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1.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(51)2021 12 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1573990

ABSTRACT

The positive impact of meditation on human well-being is well documented, yet its molecular mechanisms are incompletely understood. We applied a comprehensive systems biology approach starting with whole-blood gene expression profiling combined with multilevel bioinformatic analyses to characterize the coexpression, transcriptional, and protein-protein interaction networks to identify a meditation-specific core network after an advanced 8-d Inner Engineering retreat program. We found the response to oxidative stress, detoxification, and cell cycle regulation pathways were down-regulated after meditation. Strikingly, 220 genes directly associated with immune response, including 68 genes related to interferon signaling, were up-regulated, with no significant expression changes in the inflammatory genes. This robust meditation-specific immune response network is significantly dysregulated in multiple sclerosis and severe COVID-19 patients. The work provides a foundation for understanding the effect of meditation and suggests that meditation as a behavioral intervention can voluntarily and nonpharmacologically improve the immune response for treating various conditions associated with excessive or persistent inflammation with a dampened immune system profile.


Subject(s)
Immune System/metabolism , Meditation , Transcriptome , Adult , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , Diet, Vegan , Female , Genome, Human , Humans , Male , Multiple Sclerosis/immunology , Multiple Sclerosis/metabolism , Protein Interaction Maps
2.
Mol Neurobiol ; 58(10): 5090-5111, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1303372

ABSTRACT

The virus "acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2" (SARS-CoV-2) is the etiologic agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), initially responsible for an outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan, China, which, due to the high level of contagion and dissemination, has become a pandemic. The clinical picture varies from mild to critical cases; however, all of these signs already show neurological problems, from sensory loss to neurological diseases. Thus, patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) infected with the new coronavirus are more likely to develop severe conditions; in addition to worsening the disease, this is due to the high level of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which is closely associated with increased mortality both in COVID-19 and MS. This increase is uncontrolled and exaggerated, characterizing the cytokine storm, so a possible therapy for this neuronal inflammation is the modulation of the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway, since acetylcholine (ACh) acts to reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines and acts directly on the brain for being released by cholinergic neurons, as well as acting on other cells such as immune and blood cells. In addition, due to tissue damage, there is an exacerbated release of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), potentiating the inflammatory process and activating purinergic receptors which act directly on neuroinflammation and positively modulate the inflammatory cycle. Associated with this, in neurological pathologies, there is greater expression of P2X7 in the cells of the microglia, which positively activates the immune inflammatory response. Thus, the administration of blockers of this receptor can act in conjunction with the action of ACh in the anticholinergic inflammatory pathway. Finally, there will be a reduction in the cytokine storm and triggered hyperinflammation, as well as the level of mortality in patients with multiple sclerosis infected with SARS-CoV-2 and the development of possible neurological damage.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Cytokine Release Syndrome/metabolism , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , Multiple Sclerosis/metabolism , Cytokine Release Syndrome/etiology , Cytokines/metabolism , Humans , Immunologic Factors/adverse effects , Microglia/metabolism , Multiple Sclerosis/drug therapy
3.
Cells ; 10(5)2021 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1274611

ABSTRACT

Th17 cells are recognized as indispensable in inducing protective immunity against bacteria and fungi, as they promote the integrity of mucosal epithelial barriers. It is believed that Th17 cells also play a central role in the induction of autoimmune diseases. Recent advances have evaluated Th17 effector functions during viral infections, including their critical role in the production and induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines and in the recruitment and activation of other immune cells. Thus, Th17 is involved in the induction both of pathogenicity and immunoprotective mechanisms seen in the host's immune response against viruses. However, certain Th17 cells can also modulate immune responses, since they can secrete immunosuppressive factors, such as IL-10; these cells are called non-pathogenic Th17 cells. Here, we present a brief review of Th17 cells and highlight their involvement in some virus infections. We cover these notions by highlighting the role of Th17 cells in regulating the protective and pathogenic immune response in the context of viral infections. In addition, we will be describing myocarditis and multiple sclerosis as examples of immune diseases triggered by viral infections, in which we will discuss further the roles of Th17 cells in the induction of tissue damage.


Subject(s)
Myocarditis/immunology , Th17 Cells/metabolism , Virus Diseases/immunology , Adenoviridae , Animals , Autoimmune Diseases/immunology , Chikungunya virus , Cytokines/immunology , Dengue Virus , Humans , Immune System , Immunosuppressive Agents/pharmacology , Inflammation , Interleukin-10/biosynthesis , Lymphocytes/cytology , Multiple Sclerosis/immunology , Multiple Sclerosis/metabolism , Multiple Sclerosis/virology , Myocarditis/metabolism , Myocarditis/virology , Orthomyxoviridae , SARS-CoV-2 , Simplexvirus , Th1 Cells/cytology , Th2 Cells/cytology , Virus Diseases/drug therapy , Virus Diseases/metabolism , Zika Virus
4.
Drugs ; 81(9): 985-1002, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1226257

ABSTRACT

Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is a bioactive lipid metabolite that exerts its actions by engaging 5 G-protein-coupled receptors (S1PR1-S1PR5). S1P receptors are involved in several cellular and physiological events, including lymphocyte/hematopoietic cell trafficking. An S1P gradient (low in tissues, high in blood), maintained by synthetic and degradative enzymes, regulates lymphocyte trafficking. Because lymphocytes live long (which is critical for adaptive immunity) and recirculate thousands of times, the S1P-S1PR pathway is involved in the pathogenesis of immune-mediated diseases. The S1PR1 modulators lead to receptor internalization, subsequent ubiquitination, and proteasome degradation, which renders lymphocytes incapable of following the S1P gradient and prevents their access to inflammation sites. These drugs might also block lymphocyte egress from lymph nodes by inhibiting transendothelial migration. Targeting S1PRs as a therapeutic strategy was first employed for multiple sclerosis (MS), and four S1P modulators (fingolimod, siponimod, ozanimod, and ponesimod) are currently approved for its treatment. New S1PR modulators are under clinical development for MS, and their uses are being evaluated to treat other immune-mediated diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and psoriasis. A clinical trial in patients with COVID-19 treated with ozanimod is ongoing. Ozanimod and etrasimod have shown promising results in IBD; while in phase 2 clinical trials, ponesimod has shown improvement in 77% of the patients with psoriasis. Cenerimod and amiselimod have been tested in SLE patients. Fingolimod, etrasimod, and IMMH001 have shown efficacy in RA preclinical studies. Concerns relating to S1PR modulators are leukopenia, anemia, transaminase elevation, macular edema, teratogenicity, pulmonary disorders, infections, and cardiovascular events. Furthermore, S1PR modulators exhibit different pharmacokinetics; a well-established first-dose event associated with S1PR modulators can be mitigated by gradual up-titration. In conclusion, S1P modulators represent a novel and promising therapeutic strategy for immune-mediated diseases.


Subject(s)
Immune System Diseases/drug therapy , Immune System Diseases/metabolism , Lysophospholipids/metabolism , Multiple Sclerosis/drug therapy , Multiple Sclerosis/metabolism , Pharmaceutical Preparations/administration & dosage , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Sphingosine/analogs & derivatives , Animals , Humans , Sphingosine/metabolism
5.
J Med Virol ; 93(2): 863-869, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196406

ABSTRACT

It has been suggested that some individuals may present genetic susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection, with particular research interest in variants of the ACE2 and TMPRSS2 genes, involved in viral penetration into cells, in different populations and geographic regions, although insufficient information is currently available. This study addresses the apparently reasonable hypothesis that variants of these genes may modulate viral infectivity, making some individuals more vulnerable than others. Through whole-exome sequencing, the frequency of exonic variants of the ACE2, TMPRSS2, and Furin genes was analyzed in relation to presence or absence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a familial multiple sclerosis cohort including 120 individuals from Madrid. The ACE2 gene showed a low level of polymorphism, and none variant was significantly associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. These variants have previously been detected in Italy. While TMPRSS2 is highly polymorphic, the variants found do not coincide with those described in other studies, with the exception of rs75603675, which may be associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The synonymous variants rs61735792 and rs61735794 showed a significant association with infection. Despite the limited number of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection, some variants, especially in TMPRSS2, may be associated with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , Furin/genetics , Multiple Sclerosis/genetics , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Furin/metabolism , Gene Expression , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Multiple Sclerosis/metabolism , Multiple Sclerosis/virology , Polymorphism, Genetic , Protein Binding , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Spain , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Surveys and Questionnaires , Virus Internalization , Whole Exome Sequencing
7.
Biomolecules ; 10(8)2020 08 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-823584

ABSTRACT

Neurodegenerative diseases are the second most common cause of death and characterized by progressive impairments in movement or mental functioning in the central or peripheral nervous system. The prevention of neurodegenerative disorders has become an emerging public health challenge for our society. Melatonin, a pineal hormone, has various physiological functions in the brain, including regulating circadian rhythms, clearing free radicals, inhibiting biomolecular oxidation, and suppressing neuroinflammation. Cumulative evidence indicates that melatonin has a wide range of neuroprotective roles by regulating pathophysiological mechanisms and signaling pathways. Moreover, melatonin levels are decreased in patients with neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on the regulation, molecular mechanisms and biological functions of melatonin in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, vascular dementia and multiple sclerosis. We also discuss the clinical application of melatonin in neurodegenerative disorders. This information will lead to a better understanding of the regulation of melatonin in the brain and provide therapeutic options for the treatment of various neurodegenerative diseases.


Subject(s)
Circadian Rhythm , Melatonin/physiology , Neurodegenerative Diseases/metabolism , Oxidative Stress , Alzheimer Disease/metabolism , Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/metabolism , Animals , Circadian Rhythm/drug effects , Dementia, Vascular/metabolism , Humans , Huntington Disease/metabolism , Melatonin/therapeutic use , Multiple Sclerosis/metabolism , Neurodegenerative Diseases/drug therapy , Oxidative Stress/drug effects , Parkinson Disease/metabolism
8.
J Med Virol ; 93(2): 863-869, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-660913

ABSTRACT

It has been suggested that some individuals may present genetic susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection, with particular research interest in variants of the ACE2 and TMPRSS2 genes, involved in viral penetration into cells, in different populations and geographic regions, although insufficient information is currently available. This study addresses the apparently reasonable hypothesis that variants of these genes may modulate viral infectivity, making some individuals more vulnerable than others. Through whole-exome sequencing, the frequency of exonic variants of the ACE2, TMPRSS2, and Furin genes was analyzed in relation to presence or absence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a familial multiple sclerosis cohort including 120 individuals from Madrid. The ACE2 gene showed a low level of polymorphism, and none variant was significantly associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. These variants have previously been detected in Italy. While TMPRSS2 is highly polymorphic, the variants found do not coincide with those described in other studies, with the exception of rs75603675, which may be associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The synonymous variants rs61735792 and rs61735794 showed a significant association with infection. Despite the limited number of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection, some variants, especially in TMPRSS2, may be associated with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , Furin/genetics , Multiple Sclerosis/genetics , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Furin/metabolism , Gene Expression , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Multiple Sclerosis/metabolism , Multiple Sclerosis/virology , Polymorphism, Genetic , Protein Binding , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Spain , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Surveys and Questionnaires , Virus Internalization , Whole Exome Sequencing
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