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1.
Eur J Immunol ; 52(3): 503-510, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1718287

ABSTRACT

Corona disease 2019 (COVID-19) affects multiple organ systems. Recent studies have indicated perturbations in the circulating metabolome linked to COVID-19 severity. However, several questions pertain with respect to the metabolome in COVID-19. We performed an in-depth assessment of 1129 unique metabolites in 27 hospitalized COVID-19 patients and integrated results with large-scale proteomic and immunology data to capture multiorgan system perturbations. More than half of the detected metabolic alterations in COVID-19 were driven by patient-specific confounding factors ranging from comorbidities to xenobiotic substances. Systematically adjusting for this, a COVID-19-specific metabolic imprint was defined which, over time, underwent a switch in response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 seroconversion. Integration of the COVID-19 metabolome with clinical, cellular, molecular, and immunological severity scales further revealed a network of metabolic trajectories aligned with multiple pathways for immune activation, and organ damage including neurological inflammation and damage. Altogether, this resource refines our understanding of the multiorgan system perturbations in severe COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , Metabolome/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/complications , Case-Control Studies , Central Nervous System Diseases/etiology , Central Nervous System Diseases/immunology , Central Nervous System Diseases/metabolism , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Metabolomics , Middle Aged , Organ Specificity , Pandemics , Phenotype , Proteomics , Severity of Illness Index , Young Adult
2.
Virology ; 568: 56-71, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1665518

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, the seventh coronavirus known to infect humans, can cause severe life-threatening respiratory pathologies. To better understand SARS-CoV-2 evolution, genome-wide analyses have been made, including the general characterization of its codons usage profile. Here we present a bioinformatic analysis of the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 codon usage over time using complete genomes collected since December 2019. Our results show that SARS-CoV-2 codon usage pattern is antagonistic to, and it is getting farther away from that of the human host. Further, a selection of deoptimized codons over time, which was accompanied by a decrease in both the codon adaptation index and the effective number of codons, was observed. All together, these findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 could be evolving, at least from the perspective of the synonymous codon usage, to become less pathogenic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Codon Usage , Codon , Evolution, Molecular , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Betacoronavirus/classification , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral , Genome, Viral , Genomics/methods , Humans , Open Reading Frames , Organ Specificity , Phylogeny
4.
Nat Metab ; 4(1): 29-43, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1612214

ABSTRACT

Severe cases of infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are associated with elevated blood glucose levels and metabolic complications. However, the molecular mechanisms for how SARS-CoV-2 infection alters glycometabolic control are incompletely understood. Here, we connect the circulating protein GP73 with enhanced hepatic gluconeogenesis during SARS-CoV-2 infection. We first demonstrate that GP73 secretion is induced in multiple tissues upon fasting and that GP73 stimulates hepatic gluconeogenesis through the cAMP/PKA signaling pathway. We further show that GP73 secretion is increased in cultured cells infected with SARS-CoV-2, after overexpression of SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid and spike proteins and in lungs and livers of mice infected with a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 strain. GP73 blockade with an antibody inhibits excessive glucogenesis stimulated by SARS-CoV-2 in vitro and lowers elevated fasting blood glucose levels in infected mice. In patients with COVID-19, plasma GP73 levels are elevated and positively correlate with blood glucose levels. Our data suggest that GP73 is a glucogenic hormone that likely contributes to SARS-CoV-2-induced abnormalities in systemic glucose metabolism.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Glucose/metabolism , Hyperglycemia/etiology , Hyperglycemia/metabolism , Membrane Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Biomarkers , Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinases/metabolism , Diet, High-Fat , Disease Models, Animal , Fasting , Gene Expression , Gluconeogenesis/drug effects , Gluconeogenesis/genetics , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Hyperglycemia/blood , Liver/metabolism , Liver/pathology , Membrane Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Membrane Proteins/blood , Membrane Proteins/genetics , Mice , Mice, Knockout , Organ Specificity/genetics
5.
Cells ; 10(12)2021 12 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1598446

ABSTRACT

Organ-specific proteins (OSPs) possess great medical potential both in clinics and in biomedical research. Applications of them-such as alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase, and troponins-in clinics have raised certain concerns of their organ specificity. The dynamics and diversity of protein expression in heterogeneous human populations are well known, yet their effects on OSPs are less addressed. Here, we used mice as a model and implemented a breadth study to examine the panorgan proteome for potential variations in organ specificity in different genetic backgrounds. Using reasonable resources, we generated panorgan proteomes of four in-bred mouse strains. The results revealed a large diversity that was more profound among OSPs than among proteomes overall. We defined a robustness score to quantify such variation and derived three sets of OSPs with different stringencies. In the meantime, we found that the enriched biological functions of OSPs are also organ-specific and are sensitive and useful to assess the quality of OSPs. We hope our breadth study can open doors to explore the molecular diversity and dynamics of organ specificity at the protein level.


Subject(s)
Organ Specificity/genetics , Proteins/genetics , Proteome/genetics , Proteomics , Animals , Genetic Variation/genetics , Humans , Mice
6.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 95-112, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541489

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACTSARS-CoV-2 was first reported circulating in human populations in December 2019 and has since become a global pandemic. Recent history involving SARS-like coronavirus outbreaks have demonstrated the significant role of intermediate hosts in viral maintenance and transmission. Evidence of SARS-CoV-2 natural infection and experimental infections of a wide variety of animal species has been demonstrated, and in silico and in vitro studies have indicated that deer are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. White-tailed deer (WTD) are amongst the most abundant and geographically widespread wild ruminant species in the US. Recently, WTD fawns were shown to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. In the present study, we investigated the susceptibility and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in adult WTD. In addition, we examined the competition of two SARS-CoV-2 isolates, representatives of the ancestral lineage A and the alpha variant of concern (VOC) B.1.1.7 through co-infection of WTD. Next-generation sequencing was used to determine the presence and transmission of each strain in the co-infected and contact sentinel animals. Our results demonstrate that adult WTD are highly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and can transmit the virus through direct contact as well as vertically from doe to fetus. Additionally, we determined that the alpha VOC B.1.1.7 isolate of SARS-CoV-2 outcompetes the ancestral lineage A isolate in WTD, as demonstrated by the genome of the virus shed from nasal and oral cavities from principal infected and contact animals, and from the genome of virus present in tissues of principal infected deer, fetuses and contact animals.


Subject(s)
Animal Diseases/epidemiology , Animal Diseases/transmission , Animal Diseases/virology , COVID-19/veterinary , Deer , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Cell Line , Disease Susceptibility , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Female , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Organ Specificity , Pregnancy , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Virus Shedding
7.
J Virol ; 96(3): e0145521, 2022 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1532961

ABSTRACT

Susceptibility to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the outcome of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been linked to underlying health conditions and the age of affected individuals. Here, we assessed the effect of age on SARS-CoV-2 infection using a ferret model. For this, young (6-month-old) and aged (18- to 39-month-old) ferrets were inoculated intranasally with various doses of SARS-CoV-2. By using infectious virus shedding in respiratory secretions and seroconversion, we estimated that the infectious dose of SARS-CoV-2 in aged animals is ∼32 PFU per animal, while in young animals it was estimated to be ∼100 PFU. We showed that viral replication in the upper respiratory tract and shedding in respiratory secretions is enhanced in aged ferrets compared to young animals. Similar to observations in humans, this was associated with higher transcription levels of two key viral entry factors, ACE2 and TMPRSS2, in the upper respiratory tract of aged ferrets. IMPORTANCE In humans, ACE2 and TMPRSS2 are expressed in various cells and tissues, and differential expression has been described in young and old people, with a higher level of expressing cells being detected in the nasal brushing of older people than young individuals. We described the same pattern occurring in ferrets, and we demonstrated that age affects susceptibility of ferrets to SARS-CoV-2. Aged animals were more likely to get infected when exposed to lower infectious dose of the virus than young animals, and the viral replication in the upper respiratory tract and shedding are enhanced in aged ferrets. Together, these results suggest that the higher infectivity and enhanced ability of SARS-CoV-2 to replicate in aged individuals is associated, at least in part, with transcription levels of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 at the sites of virus entry. The young and aged ferret model developed here may represent a great platform to assess age-related differences in SARS-CoV-2 infection dynamics and replication.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Disease Susceptibility , Host-Pathogen Interactions , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Age Factors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Biomarkers , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Ferrets , Gene Expression , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Organ Specificity , RNA, Viral , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Viral Load
8.
J Mol Cell Cardiol ; 164: 13-16, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1527886

ABSTRACT

Aged males disproportionately succumb to increased COVID-19 severity, hospitalization, and mortality compared to females. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and transmembrane protease, serine 2 (TMPRSS2) facilitate SARS-CoV-2 viral entry and may have sexually dimorphic regulation. As viral load dictates disease severity, we investigated the expression, protein levels, and activity of ACE2 and TMPRSS2. Our data reveal that aged males have elevated ACE2 in both mice and humans across organs. We report the first comparative study comprehensively investigating the impact of sex and age in murine and human levels of ACE2 and TMPRSS2, to begin to elucidate the sex bias in COVID-19 severity.


Subject(s)
Aging/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/biosynthesis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic , Receptors, Virus/biosynthesis , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sex Characteristics , Aging/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Disease Susceptibility , Female , Heart/virology , Humans , Intestine, Small/enzymology , Intestine, Small/virology , Kidney/enzymology , Kidney/virology , Lung/enzymology , Lung/virology , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Middle Aged , Myocardium/enzymology , Organ Specificity , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Serine Endopeptidases/biosynthesis , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Young Adult
9.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 6612, 2021 11 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1521738

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is not always confined to the respiratory system, as it impacts people on a broad clinical spectrum from asymptomatic to severe systemic manifestations resulting in death. Further, accumulation of intra-host single nucleotide variants during prolonged SARS-CoV-2 infection may lead to emergence of variants of concern (VOCs). Still, information on virus infectivity and intra-host evolution across organs is sparse. We report a detailed virological analysis of thirteen postmortem coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases that provides proof of viremia and presence of replication-competent SARS-CoV-2 in extrapulmonary organs of immunocompromised patients, including heart, kidney, liver, and spleen (NCT04366882). In parallel, we identify organ-specific SARS-CoV-2 genome diversity and mutations of concern N501Y, T1027I, and Y453F, while the patient had died long before reported emergence of VOCs. These mutations appear in multiple organs and replicate in Vero E6 cells, highlighting their infectivity. Finally, we show two stages of fatal disease evolution based on disease duration and viral loads in lungs and plasma. Our results provide insights about the pathogenesis and intra-host evolution of SARS-CoV-2 and show that COVID-19 treatment and hygiene measures need to be tailored to specific needs of immunocompromised patients, even when respiratory symptoms cease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Virus Replication/physiology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Animals , Autopsy , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , Genome, Viral , Humans , Immunocompromised Host , Male , Middle Aged , Organ Specificity , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
10.
Cell Rep ; 37(7): 110020, 2021 11 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1509641

ABSTRACT

Variability in SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility and COVID-19 disease severity between individuals is partly due to genetic factors. Here, we identify 4 genomic loci with suggestive associations for SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility and 19 for COVID-19 disease severity. Four of these 23 loci likely have an ethnicity-specific component. Genome-wide association study (GWAS) signals in 11 loci colocalize with expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) associated with the expression of 20 genes in 62 tissues/cell types (range: 1:43 tissues/gene), including lung, brain, heart, muscle, and skin as well as the digestive system and immune system. We perform genetic fine mapping to compute 99% credible SNP sets, which identify 10 GWAS loci that have eight or fewer SNPs in the credible set, including three loci with one single likely causal SNP. Our study suggests that the diverse symptoms and disease severity of COVID-19 observed between individuals is associated with variants across the genome, affecting gene expression levels in a wide variety of tissue types.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Chromosome Mapping/methods , Computational Biology/methods , Databases, Genetic , Ethnicity/genetics , Gene Expression/genetics , Gene Expression Profiling/methods , Genetic Predisposition to Disease/genetics , Genetic Variation/genetics , Genome-Wide Association Study/methods , Humans , Organ Specificity/genetics , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide/genetics , Quantitative Trait Loci/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Severity of Illness Index , Transcriptome/genetics
11.
Front Immunol ; 12: 752380, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1485056

ABSTRACT

The progression of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), resulting from a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, may be influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Several viruses hijack the host genome machinery for their own advantage and survival, and similar phenomena might occur upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. Severe cases of COVID-19 may be driven by metabolic and epigenetic driven mechanisms, including DNA methylation and histone/chromatin alterations. These epigenetic phenomena may respond to enhanced viral replication and mediate persistent long-term infection and clinical phenotypes associated with severe COVID-19 cases and fatalities. Understanding the epigenetic events involved, and their clinical significance, may provide novel insights valuable for the therapeutic control and management of the COVID-19 pandemic. This review highlights different epigenetic marks potentially associated with COVID-19 development, clinical manifestation, and progression.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , DNA Methylation/immunology , Epigenesis, Genetic/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/genetics , Humans , Organ Specificity , Pandemics
12.
Sci Immunol ; 6(65): eabl9105, 2021 Nov 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455670

ABSTRACT

Adaptive immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection have been extensively characterized in blood; however, most functions of protective immunity must be accomplished in tissues. Here, we report from examination of SARS-CoV-2 seropositive organ donors (ages 10 to 74) that CD4+ T, CD8+ T, and B cell memory generated in response to infection is present in the bone marrow, spleen, lung, and multiple lymph nodes (LNs) for up to 6 months after infection. Lungs and lung-associated LNs were the most prevalent sites for SARS-CoV-2­specific memory T and B cells with significant correlations between circulating and tissue-resident memory T and B cells in all sites. We further identified SARS-CoV-2­specific germinal centers in the lung-associated LNs up to 6 months after infection. SARS-CoV-2­specific follicular helper T cells were also abundant in lung-associated LNs and lungs. Together, the results indicate local tissue coordination of cellular and humoral immune memory against SARS-CoV-2 for site-specific protection against future infectious challenges.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Cellular , Immunologic Memory , Lymphocytes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Organ Specificity/immunology
13.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0257878, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443847

ABSTRACT

Extracellular microRNAs (miRNAs) have been proposed to function in cross-kingdom gene regulation. Among these, plant-derived miRNAs of dietary origin have been reported to survive the harsh conditions of the human digestive system, enter the circulatory system, and regulate gene expression and metabolic function. However, definitive evidence supporting the presence of plant-derived miRNAs of dietary origin in mammals has been difficult to obtain due to limited sample sizes. We have developed a bioinformatics pipeline (ePmiRNA_finder) that provides strident miRNA classification and applied it to analyze 421 small RNA sequencing data sets from 10 types of human body fluids and tissues and comparative samples from carnivores and herbivores. A total of 35 miRNAs were identified that map to plants typically found in the human diet and these miRNAs were found in at least one human blood sample and their abundance was significantly different when compared to samples from human microbiome or cow. The plant-derived miRNA profiles were body fluid/tissue-specific and highly abundant in the brain and the breast milk samples, indicating selective absorption and/or the ability to be transported across tissue/organ barriers. Our data provide conclusive evidence for the presence of plant-derived miRNAs as a consequence of dietary intake and their cross-kingdom regulatory function within human circulating system.


Subject(s)
Computational Biology/methods , MicroRNAs/genetics , Plants/genetics , Sequence Analysis, RNA/methods , Animal Feed/analysis , Animals , Brain Chemistry , Carnivora/genetics , Diet , Female , Herbivory/genetics , Humans , Milk, Human/chemistry , Organ Specificity , RNA, Plant/genetics , Sample Size
14.
Oxid Med Cell Longev ; 2021: 7866992, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403126

ABSTRACT

The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is posing a great threat to the global economy and public health security. Together with the acknowledged angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, glucose-regulated protein 78, transferrin receptor, AXL, kidney injury molecule-1, and neuropilin 1 are also identified as potential receptors to mediate SARS-CoV-2 infection. Therefore, how to inhibit or delay the binding of SARS-CoV-2 with the abovementioned receptors is a key step for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. As the third gasotransmitter, hydrogen sulfide (H2S) plays an important role in many physiological and pathophysiological processes. Recently, survivors were reported to have significantly higher H2S levels in COVID-19 patients, and mortality was significantly greater among patients with decreased H2S levels. Considering that the beneficial role of H2S against COVID-19 and COVID-19-induced comorbidities and multiorgan damage has been well-examined and reported in some excellent reviews, this review will discuss the recent findings on the potential receptors of SARS-CoV-2 and how H2S modulates the above receptors, in turn blocking SARS-CoV-2 entry into host cells.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Hydrogen Sulfide/pharmacology , Receptors, Cell Surface/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Animals , Humans , Organ Specificity/drug effects , Protective Agents/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
16.
Nat Biotechnol ; 40(1): 121-130, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1379318

ABSTRACT

Large single-cell atlases are now routinely generated to serve as references for analysis of smaller-scale studies. Yet learning from reference data is complicated by batch effects between datasets, limited availability of computational resources and sharing restrictions on raw data. Here we introduce a deep learning strategy for mapping query datasets on top of a reference called single-cell architectural surgery (scArches). scArches uses transfer learning and parameter optimization to enable efficient, decentralized, iterative reference building and contextualization of new datasets with existing references without sharing raw data. Using examples from mouse brain, pancreas, immune and whole-organism atlases, we show that scArches preserves biological state information while removing batch effects, despite using four orders of magnitude fewer parameters than de novo integration. scArches generalizes to multimodal reference mapping, allowing imputation of missing modalities. Finally, scArches retains coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) disease variation when mapping to a healthy reference, enabling the discovery of disease-specific cell states. scArches will facilitate collaborative projects by enabling iterative construction, updating, sharing and efficient use of reference atlases.


Subject(s)
Datasets as Topic/standards , Deep Learning , Organ Specificity , Single-Cell Analysis/standards , Animals , COVID-19/pathology , Humans , Mice , Reference Standards , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
17.
Viruses ; 13(9)2021 08 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374535

ABSTRACT

Infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the global COVID-19 pandemic, causes a respiratory illness that can severely impact other organ systems and is possibly precipitated by cytokine storm, septic shock, thrombosis, and oxidative stress. SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals may be asymptomatic or may experience mild, moderate, or severe symptoms with or without pneumonia. The mechanisms by which SARS-CoV-2 infects humans are largely unknown. Mouse hepatitis virus 1 (MHV-1)-induced infection was used as a highly relevant surrogate animal model for this study. We further characterized this animal model and compared it with SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans. MHV-1 inoculated mice displayed death as well as weight loss, as reported earlier. We showed that MHV-1-infected mice at days 7-8 exhibit severe lung inflammation, peribronchiolar interstitial infiltration, bronchiolar epithelial cell necrosis and intra-alveolar necrotic debris, alveolar exudation (surrounding alveolar walls have capillaries that are dilated and filled with red blood cells), mononuclear cell infiltration, hyaline membrane formation, the presence of hemosiderin-laden macrophages, and interstitial edema. When compared to uninfected mice, the infected mice showed severe liver vascular congestion, luminal thrombosis of portal and sinusoidal vessels, hepatocyte degeneration, cell necrosis, and hemorrhagic changes. Proximal and distal tubular necrosis, hemorrhage in interstitial tissue, and the vacuolation of renal tubules were observed. The heart showed severe interstitial edema, vascular congestion, and dilation, as well as red blood cell extravasation into the interstitium. Upon examination of the MHV-1 infected mice brain, we observed congested blood vessels, perivascular cavitation, cortical pericellular halos, vacuolation of neuropils, darkly stained nuclei, pyknotic nuclei, and associated vacuolation of the neuropil in the cortex, as well as acute eosinophilic necrosis and necrotic neurons with fragmented nuclei and vacuolation in the hippocampus. Our findings suggest that the widespread thrombotic events observed in the surrogate animal model for SARS-CoV-2 mimic the reported findings in SARS-CoV-2 infected humans, representing a highly relevant and safe animal model for the study of the pathophysiologic mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 for potential therapeutic interventions.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Murine hepatitis virus/physiology , Animals , Biomarkers , Biopsy , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Genome, Viral , Humans , Immunohistochemistry , Liver Function Tests , Mice , Mortality , Organ Specificity , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Viral Load
18.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 16843, 2021 08 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366832

ABSTRACT

Elevated angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) expression in organs that are potential targets of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 may increase the risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. Previous reports show that ACE2 alter its tissue-specific expression patterns under various pathological conditions, including renal diseases. Here, we examined changes in pulmonary ACE2 expression in two mouse chronic kidney disease (CKD) models: adenine-induced (adenine mice) and aristolochic acid-induced (AA mice). We also investigated changes in pulmonary ACE2 expression due to renin-angiotensin system (RAS) blocker (olmesartan) treatment in these mice. Adenine mice showed significant renal functional decline and elevated blood pressure, compared with controls. AA mice also showed significant renal functional decline, compared with vehicles; blood pressure did not differ between groups. Renal ACE2 expression was significantly reduced in adenine mice and AA mice; pulmonary expression was unaffected. Olmesartan attenuated urinary albumin excretion in adenine mice, but did not affect renal or pulmonary ACE2 expression levels. The results suggest that the risk of COVID-19 infection may not be elevated in patients with CKD because of their stable pulmonary ACE2 expression. Moreover, RAS blockers can be used safely in treatment of COVID-19 patients with CKD.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Kidney/metabolism , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adenine , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Aristolochic Acids , Disease Models, Animal , Down-Regulation , Humans , Imidazoles/administration & dosage , Kidney/pathology , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Organ Specificity , Tetrazoles/administration & dosage
19.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 16814, 2021 08 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366830

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has emerged as a pandemic. Paucity of information concerning the virus and therapeutic interventions have made SARS-CoV-2 infection a genuine threat to global public health. Therefore, there is a growing need for understanding the molecular mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 infection at cellular level. To address this, we undertook a systems biology approach by analyzing publicly available RNA-seq datasets of SARS-CoV-2 infection of different cells and compared with other lung pathogenic infections. Our study identified several key genes and pathways uniquely associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Genes such as interleukin (IL)-6, CXCL8, CCL20, CXCL1 and CXCL3 were upregulated, which in particular regulate the cytokine storm and IL-17 signaling pathway. Of note, SARS-CoV-2 infection strongly activated IL-17 signaling pathway compared with other respiratory viruses. Additionally, this transcriptomic signature was also analyzed to predict potential drug repurposing and small molecule inhibitors. In conclusion, our comprehensive data analysis identifies key molecular pathways to reveal underlying pathological etiology and potential therapeutic targets in SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Interleukin-17/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Systems Biology/methods , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Chemokine CCL20/genetics , Chemokine CXCL1/genetics , Chemokines, CXC/genetics , Drug Repositioning , Humans , Interleukin-17/metabolism , Interleukin-6/genetics , Interleukin-8/genetics , Organ Specificity , Signal Transduction , Transcriptome
20.
Cells ; 10(8)2021 07 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1335012

ABSTRACT

Multiorgan tropism of SARS-CoV-2 has previously been shown for several major organs. We have comprehensively analyzed 25 different formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues/organs from autopsies of fatal COVID-19 cases (n = 8), using histopathological assessment, detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA using polymerase chain reaction and RNA in situ hybridization, viral protein using immunohistochemistry, and virus particles using transmission electron microscopy. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was mainly localized in epithelial cells across all organs. Next to lung, trachea, kidney, heart, or liver, viral RNA was also found in tonsils, salivary glands, oropharynx, thyroid, adrenal gland, testicles, prostate, ovaries, small bowel, lymph nodes, skin and skeletal muscle. Viral RNA was predominantly found in cells expressing ACE2, TMPRSS2, or both. The SARS-CoV-2 replicating RNA was also detected in these organs. Immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy were not suitable for reliable and specific SARS-CoV-2 detection in autopsies. These findings were validated using in situ hybridization on external COVID-19 autopsy samples (n = 9). Apart from the lung, correlation of viral detection and histopathological assessment did not reveal any specific alterations that could be attributed to SARS-CoV-2. In summary, SARS-CoV-2 and its replication could be observed across all organ systems, which co-localizes with ACE2 and TMPRSS2 mainly in epithelial but also in mesenchymal and endothelial cells. Apart from the respiratory tract, no specific (histo-)morphologic alterations could be assigned to the SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Aged , Autopsy , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Endothelial Cells/pathology , Endothelial Cells/virology , Female , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Organ Specificity , Tropism
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