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1.
Development ; 149(1)2022 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1799075

ABSTRACT

Imprinting control region (ICR1) controls the expression of the Igf2 and H19 genes in a parent-of-origin specific manner. Appropriate expression of the Igf2-H19 locus is fundamental for normal fetal development, yet the importance of ICR1 in the placental production of hormones that promote maternal nutrient allocation to the fetus is unknown. To address this, we used a novel mouse model to selectively delete ICR1 in the endocrine junctional zone (Jz) of the mouse placenta (Jz-ΔICR1). The Jz-ΔICR1 mice exhibit increased Igf2 and decreased H19 expression specifically in the Jz. This was accompanied by an expansion of Jz endocrine cell types due to enhanced rates of proliferation and increased expression of pregnancy-specific glycoprotein 23 in the placenta of both fetal sexes. However, changes in the endocrine phenotype of the placenta were related to sexually-dimorphic alterations to the abundance of Igf2 receptors and downstream signalling pathways (Pi3k-Akt and Mapk). There was no effect of Jz-ΔICR1 on the expression of targets of the H19-embedded miR-675 or on fetal weight. Our results demonstrate that ICR1 controls placental endocrine capacity via sex-dependent changes in signalling.


Subject(s)
Endocrine Glands/metabolism , Insulin-Like Growth Factor II/genetics , Locus Control Region , Placenta/metabolism , RNA, Long Noncoding/genetics , Signal Transduction , Animals , Female , Genetic Loci , Genomic Imprinting , Glycoproteins/genetics , Glycoproteins/metabolism , Insulin-Like Growth Factor II/metabolism , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases/metabolism , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Proteins/genetics , Pregnancy Proteins/metabolism , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism , RNA, Long Noncoding/metabolism
2.
Bioengineered ; 12(1): 2274-2287, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1769071

ABSTRACT

Xuebijing Injection have been found to improve the clinical symptoms of COVID-19 and alleviate disease severity, but the mechanisms are currently unclear. This study aimed to investigate the potential molecular targets and mechanisms of the Xuebijing injection in treating COVID-19 via network pharmacology and molecular docking analysis. The main active ingredients and therapeutic targets of the Xuebijing injection, and the pathogenic targets of COVID-19 were screened using the TCMSP, UniProt, and GeneCard databases. According to the 'Drug-Ingredients-Targets-Disease' network built by STRING and Cytoscape, AKT1 was identified as the core target, and baicalein, luteolin, and quercetin were identified as the active ingredients of the Xuebijing injection in connection with AKT1. R language was used for enrichment analysis that predict the mechanisms by which the Xuebijing injection may inhibit lipopolysaccharide-mediated inflammatory response, modulate NOS activity, and regulate the TNF signal pathway by affecting the role of AKT1. Based on the results of network pharmacology, a molecular docking was performed with AKT1 and the three active ingredients, the results indicated that all three active ingredients could stably bind with AKT1. These findings identify potential molecular mechanisms by which Xuebijing Injection inhibit COVID-19 by acting on AKT1.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , Drugs, Chinese Herbal/administration & dosage , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacokinetics , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Biomedical Engineering , Drugs, Chinese Herbal/pharmacokinetics , Drugs, Chinese Herbal/pharmacology , Flavanones/administration & dosage , Humans , Injections , Luteolin/administration & dosage , Molecular Docking Simulation , Pandemics , Protein Binding , Protein Interaction Maps , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/chemistry , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/drug effects , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism , Quercetin/administration & dosage , Signal Transduction/drug effects
3.
Nutrients ; 14(5)2022 Mar 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732145

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is a chronic, progressive, and, ultimately, terminal interstitial disease caused by a variety of factors, ranging from genetics, bacterial, and viral infections, to drugs and other influences. Varying degrees of PF and its rapid progress have been widely reported in post-COVID-19 patients and there is consequently an urgent need to develop an appropriate, cost-effective approach for the prevention and management of PF. AIM: The potential "therapeutic" effect of the tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) and carotene against bleomycin (BLM)-induced lung fibrosis was investigated in rats via the modulation of TGF-ß/Smad, PI3K/Akt/mTOR, and NF-κB signaling pathways. DESIGN/METHODS: Lung fibrosis was induced in Sprague-Dawley rats by a single intratracheal BLM (5 mg/kg) injection. These rats were subsequently treated with TRF (50, 100, and 200 mg/kg body wt/day), carotene (10 mg/kg body wt/day), or a combination of TRF (200 mg/kg body wt/day) and carotene (10 mg/kg body wt/day) for 28 days by gavage administration. A group of normal rats was provided with saline as a substitute for BLM as the control. Lung function and biochemical, histopathological, and molecular alterations were studied in the lung tissues. RESULTS: Both the TRF and carotene treatments were found to significantly restore the BLM-induced alterations in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant functions. The treatments appeared to show pneumoprotective effects through the upregulation of antioxidant status, downregulation of MMP-7 and inflammatory cytokine expressions, and reduction in collagen accumulation (hydroxyproline). We demonstrated that TRF and carotene ameliorate BLM-induced lung injuries through the inhibition of apoptosis, the induction of TGF-ß1/Smad, PI3K/Akt/mTOR, and NF-κB signaling pathways. Furthermore, the increased expression levels were shown to be significantly and dose-dependently downregulated by TRF (50, 100, and 200 mg/kg body wt/day) treatment in high probability. The histopathological findings further confirmed that the TRF and carotene treatments had significantly attenuated the BLM-induced lung injury in rats. CONCLUSION: The results of this study clearly indicate the ability of TRF and carotene to restore the antioxidant system and to inhibit proinflammatory cytokines. These findings, thus, revealed the potential of TRF and carotene as preventive candidates for the treatment of PF in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pulmonary Fibrosis , Tocotrienols , Animals , Bleomycin/toxicity , Carotenoids/adverse effects , Humans , NF-kappa B/metabolism , Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases/metabolism , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism , Pulmonary Fibrosis/chemically induced , Pulmonary Fibrosis/drug therapy , Pulmonary Fibrosis/prevention & control , Rats , Rats, Sprague-Dawley , SARS-CoV-2 , Signal Transduction , TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases/metabolism , Tocotrienols/adverse effects , Transforming Growth Factor beta/metabolism
4.
Drug Discov Today ; 27(3): 848-856, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1729681

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has emerged as a serious threat to global health. The disregulation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B/mammalian target of rapamycin (PI3K/Akt/mTOR) cell signaling pathway observed in patients with COVID-19 has attracted attention for the possible use of specific inhibitors of this pathway for the treatment of the disease. Here, we review emerging data on the involvement of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and the clinical studies investigating its tailored inhibition in COVID-19. Current in silico, in vitro, and in vivo data convergently support a role for the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway in COVID-19 and suggest the use of specific inhibitors of this pathway that, by a combined mechanism entailing downregulation of excessive inflammatory reactions, cell protection, and antiviral effects, could ameliorate the course of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases/metabolism , Protein Kinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism , Signal Transduction/drug effects , TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , Humans
5.
Molecules ; 27(4)2022 Feb 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1715568

ABSTRACT

Baicalin is a major active ingredient of traditional Chinese medicine Scutellaria baicalensis, and has been shown to have antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antitumor activities. However, the protein targets of baicalin have remained unclear. Herein, a chemical proteomics strategy was developed by combining baicalin-functionalized magnetic nanoparticles (BCL-N3@MNPs) and quantitative mass spectrometry to identify the target proteins of baicalin. Bioinformatics analysis with the use of Gene Ontology, STRING and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis, was performed to annotate the biological functions and the associated signaling pathways of the baicalin targeting proteins. Fourteen proteins in human embryonic kidney cells were identified to interact with baicalin with various binding affinities. Bioinformatics analysis revealed these proteins are mainly ATP-binding and/or ATPase activity proteins, such as CKB, HSP86, HSP70-1, HSP90, ATPSF1ß and ACTG1, and highly associated with the regulation of the role of PKR in interferon induction and the antiviral response signaling pathway (P = 10-6), PI3K/AKT signaling pathway (P = 10-5) and eNOS signaling pathway (P = 10-4). The results show that baicalin exerts multiply pharmacological functions, such as antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, and antioxidant functions, through regulating the PKR and PI3K/AKT/eNOS signaling pathways by targeting ATP-binding and ATPase activity proteins. These findings provide a fundamental insight into further studies on the mechanism of action of baicalin.


Subject(s)
Flavonoids/pharmacology , HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III/metabolism , Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases/metabolism , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Animals , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Flavonoids/administration & dosage , Flavonoids/chemistry , Humans , Magnetite Nanoparticles/chemistry , Magnetite Nanoparticles/ultrastructure , Protein Interaction Mapping
6.
J Cell Mol Med ; 26(4): 1144-1155, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1685345

ABSTRACT

High glucose (HG) is one of the basic factors of diabetic nephropathy (DN), which leads to high morbidity and disability. During DN, the expression of glomerular glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) increases, but the relationship between HG and GLUT1 is unclear. Glomerular mesangial cells (GMCs) have multiple roles in HG-induced DN. Here, we report prominent glomerular dysfunction, especially GMC abnormalities, in DN mice, which is closely related to GLUT1 alteration. In vivo studies have shown that BBR can alleviate pathological changes and abnormal renal function indicators of DN mice. In vitro, BBR (30, 60 and 90 µmol/L) not only increased the proportion of G1 phase cells but also reduced the proportion of S phase cells under HG conditions at different times. BBR (60 µmol/L) significantly reduced the expression of PI3K-p85, p-Akt, p-AS160, membrane-bound GLUT1 and cyclin D1, but had almost no effect on total protein. Furthermore, BBR significantly declined the glucose uptake and retarded cyclin D1-mediated GMC cell cycle arrest in the G1 phase. This study demonstrated that BBR can inhibit the development of DN, which may be due to BBR inhibiting the PI3K/Akt/AS160/GLUT1 signalling pathway to regulate HG-induced abnormal GMC proliferation and the cell cycle, supporting BBR as a potential therapeutic drug for DN.


Subject(s)
Berberine , Diabetes Mellitus , Diabetic Nephropathies , Animals , Berberine/pharmacology , Cell Cycle , Cell Division , Cell Proliferation , Diabetes Mellitus/pathology , Diabetic Nephropathies/pathology , Glucose/metabolism , Glucose Transporter Type 1/genetics , Glucose Transporter Type 1/metabolism , Mesangial Cells/metabolism , Mice , Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases/metabolism , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism
7.
Front Immunol ; 12: 769011, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1650341

ABSTRACT

Asthma patients may increase their susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and the poor prognosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, anti-COVID-19/asthma comorbidity approaches are restricted on condition. Existing evidence indicates that luteolin has antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and immune regulation capabilities. We aimed to evaluate the possibility of luteolin evolving into an ideal drug and explore the underlying molecular mechanisms of luteolin against COVID-19/asthma comorbidity. We used system pharmacology and bioinformatics analysis to assess the physicochemical properties and biological activities of luteolin and further analyze the binding activities, targets, biological functions, and mechanisms of luteolin against COVID-19/asthma comorbidity. We found that luteolin may exert ideal physicochemical properties and bioactivity, and molecular docking analysis confirmed that luteolin performed effective binding activities in COVID-19/asthma comorbidity. Furthermore, a protein-protein interaction network of 538 common targets between drug and disease was constructed and 264 hub targets were obtained. Then, the top 6 hub targets of luteolin against COVID-19/asthma comorbidity were identified, namely, TP53, AKT1, ALB, IL-6, TNF, and VEGFA. Furthermore, the enrichment analysis suggested that luteolin may exert effects on virus defense, regulation of inflammation, cell growth and cell replication, and immune responses, reducing oxidative stress and regulating blood circulation through the Toll-like receptor; MAPK, TNF, AGE/RAGE, EGFR, ErbB, HIF-1, and PI3K-AKT signaling pathways; PD-L1 expression; and PD-1 checkpoint pathway in cancer. The possible "dangerous liaison" between COVID-19 and asthma is still a potential threat to world health. This research is the first to explore whether luteolin could evolve into a drug candidate for COVID-19/asthma comorbidity. This study indicated that luteolin with superior drug likeness and bioactivity has great potential to be used for treating COVID-19/asthma comorbidity, but the predicted results still need to be rigorously verified by experiments.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/metabolism , Antioxidants/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Asthma/epidemiology , Asthma/metabolism , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/metabolism , Immunologic Factors/metabolism , Luteolin/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/chemistry , Antioxidants/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Comorbidity , Computational Biology/methods , Drug Discovery/methods , Humans , Immunologic Factors/chemistry , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Luteolin/chemistry , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protein Interaction Maps/drug effects , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism , Serum Albumin, Human/metabolism , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism , Tumor Suppressor Protein p53/metabolism , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A/metabolism
8.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 696, 2022 01 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621270

ABSTRACT

Despite encouraging preclinical data, therapies to reduce ARDS mortality remains a globally unmet need, including during the COVID-19 pandemic. We previously identified extracellular nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (eNAMPT) as a novel damage-associated molecular pattern protein (DAMP) via TLR4 ligation which regulates inflammatory cascade activation. eNAMPT is tightly linked to human ARDS by biomarker and genotyping studies in ARDS subjects. We now hypothesize that an eNAMPT-neutralizing mAb will significantly reduce the severity of ARDS lung inflammatory lung injury in diverse preclinical rat and porcine models. Sprague Dawley rats received eNAMPT mAb intravenously following exposure to intratracheal lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or to a traumatic blast (125 kPa) but prior to initiation of ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI) (4 h). Yucatan minipigs received intravenous eNAMPT mAb 2 h after initiation of septic shock and VILI (12 h). Each rat/porcine ARDS/VILI model was strongly associated with evidence of severe inflammatory lung injury with NFkB pathway activation and marked dysregulation of the Akt/mTORC2 signaling pathway. eNAMPT neutralization dramatically reduced inflammatory indices and the severity of lung injury in each rat/porcine ARDS/VILI model (~ 50% reduction) including reduction in serum lactate, and plasma levels of eNAMPT, IL-6, TNFα and Ang-2. The eNAMPT mAb further rectified NFkB pathway activation and preserved the Akt/mTORC2 signaling pathway. These results strongly support targeting the eNAMPT/TLR4 inflammatory pathway as a potential ARDS strategy to reduce inflammatory lung injury and ARDS mortality.


Subject(s)
Acute Chest Syndrome/metabolism , Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 2/metabolism , NF-kappa B/metabolism , Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase/metabolism , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism , Signal Transduction/physiology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Biomarkers/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Disease Models, Animal , Inflammation/metabolism , Lipopolysaccharides/metabolism , Lung/metabolism , Male , Rats , Rats, Sprague-Dawley , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Swine
9.
Cell Mol Biol Lett ; 27(1): 6, 2022 Jan 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622208

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), is associated with a high mortality rate. The majority of deaths in this disease are caused by ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) followed by cytokine storm and coagulation complications. Although alterations in the level of the number of coagulation factors have been detected in samples from COVID-19 patients, the direct molecular mechanism which has been involved in this pathologic process has not been explored yet. The PI3K/AKT signaling pathway is an intracellular pathway which plays a central role in cell survival. Also, in recent years the association between this pathway and coagulopathies has been well clarified. Therefore, based on the evidence on over-activity of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway in SARS-CoV-2 infection, in the current review, the probable role of this cellular pathway as a therapeutic target for the prevention of coagulation complications in patients with COVID-19 is discussed.


Subject(s)
Blood Coagulation Disorders/etiology , Blood Coagulation , COVID-19/complications , Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases/metabolism , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism , Signal Transduction , Animals , Blood Coagulation Disorders/blood , Blood Coagulation Disorders/metabolism , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/metabolism , Humans , Inflammation/blood , Inflammation/etiology , Inflammation/metabolism , Molecular Targeted Therapy , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
10.
Life Sci ; 291: 120267, 2022 Feb 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587054

ABSTRACT

Tauopathy is a term that has been used to represent a pathological condition in which hyperphosphorylated tau protein aggregates in neurons and glia which results in neurodegeneration, synapse loss and dysfunction and cognitive impairments. Recently, drug repositioning strategy (DRS) becomes a promising field and an alternative approach to advancing new treatments from actually developed and FDA approved drugs for an indication other than the indication it was originally intended for. This paradigm provides an advantage because the safety of the candidate compound has already been established, which abolishes the need for further preclinical safety testing and thus substantially reduces the time and cost involved in progressing of clinical trials. In the present review, we focused on correlation between tauopathy and common diseases as type 2 diabetes mellitus and the global virus COVID-19 and how tau pathology can aggravate development of these diseases in addition to how these diseases can be a risk factor for development of tauopathy. Moreover, correlation between COVID-19 and type 2 diabetes mellitus was also discussed. Therefore, repositioning of a drug in the daily clinical practice of patients to manage or prevent two or more diseases at the same time with lower side effects and drug-drug interactions is a promising idea. This review concluded the results of pre-clinical and clinical studies applied on antidiabetics, COVID-19 medications, antihypertensives, antidepressants and cholesterol lowering drugs for possible drug repositioning for management of tauopathy.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Drug Repositioning , Hypoglycemic Agents/pharmacology , Tauopathies/drug therapy , Antidepressive Agents/pharmacology , Antihypertensive Agents/pharmacology , Apoptosis/drug effects , COVID-19/drug therapy , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/physiopathology , Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 beta/antagonists & inhibitors , Humans , Molecular Targeted Therapy/methods , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism , Tauopathies/physiopathology
11.
Neuropharmacology ; 207: 108935, 2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1586929

ABSTRACT

AIMS: Acetaminophen or paracetamol (PAR), the recommended antipyretic in COVID-19 and clinically used to alleviate stroke-associated hyperthermia interestingly activates cannabinoid receptor (CB1) through its AM404 metabolite, however, to date, no study reports the in vivo activation of PAR/AM404/CB1 axis in stroke. The current study deciphers the neuroprotective effect off PAR in cerebral ischemia/reperfusion (IR) rat model and unmasks its link with AM404/CB1/PI3K/Akt axis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Animals were allocated into 5 groups: (I) sham-operated (SO), (II) IR, (III) IR + PAR (100 mg/kg), (IV) IR + PAR (100 mg/kg) + URB597; anandamide degradation inhibitor (0.3 mg/kg) and (V) IR + PAR (100 mg/kg) + AM4113; CB1 Blocker (5 mg/kg). All drugs were intraperitoneally administered at the inception of the reperfusion period. KEY FINDINGS: PAR administration alleviated the cognitive impairment in the Morris Water Maze as well as hippocampal histopathological and immunohistochemical examination of GFAP. The PAR signaling was associated with elevation of anandamide level, CB1 receptor expression and survival proteins as pS473-Akt. P(tyr202/thr204)-ERK1/2 and pS9-GSK3ß. Simultaneously, PAR increased hippocampal BDNF and ß-arrestin1 levels and decreased glutamate level. PAR restores the deranged redox milieu induced by IR Injury, by reducing lipid peroxides, myeloperoxidase activity and NF-κB and increasing NPSH, total antioxidant capacity, nitric oxide and Nrf2 levels. The pre-administration of AM4113 reversed PAR effects, while URB597 potentiated them. SIGNIFICANCE: PAR poses a significant neuroprotective effect which may be mediated, at least in part, via activation of anandamide/CB1/PI3K/Akt pathway in the IR rat model.


Subject(s)
Acetaminophen/pharmacology , Antipyretics/pharmacology , Benzamides/pharmacology , Carbamates/pharmacology , Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Hippocampus/drug effects , Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases/drug effects , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/drug effects , Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1/metabolism , Reperfusion Injury/metabolism , Amidohydrolases/antagonists & inhibitors , Animals , Arachidonic Acids/metabolism , Cannabinoid Receptor Antagonists/pharmacology , Endocannabinoids/metabolism , Hippocampus/blood supply , Hippocampus/metabolism , Hippocampus/physiopathology , Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases/metabolism , Polyunsaturated Alkamides/metabolism , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism , Rats , Reperfusion Injury/physiopathology
12.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(1)2021 Dec 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580700

ABSTRACT

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) followed by repair with lung remodeling is observed in COVID-19. These findings can lead to pulmonary terminal fibrosis, a form of irreversible sequelae. There is evidence that TGF-ß is intimately involved in the fibrogenic process. When activated, TGF-ß promotes the differentiation of fibroblasts into myofibroblasts and regulates the remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM). In this sense, the present study evaluated the histopathological features and immunohistochemical biomarkers (ACE-2, AKT-1, Caveolin-1, CD44v6, IL-4, MMP-9, α-SMA, Sphingosine-1, and TGF-ß1 tissue expression) involved in the TGF-ß1 signaling pathways and pulmonary fibrosis. The study consisted of 24 paraffin lung samples from patients who died of COVID-19 (COVID-19 group), compared to 10 lung samples from patients who died of H1N1pdm09 (H1N1 group) and 11 lung samples from patients who died of different causes, with no lung injury (CONTROL group). In addition to the presence of alveolar septal fibrosis, diffuse alveolar damage (DAD) was found to be significantly increased in the COVID-19 group, associated with a higher density of Collagen I (mature) and III (immature). There was also a significant increase observed in the immunoexpression of tissue biomarkers ACE-2, AKT-1, CD44v6, IL-4, MMP-9, α-SMA, Sphingosine-1, and TGF-ß1 in the COVID-19 group. A significantly lower expression of Caveolin-1 was also found in this group. The results suggest the participation of TGF-ß pathways in the development process of pulmonary fibrosis. Thus, it would be plausible to consider therapy with TGF-ß inhibitors in those patients recovered from COVID-19 to mitigate a possible development of pulmonary fibrosis and its consequences for post-COVID-19 life quality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Pulmonary Fibrosis/metabolism , Signal Transduction , Transforming Growth Factor beta/metabolism , Actins/metabolism , Adrenal Cortex Hormones/therapeutic use , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/pathology , Caveolin 1/metabolism , Collagen Type I/metabolism , Collagen Type III/metabolism , Female , Humans , Hyaluronan Receptors/metabolism , Immunohistochemistry , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/metabolism , Influenza, Human/metabolism , Influenza, Human/pathology , Interleukin-4/metabolism , Male , Matrix Metalloproteinase 9/metabolism , Middle Aged , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism , Pulmonary Fibrosis/complications , Pulmonary Fibrosis/drug therapy , Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , Retrospective Studies , Transforming Growth Factor beta1/metabolism
13.
EBioMedicine ; 73: 103672, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1568646

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Phospho-Akt1 (pAkt1) undergoes prolyl hydroxylation at Pro125 and Pro313 by the prolyl hydroxylase-2 (PHD2) in a reaction decarboxylating α-ketoglutarate (αKG). We investigated whether the αKG supplementation could inhibit Akt-mediated activation of platelets and monocytes, in vitro as well as in vivo, by augmenting PHD2 activity. METHODS: We treated platelets or monocytes isolated from healthy individuals with αKG in presence of agonists in vitro and assessed the signalling molecules including pAkt1. We supplemented mice with dietary αKG and estimated the functional responses of platelets and monocytes ex vivo. Further, we investigated the impact of dietary αKG on inflammation and thrombosis in lungs of mice either treated with thrombosis-inducing agent carrageenan or infected with SARS-CoV-2. FINDINGS: Octyl αKG supplementation to platelets promoted PHD2 activity through elevated intracellular αKG to succinate ratio, and reduced aggregation in vitro by suppressing pAkt1(Thr308). Augmented PHD2 activity was confirmed by increased hydroxylated-proline and enhanced binding of PHD2 to pAkt in αKG-treated platelets. Contrastingly, inhibitors of PHD2 significantly increased pAkt1 in platelets. Octyl-αKG followed similar mechanism in monocytes to inhibit cytokine secretion in vitro. Our data also describe a suppressed pAkt1 and reduced activation of platelets and leukocytes ex vivo from mice supplemented with dietary αKG, unaccompanied by alteration in their number. Dietary αKG significantly reduced clot formation and leukocyte accumulation in various organs including lungs of mice treated with thrombosis-inducing agent carrageenan. Importantly, in SARS-CoV-2 infected hamsters, we observed a significant rescue effect of dietary αKG on inflamed lungs with significantly reduced leukocyte accumulation, clot formation and viral load alongside down-modulation of pAkt in the lung of the infected animals. INTERPRETATION: Our study suggests that dietary αKG supplementation prevents Akt-driven maladies such as thrombosis and inflammation and rescues pathology of COVID19-infected lungs. FUNDING: Study was funded by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt. of India (grants: BT/PR22881 and BT/PR22985); and the Science and Engineering Research Board, Govt. of India (CRG/000092).


Subject(s)
Ketoglutaric Acids/therapeutic use , Prolyl Hydroxylases/metabolism , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism , Thrombosis/prevention & control , Animals , Blood Platelets/cytology , Blood Platelets/drug effects , Blood Platelets/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/veterinary , COVID-19/virology , Cricetinae , Dietary Supplements , Down-Regulation/drug effects , Humans , Ketoglutaric Acids/pharmacology , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Mesocricetus , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Monocytes/cytology , Monocytes/drug effects , Monocytes/metabolism , Phosphorylation , Platelet Aggregation/drug effects , Protein Isoforms/genetics , Protein Isoforms/metabolism , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Thrombosis/chemically induced , Thrombosis/pathology , Thrombosis/veterinary
14.
Cells ; 10(12)2021 11 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1538383

ABSTRACT

Dendritic cells (DCs) are the most potent antigen-presenting cells, and their function is essential to configure adaptative immunity and avoid excessive inflammation. DCs are predicted to play a crucial role in the clinical evolution of the infection by the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus (CoV)-2. DCs interaction with the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein, which mediates cell receptor binding and subsequent fusion of the viral particle with host cell, is a key step to induce effective immunity against this virus and in the S protein-based vaccination protocols. Here we evaluated human DCs in response to SARS-CoV-2 S protein, or to a fragment encompassing the receptor binding domain (RBD) challenge. Both proteins increased the expression of maturation markers, including MHC molecules and costimulatory receptors. DCs interaction with the SARS-CoV-2 S protein promotes activation of key signaling molecules involved in inflammation, including MAPK, AKT, STAT1, and NFκB, which correlates with the expression and secretion of distinctive proinflammatory cytokines. Differences in the expression of ACE2 along the differentiation of human monocytes to mature DCs and inter-donor were found. Our results show that SARS-CoV-2 S protein promotes inflammatory response and provides molecular links between individual variations and the degree of response against this virus.


Subject(s)
Dendritic Cells/pathology , Dendritic Cells/virology , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Cell Adhesion Molecules/metabolism , Cell Differentiation , Cytokines/biosynthesis , Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases/metabolism , Humans , Inflammation/pathology , Lectins, C-Type/metabolism , Protein Domains , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism , Receptors, Cell Surface/metabolism , STAT Transcription Factors/metabolism , Signal Transduction , Tissue Donors
15.
Int Immunopharmacol ; 101(Pt A): 108264, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1487769

ABSTRACT

Topoisomerase (TOP) inhibitors were commonly used as chemotherapeutic agents in the treatment of cancers. In our present study, we found that etoposide (ETO), a topoisomerase 2 (TOP2) inhibitor, upregulated the production of Interleukin 10 (IL-10) in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated macrophages. Besides, other TOP2 inhibitors including doxorubicin hydrochloride (DOX) and teniposide (TEN) were also able to augment IL-10 production. Meanwhile, the expression levels of pro-inflammatory factors, for example IL-6 and TNF-α, were also decreased accordingly by the treatment of the TOP2 inhibitors. Of note, ETO facilitated IL-10 secretion, which might be regulated by transcription factor Maf via PI3K/AKT pathway, as pharmaceutic blockage of kinase PI3K or AKT attenuated ETO-induced Maf and IL-10 expression. Further, in LPS-induced mice sepsis model, the enhanced generation of IL-10 was observed in ETO-treated mice, whereas pro-inflammatory cytokines were decreased, which significantly reduced the mortality of mice from LPS-induced lethal cytokine storm. Taken together, these results indicated that ETO may exhibit an anti-inflammatory role by upregulating the alteration of transcription factor Maf and promoting subsequential IL-10 secretion via PI3K/Akt pathway in LPS-induced macrophages. Therefore, ETO may serve as a potential anti-inflammatory agent and employed to severe pro-inflammatory diseases including COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacology , Etoposide/pharmacology , Interleukin-10/metabolism , Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases/metabolism , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-maf/genetics , Topoisomerase II Inhibitors/pharmacology , Animals , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Line , Disease Models, Animal , Down-Regulation/drug effects , Etoposide/therapeutic use , Female , Interleukin-10/genetics , Interleukin-6/genetics , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Lipopolysaccharides/toxicity , Macrophages/drug effects , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-maf/metabolism , Shock, Septic/chemically induced , Shock, Septic/drug therapy , Topoisomerase II Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/genetics , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism , Up-Regulation/drug effects
16.
Molecules ; 26(20)2021 Oct 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470935

ABSTRACT

Excessive host inflammation following infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is associated with severity and mortality in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We recently reported that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein S1 subunit (S1) induces pro-inflammatory responses by activating toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) signaling in macrophages. A standardized extract of Asparagus officinalis stem (EAS) is a unique functional food that elicits anti-photoaging effects by suppressing pro-inflammatory signaling in hydrogen peroxide and ultraviolet B-exposed skin fibroblasts. To elucidate its potential in preventing excessive inflammation in COVID-19, we examined the effects of EAS on pro-inflammatory responses in S1-stimulated macrophages. Murine peritoneal exudate macrophages were co-treated with EAS and S1. Concentrations and mRNA levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines were assessed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and reverse transcription and real-time polymerase chain reaction, respectively. Expression and phosphorylation levels of signaling proteins were analyzed using western blotting and fluorescence immunomicroscopy. EAS significantly attenuated S1-induced secretion of interleukin (IL)-6 in a concentration-dependent manner without reducing cell viability. EAS also markedly suppressed the S1-induced transcription of IL-6 and IL-1ß. However, among the TLR4 signaling proteins, EAS did not affect the degradation of inhibitor κBα, nuclear translocation of nuclear factor-κB p65 subunit, and phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase p54 subunit after S1 exposure. In contrast, EAS significantly suppressed S1-induced phosphorylation of p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and Akt. Attenuation of S1-induced transcription of IL-6 and IL-1ß by the MAPK kinase inhibitor U0126 was greater than that by the Akt inhibitor perifosine, and the effects were potentiated by simultaneous treatment with both inhibitors. These results suggest that EAS attenuates S1-induced IL-6 and IL-1ß production by suppressing p44/42 MAPK and Akt signaling in macrophages. Therefore, EAS may be beneficial in regulating excessive inflammation in patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Asparagus Plant/chemistry , Interleukin-1beta/metabolism , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Macrophages/drug effects , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Animals , Asparagus Plant/metabolism , Butadienes/pharmacology , Cell Survival/drug effects , Interleukin-1beta/genetics , Interleukin-6/genetics , Macrophages/cytology , Macrophages/metabolism , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1/antagonists & inhibitors , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1/metabolism , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3/antagonists & inhibitors , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3/metabolism , Nitriles/pharmacology , Phosphorylation/drug effects , Plant Extracts/chemistry , Plant Stems/chemistry , Plant Stems/metabolism , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/antagonists & inhibitors , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/pharmacology , Toll-Like Receptor 4/metabolism , Transcription, Genetic/drug effects
17.
Immunol Lett ; 240: 1-8, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433399

ABSTRACT

Some COVID-19 patients suffer complications from anti-viral immune responses which can lead to both a dangerous cytokine storm and development of blood-borne factors that render severe thrombotic events more likely. The precise immune response profile is likely, therefore, to determine and predict patient outcomes and also represents a target for intervention. Anti-viral T cell exhaustion in the early stages is associated with disease progression. Dysregulation of T cell functions, which precedes cytokine storm development and neutrophil expansion in alveolar tissues heralds damaging pathology.T cell function, cytokine production and factors that attract neutrophils to the lung can be modified through targeting molecules that can modulate T cell responses. Manipulating T cell responses by targeting the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway could provide the means to control the immune response in COVID-19 patients. During the initial anti-viral response, T cell effector function can be enhanced by delaying anti-viral exhaustion through inhibiting PI3K and Akt. Additionally, immune dysregulation can be addressed by enhancing immune suppressor functions by targeting downstream mTOR, an important intracellular modulator of cellular metabolism. Targeting this signalling pathway also has potential to prevent formation of thrombi due to its role in platelet activation. Furthermore, this signalling pathway is essential for SARS-cov-2 virus replication in host cells and its inhibition could, therefore, reduce viral load. The ultimate goal is to identify targets that can quickly control the immune response in COVID-19 patients to improve patient outcome. Targeting different levels of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signalling pathway could potentially achieve this during each stage of the disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase/metabolism , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/enzymology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Fibrinolytic Agents/therapeutic use , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Molecular Targeted Therapy , Phosphoinositide-3 Kinase Inhibitors/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Load
18.
Cells ; 10(9)2021 09 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403545

ABSTRACT

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


Subject(s)
Brain/blood supply , Cell Movement/drug effects , Estradiol/pharmacology , Gene Expression Profiling , Pericytes/cytology , Cell Movement/genetics , Cell Proliferation/drug effects , Cells, Cultured , Endothelial Cells/drug effects , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects , Humans , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism , Pericytes/drug effects , Pericytes/metabolism , Phosphorylation/drug effects , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism , Receptors, Estrogen/metabolism , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism
19.
Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis ; 1867(12): 166260, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1377661

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection-induced inflammatory responses are largely responsible for the death of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. However, the mechanism by which SARS-CoV-2 triggers inflammatory responses remains unclear. Here, we aimed to explore the regulatory role of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in infected cells and attempted to elucidate the molecular mechanism of SARS-CoV-2-induced inflammation. METHODS: SARS-CoV-2 spike pseudovirions (SCV-2-S) were generated using the spike-expressing virus packaging system. Western blot, mCherry-GFP-LC3 labeling, immunofluorescence, and RNA-seq were performed to examine the regulatory mechanism of SCV-2-S in autophagic response. The effects of SCV-2-S on apoptosis were evaluated by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL), Western blot, and flow cytometry analysis. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was carried out to examine the mechanism of SCV-2-S in inflammatory responses. RESULTS: Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)-mediated SCV-2-S infection induced autophagy and apoptosis in human bronchial epithelial and microvascular endothelial cells. Mechanistically, SCV-2-S inhibited the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway by upregulating intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, thus promoting the autophagic response. Ultimately, SCV-2-S-induced autophagy triggered inflammatory responses and apoptosis in infected cells. These findings not only improve our understanding of the mechanism underlying SARS-CoV-2 infection-induced pathogenic inflammation but also have important implications for developing anti-inflammatory therapies, such as ROS and autophagy inhibitors, for COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Inflammation/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Apoptosis/immunology , Autophagy/physiology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Inflammation/immunology , Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases/metabolism , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism , Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Signal Transduction/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases/metabolism , Vero Cells
20.
Oxid Med Cell Longev ; 2021: 9919466, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1358940

ABSTRACT

Thrombus is considered to be the pathological source of morbidity and mortality of cardiovascular disease and thrombotic complications, while oxidative stress is regarded as an important factor in vascular endothelial injury and thrombus formation. Therefore, antioxidative stress and maintaining the normal function of vascular endothelial cells are greatly significant in regulating vascular tension and maintaining a nonthrombotic environment. Leonurine (LEO) is a unique alkaloid isolated from Leonurus japonicus Houtt (a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)), which has shown a good effect on promoting blood circulation and removing blood stasis. In this study, we explored the protective effect and action mechanism of LEO on human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) after damage by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The protective effects of LEO on H2O2-induced HUVECs were determined by measuring the cell viability, cell migration, tube formation, and oxidative biomarkers. The underlying mechanism of antioxidation of LEO was investigated by RT-qPCR and western blotting. Our results showed that LEO treatment promoted cell viability; remarkably downregulated the intracellular generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), malondialdehyde (MDA) production, and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH); and upregulated the nitric oxide (NO) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in H2O2-induced HUVECs. At the same time, LEO treatment significantly promoted the phosphorylation level of angiogenic protein PI3K, Akt, and eNOS and the expression level of survival factor Bcl2 and decreased the expression level of death factor Bax and caspase3. In conclusion, our findings suggested that LEO can ameliorate the oxidative stress damage and insufficient angiogenesis of HUVECs induced by H2O2 through activating the PI3K/Akt-eNOS signaling pathway.


Subject(s)
Gallic Acid/analogs & derivatives , Oxidative Stress/drug effects , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Cell Movement/drug effects , Cell Survival/drug effects , Gallic Acid/pharmacology , Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells , Humans , Hydrogen Peroxide/pharmacology , Malondialdehyde/metabolism , Medicine, Chinese Traditional , Neovascularization, Physiologic/drug effects , Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III/metabolism , Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases/metabolism , Protective Agents/pharmacology , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism , Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism , Superoxide Dismutase/metabolism
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