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1.
Front Immunol ; 13: 826091, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731778

ABSTRACT

Neural stem cells (NSCs) are multipotent stem cells that reside in the fetal and adult mammalian brain, which can self-renew and differentiate into neurons and supporting cells. Intrinsic and extrinsic cues, from cells in the local niche and from distant sites, stringently orchestrates the self-renewal and differentiation competence of NSCs. Ample evidence supports the important role of NSCs in neuroplasticity, aging, disease, and repair of the nervous system. Indeed, activation of NSCs or their transplantation into injured areas of the central nervous system can lead to regeneration in animal models. Viral invasion of NSCs can negatively affect neurogenesis and synaptogenesis, with consequent cell death, impairment of cell cycle progression, early differentiation, which cause neural progenitors depletion in the cortical layer of the brain. Herein, we will review the current understanding of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection of the fetal brain and the NSCs, which are the preferential population targeted by ZIKV. Furthermore, the potential neurotropic properties of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which may cause direct neurological damage, will be discussed.


Subject(s)
Brain/virology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Neurogenesis/physiology , Neurons/virology , Zika Virus Infection/pathology , Zika Virus Infection/virology , Animals , Humans , Neural Stem Cells/virology
2.
J Virol ; 96(4): e0196921, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702819

ABSTRACT

Unlike SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV, infection with SARS-CoV-2, the viral pathogen responsible for COVID-19, is often associated with neurologic symptoms that range from mild to severe, yet increasing evidence argues the virus does not exhibit extensive neuroinvasive properties. We demonstrate SARS-CoV-2 can infect and replicate in human iPSC-derived neurons and that infection shows limited antiviral and inflammatory responses but increased activation of EIF2 signaling following infection as determined by RNA sequencing. Intranasal infection of K18 human ACE2 transgenic mice (K18-hACE2) with SARS-CoV-2 resulted in lung pathology associated with viral replication and immune cell infiltration. In addition, ∼50% of infected mice exhibited CNS infection characterized by wide-spread viral replication in neurons accompanied by increased expression of chemokine (Cxcl9, Cxcl10, Ccl2, Ccl5 and Ccl19) and cytokine (Ifn-λ and Tnf-α) transcripts associated with microgliosis and a neuroinflammatory response consisting primarily of monocytes/macrophages. Microglia depletion via administration of colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor inhibitor, PLX5622, in SARS-CoV-2 infected mice did not affect survival or viral replication but did result in dampened expression of proinflammatory cytokine/chemokine transcripts and a reduction in monocyte/macrophage infiltration. These results argue that microglia are dispensable in terms of controlling SARS-CoV-2 replication in in the K18-hACE2 model but do contribute to an inflammatory response through expression of pro-inflammatory genes. Collectively, these findings contribute to previous work demonstrating the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to infect neurons as well as emphasizing the potential use of the K18-hACE2 model to study immunological and neuropathological aspects related to SARS-CoV-2-induced neurologic disease. IMPORTANCE Understanding the immunological mechanisms contributing to both host defense and disease following viral infection of the CNS is of critical importance given the increasing number of viruses that are capable of infecting and replicating within the nervous system. With this in mind, the present study was undertaken to evaluate the role of microglia in aiding in host defense following experimental infection of the central nervous system (CNS) of K18-hACE2 with SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19. Neurologic symptoms that range in severity are common in COVID-19 patients and understanding immune responses that contribute to restricting neurologic disease can provide important insight into better understanding consequences associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection of the CNS.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Central Nervous System Viral Diseases/immunology , Microglia/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , Central Nervous System/immunology , Central Nervous System/virology , Central Nervous System Viral Diseases/genetics , Central Nervous System Viral Diseases/virology , Chemokines/genetics , Chemokines/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Microglia/virology , Neurons/immunology , Neurons/virology , Virus Replication/genetics
4.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5809, 2021 10 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450282

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has caused a global pandemic of COVID-19 since its emergence in December 2019. The infection causes a severe acute respiratory syndrome and may also spread to central nervous system leading to neurological sequelae. We have developed and characterized two new organotypic cultures from hamster brainstem and lung tissues that offer a unique opportunity to study the early steps of viral infection and screening antivirals. These models are not dedicated to investigate how the virus reaches the brain. However, they allow validating the early tropism of the virus in the lungs and demonstrating that SARS-CoV-2 could infect the brainstem and the cerebellum, mainly by targeting granular neurons. Viral infection induces specific interferon and innate immune responses with patterns specific to each organ, along with cell death by apoptosis, necroptosis, and pyroptosis. Overall, our data illustrate the potential of rapid modeling of complex tissue-level interactions during infection by a newly emerged virus.


Subject(s)
Brain Stem/virology , Lung/virology , Models, Biological , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Brain Stem/cytology , Brain Stem/immunology , Brain Stem/pathology , Cricetinae , Immunity, Innate , Inflammation , Lung/cytology , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , Neurons/virology , Organ Culture Techniques , Regulated Cell Death , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Viral Tropism
5.
J Neuroimmunol ; 361: 577728, 2021 12 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440213

ABSTRACT

We herein report, by using confocal immunofluorescence, the colocalization of the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid within neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and microglia in three deceased COVID-19 cases, of between 78 and 85 years of age at death. The viral nucleocapsid was detected together with its ACE2 cell entry receptor, as well as the NLRP3 inflammasome in cerebral cortical tissues. It is noteworthy that NLRP3 was colocalized with CD68 + macrophages in the brain and lung of the deceased, suggesting the critical role of this type of inflammasome in SARS-CoV-2 lesions of the nervous system/lungs and supporting its potential role as a therapeutic target.


Subject(s)
Brain/virology , COVID-19/virology , Inflammasomes/immunology , Microglia/virology , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Astrocytes/virology , Autopsy , Brain/immunology , Brain/pathology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Female , Humans , Male , Microglia/immunology , Neurons/virology , Nucleocapsid , Oligodendroglia/virology
6.
Neuropharmacology ; 198: 108766, 2021 10 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376075

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic intensified the already catastrophic drug overdose and substance use disorder (SUD) epidemic, signaling a syndemic as social isolation, economic and mental health distress, and disrupted treatment services disproportionally impacted this vulnerable population. Along with these social and societal factors, biological factors triggered by intense stress intertwined with incumbent overactivity of the immune system and the resulting inflammatory outcomes may impact the functional status of the central nervous system (CNS). We review the literature concerning SARS-CoV2 infiltration and infection in the CNS and the prospects of synergy between stress, inflammation, and kynurenine pathway function during illness and recovery from Covid-19. Taken together, inflammation and neuroimmune signaling, a consequence of Covid-19 infection, may dysregulate critical pathways and underlie maladaptive changes in the CNS, to exacerbate the development of neuropsychiatric symptoms and in the vulnerability to develop SUD. This article is part of the special Issue on 'Vulnerabilities to Substance Abuse'.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Drug Misuse/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Adaptation, Psychological , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/physiology , Animals , Axons/virology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/psychology , Comorbidity , Disease Susceptibility , Endothelial Cells/virology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Inflammation/etiology , Kynurenine/metabolism , Neurons/virology , Neurotransmitter Agents/metabolism , Olfactory Mucosa/virology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Social Isolation , Stress, Psychological , Substance-Related Disorders/etiology , Substance-Related Disorders/physiopathology , Tryptophan/metabolism , Viral Tropism
7.
J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol ; 40(3): 37-49, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1362158

ABSTRACT

It has now been almost a year since the emergence of the deadly SARS-CoV-2 with millions of people losing their lives due to resultant COVID-19. Apart from the well-known consequences of respiratory illnesses, it has even effortlessly mapped itself into the nervous system through routes like blood, CSF, neurons, and olfactory cells. Interestingly, the interaction of SARS-CoV-2 with the nervous system cells like neurons, microglia, and astrocytes has been a factor to worsen COVID-19 through its neuroinflammatory actions. The release of cytokines due to astrocyte and microglial activation could progress towards the most anticipated cytokine storm proving to be detrimental in the management of COVID-19. Such hyper-inflammatory conditions could make the BBB vulnerable, encouraging excessive viral particles into the CNS, leading to further neurodegenerative pathologies like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and Multiple Sclerosis. Excessive neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration being the anticipated root causes of these multiple conditions, it is also essential to look into other factors that synergistically enhance the worsening of these diseases in COVID-19 patients for which additional studies are essential.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/etiology , Inflammation/virology , Neurodegenerative Diseases/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Cytokines/metabolism , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Inflammation/pathology , Microglia/pathology , Microglia/virology , Multiple Sclerosis/pathology , Multiple Sclerosis/virology , Neurodegenerative Diseases/virology , Neurons/pathology , Neurons/virology
8.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(15)2021 Jul 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1335097

ABSTRACT

Different mechanisms were proposed as responsible for COVID-19 neurological symptoms but a clear one has not been established yet. In this work we aimed to study SARS-CoV-2 capacity to infect pediatric human cortical neuronal HCN-2 cells, studying the changes in the transcriptomic profile by next generation sequencing. SARS-CoV-2 was able to replicate in HCN-2 cells, that did not express ACE2, confirmed also with Western blot, and TMPRSS2. Looking for pattern recognition receptor expression, we found the deregulation of scavenger receptors, such as SR-B1, and the downregulation of genes encoding for Nod-like receptors. On the other hand, TLR1, TLR4 and TLR6 encoding for Toll-like receptors (TLRs) were upregulated. We also found the upregulation of genes encoding for ERK, JNK, NF-κB and Caspase 8 in our transcriptomic analysis. Regarding the expression of known receptors for viral RNA, only RIG-1 showed an increased expression; downstream RIG-1, the genes encoding for TRAF3, IKKε and IRF3 were downregulated. We also found the upregulation of genes encoding for chemokines and accordingly we found an increase in cytokine/chemokine levels in the medium. According to our results, it is possible to speculate that additionally to ACE2 and TMPRSS2, also other receptors may interact with SARS-CoV-2 proteins and mediate its entry or pathogenesis in pediatric cortical neurons infected with SARS-CoV-2. In particular, TLRs signaling could be crucial for the neurological involvement related to SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Cerebral Cortex/metabolism , Neurons/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Toll-Like Receptors/metabolism , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Child , Cytokines/metabolism , Gene Expression Profiling , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Neurons/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Signal Transduction/genetics , Toll-Like Receptors/genetics , Virus Replication
9.
EBioMedicine ; 70: 103512, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1330766

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Neurologic manifestations are well-recognized features of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, the longitudinal association of biomarkers reflecting CNS impact and neurological symptoms is not known. We sought to determine whether plasma biomarkers of CNS injury were associated with neurologic sequelae after COVID-19. METHODS: Patients with confirmed acute COVID-19 were studied prospectively. Neurological symptoms were recorded during the acute phase of the disease and at six months follow-up, and blood samples were collected longitudinally. Healthy age-matched individuals were included as controls. We analysed plasma concentrations of neurofilament light-chain (NfL), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAp), and growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15). FINDINGS: One hundred patients with mild (n = 24), moderate (n = 28), and severe (n = 48) COVID-19 were followed for a median (IQR) of 225 (187-262) days. In the acute phase, patients with severe COVID-19 had higher concentrations of NfL than all other groups (all p < 0·001), and higher GFAp than controls (p < 0·001). GFAp was also significantly increased in moderate disease (p < 0·05) compared with controls. NfL (r = 0·53, p < 0·001) and GFAp (r = 0·39, p < 0·001) correlated with GDF-15 during the acute phase. After six months, NfL and GFAp concentrations had normalized, with no persisting group differences. Despite this, 50 patients reported persistent neurological symptoms, most commonly fatigue (n = 40), "brain-fog" (n = 29), and changes in cognition (n = 25). We found no correlation between persistent neurological symptoms and CNS injury biomarkers in the acute phase. INTERPRETATION: The normalization of CNS injury biomarkers in all individuals, regardless of previous disease severity or persisting neurological symptoms, indicates that post COVID-19 neurological sequelae are not accompanied by ongoing CNS injury. FUNDING: The Swedish State Support for Clinical Research, SciLifeLab Sweden, and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation have provided funding for this project.


Subject(s)
Astrocytes/pathology , Astrocytes/virology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Aged , Astrocytes/metabolism , Biomarkers/blood , Biomarkers/metabolism , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/metabolism , Disease Progression , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein/metabolism , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Neurofilament Proteins/metabolism , Neurons/metabolism , Neurons/pathology , Neurons/virology , Sweden
10.
J Neurosci ; 41(25): 5338-5349, 2021 06 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1282334

ABSTRACT

Clinical reports suggest that the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-coronavirus-2 (CoV-2) has not only taken millions of lives, but has also created a major crisis of neurologic complications that persist even after recovery from the disease. Autopsies of patients confirm the presence of the coronaviruses in the CNS, especially in the brain. The invasion and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the CNS is not clearly defined, but, because the endocytic pathway has become an important target for the development of therapeutic strategies for COVID-19, it is necessary to understand endocytic processes in the CNS. In addition, mitochondria and mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathways play a critical role in the antiviral immune response, and may also be critical for endocytic activity. Furthermore, dysfunctions of mitochondria and mTOR signaling pathways have been associated with some high-risk conditions such as diabetes and immunodeficiency for developing severe complications observed in COVID-19 patients. However, the role of these pathways in SARS-CoV-2 infection and spread are largely unknown. In this review, we discuss the potential mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 entry into the CNS and how mitochondria and mTOR pathways might regulate endocytic vesicle-mitochondria interactions and dynamics during SARS-CoV-2 infection. The mechanisms that plausibly account for severe neurologic complications with COVID-19 and potential treatments with Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs targeting mitochondria and the mTOR pathways are also addressed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Nervous System Diseases/virology , Neurons/virology , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Mitochondria/metabolism , Mitochondria/virology , Nervous System Diseases/drug therapy , Nervous System Diseases/metabolism , Nervous System Diseases/pathology , Neurons/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases/metabolism
11.
Mol Neurobiol ; 58(9): 4694-4715, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281328

ABSTRACT

The unremitting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) marked a year-long phase of public health adversaries and has severely compromised healthcare globally. Early evidence of COVID-19 noted its impact on the pulmonary and cardiovascular functions, while multiple studies in recent time shed light on its substantial neurological complications, though a comprehensive understanding of the cause(s), the mechanism(s), and their neuropathological outcomes is scarce. In the present review, we conferred evidence of neurological complications in COVID-19 patients and shed light on the SARS-CoV-2 infection routes including the hematogenous, direct/neuronal, lymphatic tissue or cerebrospinal fluid, or infiltration through infected immune cells, while the underlying mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 invasion to the central nervous system (CNS) was also discussed. In an up-to-date manner, we further reviewed the impact of COVID-19 in developing diverse neurologic manifestations associated with CNS, peripheral nervous system (PNS), skeletal muscle, and also pre-existing neurological diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and myasthenia gravis. Furthermore, we discussed the involvement of key factors including age, sex, comorbidity, and disease severity in exacerbating the neurologic manifestations in COVID-19 patients. An outlook of present therapeutic strategies and state of existing challenges in COVID-19 management was also accessed. Conclusively, the present report provides a comprehensive review of COVID-19-related neurological complications and emphasizes the need for their early clinical management in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Nervous System Diseases/etiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System/epidemiology , Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System/etiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Central Nervous System/virology , Child , Comorbidity , Female , Humans , Immune System/virology , Inflammation , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Biological , Muscular Diseases/etiology , Nervous System Diseases/drug therapy , Nervous System Diseases/epidemiology , Nervous System Diseases/physiopathology , Neurodegenerative Diseases/complications , Neurons/virology , Organ Specificity , Sex Factors , Viremia/chemically induced , Viremia/immunology , Virus Internalization
12.
mSphere ; 6(3): e0027021, 2021 06 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280401

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is associated with a wide variety of neurological complications. Even though SARS-CoV-2 is rarely detected in the central nervous system (CNS) or cerebrospinal fluid, evidence is accumulating that SARS-CoV-2 might enter the CNS via the olfactory nerve. However, what happens after SARS-CoV-2 enters the CNS is poorly understood. Therefore, we investigated the replication kinetics, cell tropism, and associated immune responses of SARS-CoV-2 infection in different types of neural cultures derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). SARS-CoV-2 was compared to the neurotropic and highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza A virus. SARS-CoV-2 infected a minority of individual mature neurons, without subsequent virus replication and spread, despite angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2), and neuropilin-1 (NPR1) expression in all cultures. However, this sparse infection did result in the production of type III interferons and interleukin-8 (IL-8). In contrast, H5N1 virus replicated and spread very efficiently in all cell types in all cultures. Taken together, our findings support the hypothesis that neurological complications might result from local immune responses triggered by virus invasion, rather than abundant SARS-CoV-2 replication in the CNS. IMPORTANCE Infections with the recently emerged severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are often associated with neurological complications. Evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 enters the brain via the olfactory nerve; however, SARS-CoV-2 is only rarely detected in the central nervous system of COVID-19 patients. Here, we show that SARS-CoV-2 is able to infect neurons of human iPSC neural cultures but that this infection is abortive and does not result in virus spread to other cells. However, infection of neural cultures did result in the production of type III interferon and IL-8. This study suggests that SARS-CoV-2 might enter the CNS and infect individual neurons, triggering local immune responses that could contribute to the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2-associated CNS disease.


Subject(s)
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/cytology , Influenza A Virus, H5N1 Subtype/physiology , Neurons/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Viral Tropism , Virus Replication , Animals , Brain Diseases/etiology , COVID-19/complications , Chlorocebus aethiops , Dogs , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H5N1 Subtype/immunology , Kinetics , Madin Darby Canine Kidney Cells , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vero Cells
13.
Stem Cell Reports ; 16(5): 1156-1164, 2021 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225409

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients have manifested a variety of neurological complications, and there is still much to reveal regarding the neurotropism of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Human stem cell-derived brain organoids offer a valuable in vitro approach to study the cellular effects of SARS-CoV-2 on the brain. Here we used human embryonic stem cell-derived cortical organoids to investigate whether SARS-CoV-2 could infect brain tissue in vitro and found that cortical organoids could be infected at low viral titers and within 6 h. Importantly, we show that glial cells and cells of the choroid plexus were preferentially targeted in our model, but not neurons. Interestingly, we also found expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 in SARS-CoV-2 infected cells; however, viral replication and cell death involving DNA fragmentation does not occur. We believe that our model is a tractable platform to study the cellular effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection in brain tissue.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Choroid Plexus/pathology , Human Embryonic Stem Cells/cytology , Neuroglia/virology , Organoids/innervation , Organoids/pathology , Cells, Cultured , Choroid Plexus/cytology , Choroid Plexus/virology , Humans , Neuroglia/pathology , Neurons/virology , Organoids/cytology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
14.
J Med Virol ; 93(4): 1983-1998, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1217384

ABSTRACT

Patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection manifest mainly respiratory symptoms. However, clinical observations frequently identified neurological symptoms and neuropsychiatric disorders related to COVID-19 (Neuro-SARS2). Accumulated robust evidence indicates that Neuro-SARS2 may play an important role in aggravating the disease severity and mortality. Understanding the neuropathogenesis and cellular mechanisms underlying Neuro-SARS2 is crucial for both basic research and clinical practice to establish effective strategies for early detection/diagnosis, prevention, and treatment. In this review, we comprehensively examine current evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in various neural cells including neurons, microglia/macrophages, astrocytes, pericytes/endothelial cells, ependymocytes/choroid epithelial cells, and neural stem/progenitor cells. Although significant progress has been made in studying Neuro-SARS2, much remains to be learned about the neuroinvasive routes (transneuronal and hematogenous) of the virus and the cellular/molecular mechanisms underlying the development/progression of this disease. Future and ongoing studies require the establishment of more clinically relevant and suitable neural cell models using human induced pluripotent stem cells, brain organoids, and postmortem specimens.


Subject(s)
Brain/virology , COVID-19/pathology , Nervous System Diseases/virology , Neuroglia/virology , Neurons/virology , Animals , Brain/pathology , Cell Line , Humans , Nervous System Diseases/pathology , Neural Stem Cells , Neuroglia/pathology , Neurons/pathology
15.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 169, 2021 04 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1199270

ABSTRACT

Neurological manifestations are frequently reported in the COVID-19 patients. Neuromechanism of SARS-CoV-2 remains to be elucidated. In this study, we explored the mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 neurotropism via our established non-human primate model of COVID-19. In rhesus monkey, SARS-CoV-2 invades the CNS primarily via the olfactory bulb. Thereafter, viruses rapidly spread to functional areas of the central nervous system, such as hippocampus, thalamus, and medulla oblongata. The infection of SARS-CoV-2 induces the inflammation possibly by targeting neurons, microglia, and astrocytes in the CNS. Consistently, SARS-CoV-2 infects neuro-derived SK-N-SH, glial-derived U251, and brain microvascular endothelial cells in vitro. To our knowledge, this is the first experimental evidence of SARS-CoV-2 neuroinvasion in the NHP model, which provides important insights into the CNS-related pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Brain Diseases/metabolism , Brain/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Olfactory Bulb/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Animals , Astrocytes/metabolism , Astrocytes/pathology , Astrocytes/virology , Brain/pathology , Brain/virology , Brain Diseases/pathology , Brain Diseases/virology , COVID-19/pathology , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Macaca mulatta , Microglia/metabolism , Microglia/pathology , Microglia/virology , Neurons/metabolism , Neurons/pathology , Neurons/virology , Olfactory Bulb/pathology , Olfactory Bulb/virology
16.
J Med Virol ; 93(3): 1304-1313, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196501

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), has become a significant and urgent threat to global health. This review provided strong support for central nervous system (CNS) infection with SARS-CoV-2 and shed light on the neurological mechanism underlying the lethality of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Among the published data, only 1.28% COVID-19 patients who underwent cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tests were positive for SARS-CoV-2 in CSF. However, this does not mean the absence of CNS infection in most COVID-19 patients because postmortem studies revealed that some patients with CNS infection showed negative results in CSF tests for SARS-CoV-2. Among 20 neuropathological studies reported so far, SARS-CoV-2 was detected in the brain of 58 cases in nine studies, and three studies have provided sufficient details on the CNS infection in COVID-19 patients. Almost all in vitro and in vivo experiments support the neuroinvasive potential of SARS-CoV-2. In infected animals, SARS-CoV-2 was found within neurons in different brain areas with a wide spectrum of neuropathology, consistent with the reported clinical symptoms in COVID-19 patients. Several lines of evidence indicate that SARS-CoV-2 used the hematopoietic route to enter the CNS. But more evidence supports the trans-neuronal hypothesis. SARS-CoV-2 has been found to invade the brain via the olfactory, gustatory, and trigeminal pathways, especially at the early stage of infection. Severe COVID-19 patients with neurological deficits are at a higher risk of mortality, and only the infected animals showing neurological symptoms became dead, suggesting that neurological involvement may be one cause of death.


Subject(s)
Brain/virology , COVID-19/virology , Central Nervous System Viral Diseases/virology , Neurons/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Animals , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/physiopathology , Central Nervous System Viral Diseases/mortality , Central Nervous System Viral Diseases/physiopathology , Cerebrospinal Fluid/virology , Humans , Neural Pathways , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
17.
J Med Virol ; 93(3): 1296-1303, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196490

ABSTRACT

The recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has emerged to be highly pathogenic in nature. Although lungs are considered as the primary infected organs by SARS-CoV-2, some of the other organs, including the brain, have also been found to be affected. Here, we have discussed how SARS-CoV-2 might infect the brain. The infection of the respiratory center in the brainstem could be hypothesized to be responsible for the respiratory failure in many COVID-19 patients. The virus might gain entry through the olfactory bulb and invade various parts of the brain, including the brainstem. Alternatively, the entry might also occur from peripheral circulation into the central nervous system by compromising the blood-brain barrier. Finally, yet another possible entry route could be its dispersal from the lungs into the vagus nerve via the pulmonary stretch receptors, eventually reaching the brainstem. Therefore, screening neurological symptoms in COVID-19 patients, especially toward the breakdown of the respiratory center in the brainstem, might help us better understand this disease.


Subject(s)
Brain/virology , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/virology , Neural Pathways/virology , Respiratory Center/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Animals , Brain/pathology , Brain/physiopathology , COVID-19/pathology , Cytokines/metabolism , Humans , Inflammation , Neural Pathways/physiopathology , Neurons/virology , Respiratory Center/pathology , Respiratory Center/physiopathology , Respiratory Insufficiency , Viral Tropism
18.
Acta Neurobiol Exp (Wars) ; 81(1): 69-79, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1190720

ABSTRACT

The recent pandemic of the coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected around 192 countries, and projections have shown that around 40% to 70% of world population could be infected in the next months. COVID-19 is caused by the virus SARS- CoV-2, it enters the cells through the ACE2 receptor (angiotensin converting enzyme 2). It is well known that SARS-CoV-2 could develop mild, moderate, and severe respiratory symptoms that could lead to death. The virus receptor is expressed in different organs such as the lungs, kidney, intestine, and brain, among others. In the lung could cause pneumonia and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The brain can be directly affected by cellular damage due to viral invasion, which can lead to an inflammatory response, by the decrease in the enzymatic activity of ACE2 that regulates neuroprotective, neuro-immunomodulatory and neutralizing functions of oxidative stress. Another severe damage is hypoxemia in patients that do not receive adequate respiratory support. The neurological symptoms that the patient presents, will depend on factors that condition the expression of ACE2 in the brain such as age and sex, as well as the mechanism of neuronal invasion, the immune response and the general state of the patient. Clinical and histopathological studies have described neurological alterations in human patients with COVID-19. These conditions could have a possible contribution to the morbidity and mortality caused by this disease and may even represent the onset of neurodegenerative activity in recovered patients.The recent pandemic of the coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected around 192 countries, and projections have shown that around 40% to 70% of world population could be infected in the next months. COVID-19 is caused by the virus SARS- CoV-2, it enters the cells through the ACE2 receptor (angiotensin converting enzyme 2). It is well known that SARS-CoV-2 could develop mild, moderate, and severe respiratory symptoms that could lead to death. The virus receptor is expressed in different organs such as the lungs, kidney, intestine, and brain, among others. In the lung could cause pneumonia and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The brain can be directly affected by cellular damage due to viral invasion, which can lead to an inflammatory response, by the decrease in the enzymatic activity of ACE2 that regulates neuroprotective, neuro-immunomodulatory and neutralizing functions of oxidative stress. Another severe damage is hypoxemia in patients that do not receive adequate respiratory support. The neurological symptoms that the patient presents, will depend on factors that condition the expression of ACE2 in the brain such as age and sex, as well as the mechanism of neuronal invasion, the immune response and the general state of the patient. Clinical and histopathological studies have described neurological alterations in human patients with COVID-19. These conditions could have a possible contribution to the morbidity and mortality caused by this disease and may even represent the onset of neurodegenerative activity in recovered patients.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Brain/virology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Diseases/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Neurons/virology
19.
Stem Cell Reports ; 16(3): 373-384, 2021 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1101516

ABSTRACT

COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2, is a socioeconomic burden, which exhibits respiratory illness along with unexpected neurological complications. Concerns have been raised about whether the observed neurological symptoms are due to direct effects on CNS or associated with the virus's systemic effect. Recent SARS-CoV-2 infection studies using human brain organoids revealed that SARS-CoV-2 targets human neurons. Human brain organoids are stem cell-derived reductionist experimental systems that have highlighted the neurotropic effects of SARS-CoV-2. Here, we summarize the neurotoxic effects of SARS-CoV-2 using brain organoids and comprehensively discuss how brain organoids could further improve our understanding when they are fine-tuned.


Subject(s)
Brain/virology , COVID-19/virology , Neurons/virology , Organoids/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Humans , Stem Cells/virology
20.
Stem Cell Reports ; 16(3): 437-445, 2021 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1084274

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is a transmissible respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and has become a global health emergency. There is an urgent need for robust and practical in vitro model systems to investigate viral pathogenesis. Here, we generated human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived lung organoids (LORGs), cerebral organoids (CORGs), neural progenitor cells (NPCs), neurons, and astrocytes. LORGs containing epithelial cells, alveolar types 1 and 2, highly express ACE2 and TMPRSS2 and are permissive to SARS-CoV-2 infection. SARS-CoV-2 infection induces interferons, cytokines, and chemokines and activates critical inflammasome pathway genes. Spike protein inhibitor, EK1 peptide, and TMPRSS2 inhibitors (camostat/nafamostat) block viral entry in LORGs. Conversely, CORGs, NPCs, astrocytes, and neurons express low levels of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 and correspondingly are not highly permissive to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Infection in neuronal cells activates TLR3/7, OAS2, complement system, and apoptotic genes. These findings will aid in understanding COVID-19 pathogenesis and facilitate drug discovery.


Subject(s)
Brain/virology , COVID-19/virology , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/virology , Lung/virology , Neural Stem Cells/virology , Organoids/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Apoptosis/physiology , Brain/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Cells, Cultured , Complement System Proteins/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/virology , Humans , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/metabolism , Inflammation/metabolism , Inflammation/virology , Lung/metabolism , Neural Stem Cells/metabolism , Neurons/metabolism , Neurons/virology , Organoids/metabolism , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Signal Transduction/physiology , Stem Cells/metabolism , Stem Cells/virology
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