts of mature neutrophils and lower proportion of CD169+ expressing monocytes in the peripheral blood. Systemic levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines were also lower in asymptomatic patients, accompanied by milder pro-inflammatory gene signatures. Mechanistically, a more robust systemic Th2 cell signature with a higher level of virus-specific Th17 cells and a weaker yet sufficient neutralizing antibody profile against SARS-CoV-2 was observed in asymptomatic patients. In addition, asymptomatic COVID-19 patients had higher systemic levels of growth factors that are associated with cellular repair. Together, the data suggest that asymptomatic patients mount less pro-inflammatory and more protective immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 indicative of disease tolerance. Insights from this study highlight key immune pathways that could serve as therapeutic targets to prevent disease progression in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Carrier State/immunology , Biomarkers/metabolism , Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Carrier State/pathology , Carrier State/virology , Cytokines/metabolism , Humans , Monocytes/cytology , Monocytes/immunology , Monocytes/metabolism , Neutrophils/cytology , Neutrophils/immunology , Neutrophils/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Th17 Cells/cytology , Th17 Cells/immunology , Th17 Cells/metabolism , Transcriptome , Up-Regulation , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor D/metabolism
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