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2.
Front Immunol ; 12: 714027, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581346

ABSTRACT

In the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) health crisis, one major challenge is to identify the susceptibility factors of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) in order to adapt the recommendations for populations, as well as to reduce the risk of COVID-19 development in the most vulnerable people, especially patients with chronic respiratory diseases such as cystic fibrosis (CF). Airway epithelial cells (AECs) play a critical role in the modulation of both immune responses and COVID-19 severity. SARS-CoV-2 infects the airway through the receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, and a host protease, transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2), plays a major role in SARS-CoV-2 infectivity. Here, we show that Pseudomonas aeruginosa increases TMPRSS2 expression, notably in primary AECs with deficiency of the ion channel CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). Further, we show that the main component of P. aeruginosa flagella, the protein flagellin, increases TMPRSS2 expression in primary AECs and Calu-3 cells, through activation of Toll-like receptor-5 and p38 MAPK. This increase is particularly seen in Calu-3 cells deficient for CFTR and is associated with an intracellular increased level of SARS-CoV-2 infection, however, with no effect on the amount of virus particles released. Considering the urgency of the COVID-19 health crisis, this result may be of clinical significance for CF patients, who are frequently infected with and colonized by P. aeruginosa during the course of CF and might develop COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Cystic Fibrosis , Flagellin/metabolism , Pseudomonas Infections/complications , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Bacterial Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/complications , Cells, Cultured , Humans , Pseudomonas aeruginosa , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism
3.
Front Immunol ; 12: 743890, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581344

ABSTRACT

Background: Both anti-viral and anti-inflammatory bronchial effects are warranted to treat viral infections in asthma. We sought to investigate if imiquimod, a TLR7 agonist, exhibits such dual actions in ex vivo cultured human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs), targets for SARS-CoV-2 infectivity. Objective: To investigate bronchial epithelial effects of imiquimod of potential importance for anti-viral treatment in asthmatic patients. Methods: Effects of imiquimod alone were examined in HBECs from healthy (N=4) and asthmatic (N=18) donors. Mimicking SARS-CoV-2 infection, HBECs were stimulated with poly(I:C), a dsRNA analogue, or SARS-CoV-2 spike-protein 1 (SP1; receptor binding) with and without imiquimod treatment. Expression of SARS-CoV-2 receptor (ACE2), pro-inflammatory and anti-viral cytokines were analyzed by RT-qPCR, multiplex ELISA, western blot, and Nanostring and proteomic analyses. Results: Imiquimod reduced ACE2 expression at baseline and after poly(I:C) stimulation. Imiquimod also reduced poly(I:C)-induced pro-inflammatory cytokines including IL-1ß, IL-6, IL-8, and IL-33. Furthermore, imiquimod increased IFN-ß expression, an effect potentiated in presence of poly(I:C) or SP1. Multiplex mRNA analysis verified enrichment in type-I IFN signaling concomitant with suppression of cytokine signaling pathways induced by imiquimod in presence of poly(I:C). Exploratory proteomic analyses revealed potentially protective effects of imiquimod on infections. Conclusion: Imiquimod triggers viral resistance mechanisms in HBECs by decreasing ACE2 and increasing IFN-ß expression. Additionally, imiquimod improves viral infection tolerance by reducing viral stimulus-induced epithelial cytokines involved in severe COVID-19 infection. Our imiquimod data highlight feasibility of producing pluripotent drugs potentially suited for anti-viral treatment in asthmatic subjects.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Asthma , COVID-19 , Imiquimod/pharmacology , Interferon-beta/drug effects , Respiratory Mucosa/drug effects , Adjuvants, Immunologic/pharmacology , Adult , Aged , Bronchi/drug effects , Bronchi/immunology , Bronchi/virology , Cells, Cultured , Female , Humans , Interferon-beta/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Viruses ; 13(12)2021 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580425

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein mediates attachment of the virus to the host cell receptor and fusion between the virus and the cell membrane. The S1 subunit of the spike glycoprotein (S1 protein) contains the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor binding domain. The SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern contain mutations in the S1 subunit. The spike protein is the primary target of neutralizing antibodies generated following infection, and constitutes the viral component of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines. METHODS: Therefore, in this work we assessed the effect of exposure (24 h) to 10 nM SARS-CoV-2 recombinant S1 protein on physiologically relevant human bronchial (bro) and alveolar (alv) lung mucosa models cultured at air-liquid interface (ALI) (n = 6 per exposure condition). Corresponding sham exposed samples served as a control. The bro-ALI model was developed using primary bronchial epithelial cells and the alv-ALI model using representative type II pneumocytes (NCI-H441). RESULTS: Exposure to S1 protein induced the surface expression of ACE2, toll like receptor (TLR) 2, and TLR4 in both bro-ALI and alv-ALI models. Transcript expression analysis identified 117 (bro-ALI) and 97 (alv-ALI) differentially regulated genes (p ≤ 0.01). Pathway analysis revealed enrichment of canonical pathways such as interferon (IFN) signaling, influenza, coronavirus, and anti-viral response in the bro-ALI. Secreted levels of interleukin (IL) 4 and IL12 were significantly (p < 0.05) increased, whereas IL6 decreased in the bro-ALI. In the case of alv-ALI, enriched terms involving p53, APRIL (a proliferation-inducing ligand) tight junction, integrin kinase, and IL1 signaling were identified. These terms are associated with lung fibrosis. Further, significantly (p < 0.05) increased levels of secreted pro-inflammatory cytokines IFNγ, IL1ꞵ, IL2, IL4, IL6, IL8, IL10, IL13, and tumor necrosis factor alpha were detected in alv-ALI, whereas IL12 was decreased. Altered levels of these cytokines are also associated with lung fibrotic response. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, we observed a typical anti-viral response in the bronchial model and a pro-fibrotic response in the alveolar model. The bro-ALI and alv-ALI models may serve as an easy and robust platform for assessing the pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern at different lung regions.


Subject(s)
Lung/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Bronchi/metabolism , Cytokines/metabolism , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Models, Biological , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Toll-Like Receptor 2/metabolism , Toll-Like Receptor 4/metabolism
5.
Molecules ; 26(21)2021 Nov 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502470

ABSTRACT

The normal function of the airway epithelium is vital for the host's well-being. Conditions that might compromise the structure and functionality of the airway epithelium include congenital tracheal anomalies, infection, trauma and post-intubation injuries. Recently, the onset of COVID-19 and its complications in managing respiratory failure further intensified the need for tracheal tissue replacement. Thus far, plenty of naturally derived, synthetic or allogeneic materials have been studied for their applicability in tracheal tissue replacement. However, a reliable tracheal replacement material is missing. Therefore, this study used a tissue engineering approach for constructing tracheal tissue. Human respiratory epithelial cells (RECs) were isolated from nasal turbinate, and the cells were incorporated into a calcium chloride-polymerized human blood plasma to form a human tissue respiratory epithelial construct (HTREC). The quality of HTREC in vitro, focusing on the cellular proliferation, differentiation and distribution of the RECs, was examined using histological, gene expression and immunocytochemical analysis. Histological analysis showed a homogenous distribution of RECs within the HTREC, with increased proliferation of the residing RECs within 4 days of investigation. Gene expression analysis revealed a significant increase (p < 0.05) in gene expression level of proliferative and respiratory epithelial-specific markers Ki67 and MUC5B, respectively, within 4 days of investigation. Immunohistochemical analysis also confirmed the expression of Ki67 and MUC5AC markers in residing RECs within the HTREC. The findings show that calcium chloride-polymerized human blood plasma is a suitable material, which supports viability, proliferation and mucin secreting phenotype of RECs, and this suggests that HTREC can be a potential candidate for respiratory epithelial tissue reconstruction.


Subject(s)
Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Tissue Engineering/methods , Trachea/transplantation , Cell Differentiation , Cell Proliferation , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelium/metabolism , Feasibility Studies , Humans , Ki-67 Antigen/analysis , Ki-67 Antigen/genetics , Mucin 5AC/analysis , Mucin 5AC/genetics , Mucous Membrane/metabolism , Primary Cell Culture/methods , Respiratory Mucosa/physiology , Trachea/metabolism , Trachea/physiology
6.
mBio ; 11(2)2020 03 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1452919

ABSTRACT

Obesity is associated with increased disease severity, elevated viral titers in exhaled breath, and significantly prolonged viral shed during influenza A virus infection. Due to the mutable nature of RNA viruses, we questioned whether obesity could also influence influenza virus population diversity. Here, we show that minor variants rapidly emerge in obese mice. The variants exhibit increased viral replication, resulting in enhanced virulence in wild-type mice. The increased diversity of the viral population correlated with decreased type I interferon responses, and treatment of obese mice with recombinant interferon reduced viral diversity, suggesting that the delayed antiviral response exhibited in obesity permits the emergence of a more virulent influenza virus population. This is not unique to obese mice. Obesity-derived normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells also showed decreased interferon responses and increased viral replication, suggesting that viral diversity also was impacted in this increasing population.IMPORTANCE Currently, 50% of the adult population worldwide is overweight or obese. In these studies, we demonstrate that obesity not only enhances the severity of influenza infection but also impacts viral diversity. The altered microenvironment associated with obesity supports a more diverse viral quasispecies and affords the emergence of potentially pathogenic variants capable of inducing greater disease severity in lean hosts. This is likely due to the impaired interferon response, which is seen in both obese mice and obesity-derived human bronchial epithelial cells, suggesting that obesity, aside from its impact on influenza virus pathogenesis, permits the stochastic accumulation of potentially pathogenic viral variants, raising concerns about its public health impact as the prevalence of obesity continues to rise.


Subject(s)
Disease Susceptibility , Influenza A virus/physiology , Influenza, Human/etiology , Obesity/complications , Animals , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Influenza, Human/metabolism , Mice , Mutation , Phenotype , RNA, Viral , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , Severity of Illness Index , Virulence , Virus Replication
7.
J Infect Dis ; 224(8): 1357-1361, 2021 10 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493824

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 ) initiates entry into airway epithelia by binding its receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). METHODS: To explore whether interindividual variation in ACE2 abundance contributes to variability in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outcomes, we measured ACE2 protein abundance in primary airway epithelial cultures derived from 58 human donor lungs. RESULTS: We found no evidence for sex- or age-dependent differences in ACE2 protein expression. Furthermore, we found that variations in ACE2 abundance had minimal effects on viral replication and induction of the interferon response in airway epithelia infected with SARS-CoV-2. CONCLUSIONS: Our results highlight the relative importance of additional host factors, beyond viral receptor expression, in determining COVID-19 lung disease outcomes.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Receptors, Coronavirus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/analysis , Biological Variation, Population , Bronchi/cytology , Bronchi/pathology , Bronchi/virology , COVID-19/virology , Epithelial Cells , Female , Humans , Male , Primary Cell Culture , Receptors, Coronavirus/analysis , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/pathology , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , Sex Factors , Virus Internalization
8.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0257784, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440991

ABSTRACT

Drug repurposing has the potential to bring existing de-risked drugs for effective intervention in an ongoing pandemic-COVID-19 that has infected over 131 million, with 2.8 million people succumbing to the illness globally (as of April 04, 2021). We have used a novel `gene signature'-based drug repositioning strategy by applying widely accepted gene ranking algorithms to prioritize the FDA approved or under trial drugs. We mined publically available RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) data using CLC Genomics Workbench 20 (QIAGEN) and identified 283 differentially expressed genes (FDR<0.05, log2FC>1) after a meta-analysis of three independent studies which were based on severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in primary human airway epithelial cells. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) revealed that SARS-CoV-2 activated key canonical pathways and gene networks that intricately regulate general anti-viral as well as specific inflammatory pathways. Drug database, extracted from the Metacore and IPA, identified 15 drug targets (with information on COVID-19 pathogenesis) with 46 existing drugs as potential-novel candidates for repurposing for COVID-19 treatment. We found 35 novel drugs that inhibit targets (ALPL, CXCL8, and IL6) already in clinical trials for COVID-19. Also, we found 6 existing drugs against 4 potential anti-COVID-19 targets (CCL20, CSF3, CXCL1, CXCL10) that might have novel anti-COVID-19 indications. Finally, these drug targets were computationally prioritized based on gene ranking algorithms, which revealed CXCL10 as the common and strongest candidate with 2 existing drugs. Furthermore, the list of 283 SARS-CoV-2-associated proteins could be valuable not only as anti-COVID-19 targets but also useful for COVID-19 biomarker development.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Repositioning/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/methods , Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Epithelium/drug effects , Humans , Respiratory Mucosa/drug effects , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , Respiratory System/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
10.
Viruses ; 13(9)2021 08 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374539

ABSTRACT

Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a host ectopeptidase and the receptor for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, albeit virus-ACE2 interaction goes far beyond viral entry into target cells. Controversial data exists linking viral infection to changes in ACE2 expression and function, which might influence the subsequent induction of an inflammatory response. Here, we tested the significance of soluble ACE2 enzymatic activity longitudinally in nasopharyngeal swabs and plasma samples of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients, along with the induction of inflammatory cytokines. Release of soluble functional ACE2 increases upon SARS-CoV-2 infection in swabs and plasma of infected patients, albeit rapidly decreasing during infection course in parallel with ACE2 gene expression. Similarly, SARS-CoV-2 infection also induced the expression of inflammatory cytokines. These changes positively correlated with the viral load. Overall, our results demonstrate the existence of mechanisms by which SARS-CoV-2 modulates ACE2 expression and function, intracellular viral sensing and subsequent inflammatory response, offering new insights into ACE2 dynamics in the human upper respiratory tract and pointing towards soluble ACE2 levels as a putative early biomarker of infection severity.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Biomarkers , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/blood , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/metabolism , Gene Expression , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Respiratory Mucosa/immunology , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/pathology , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Load
11.
BMC Pulm Med ; 21(1): 275, 2021 Aug 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1370938

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: How cigarette smoke (CS) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affect severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) infection and severity is controversial. We investigated the effects of COPD and CS on the expression of SARS-CoV-2 entry receptor ACE2 in vivo in COPD patients and controls and in CS-exposed mice, and the effects of CS on SARS-CoV-2 infection in human bronchial epithelial cells in vitro. METHODS: We quantified: (1) pulmonary ACE2 protein levels by immunostaining and ELISA, and both ACE2 and/or TMPRSS2 mRNA levels by RT-qPCR in two independent human cohorts; and (2) pulmonary ACE2 protein levels by immunostaining and ELISA in C57BL/6 WT mice exposed to air or CS for up to 6 months. The effects of CS exposure on SARS-CoV-2 infection were evaluated after in vitro infection of Calu-3 cells and differentiated human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs), respectively. RESULTS: ACE2 protein and mRNA levels were decreased in peripheral airways from COPD patients versus controls but similar in central airways. Mice exposed to CS had decreased ACE2 protein levels in their bronchial and alveolar epithelia versus air-exposed mice. CS treatment decreased viral replication in Calu-3 cells, as determined by immunofluorescence staining for replicative double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) and western blot for viral N protein. Acute CS exposure decreased in vitro SARS-CoV-2 replication in HBECs, as determined by plaque assay and RT-qPCR. CONCLUSIONS: ACE2 levels were decreased in both bronchial and alveolar epithelial cells from COPD patients versus controls, and from CS-exposed versus air-exposed mice. CS-pre-exposure potently inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in vitro. These findings urge to investigate further the controversial effects of CS and COPD on SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/enzymology , Cigarette Smoking/metabolism , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Smoke , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Bronchi , Cell Line, Tumor , Female , Humans , Male , Mice , Middle Aged , Patient Acuity , Pulmonary Alveoli , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Tobacco , Virus Replication
12.
Viruses ; 13(8)2021 08 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1355052

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a global pandemic characterized by an exaggerated immune response and respiratory illness. Age (>60 years) is a significant risk factor for developing severe COVID-19. To better understand the host response of the aged airway epithelium to SARS-CoV-2 infection, we performed an in vitro study using primary human bronchial epithelial cells from donors >67 years of age differentiated on an air-liquid interface culture. We demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 infection leads to early induction of a proinflammatory response and a delayed interferon response. In addition, we observed changes in the genes and pathways associated with cell death and senescence throughout infection. In summary, our study provides new and important insights into the temporal kinetics of the airway epithelial innate immune response to SARS-CoV-2 in older individuals.


Subject(s)
Bronchi/immunology , Bronchi/virology , Immunity, Innate , Respiratory Mucosa/immunology , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Aged , Aging/immunology , Bronchi/cytology , Bronchi/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Death/genetics , Cells, Cultured , Cellular Senescence/genetics , Cytokines/biosynthesis , Cytokines/genetics , Epithelial Cells/immunology , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Humans , Inflammation , Interferons/biosynthesis , Interferons/genetics , Male , RNA-Seq , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Signal Transduction/genetics
14.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(14)2021 Jul 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1323266

ABSTRACT

Smoking is a major risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and causes remodeling of the small airways. However, the exact smoke-induced effects on the different types of small airway epithelial cells (SAECs) are poorly understood. Here, using air-liquid interface (ALI) cultures, single-cell RNA-sequencing reveals previously unrecognized transcriptional heterogeneity within the small airway epithelium and cell type-specific effects upon acute and chronic cigarette smoke exposure. Smoke triggers detoxification and inflammatory responses and aberrantly activates and alters basal cell differentiation. This results in an increase of inflammatory basal-to-secretory cell intermediates and, particularly after chronic smoke exposure, a massive expansion of a rare inflammatory and squamous metaplasia associated KRT6A+ basal cell state and an altered secretory cell landscape. ALI cultures originating from healthy non-smokers and COPD smokers show similar responses to cigarette smoke exposure, although an increased pro-inflammatory profile is conserved in the latter. Taken together, the in vitro models provide high-resolution insights into the smoke-induced remodeling of the small airways resembling the pathological processes in COPD airways. The data may also help to better understand other lung diseases including COVID-19, as the data reflect the smoke-dependent variable induction of SARS-CoV-2 entry factors across SAEC populations.


Subject(s)
Airway Remodeling/drug effects , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Cigarette Smoking/adverse effects , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/pathology , Cell Differentiation/drug effects , Cells, Cultured , Cigarette Smoking/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Humans , Neoplasms, Basal Cell/metabolism , Primary Cell Culture , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/etiology , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/metabolism , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/pathology , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/pathology , Smoke , Smoking/adverse effects , Smoking/metabolism
15.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4354, 2021 07 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1315596

ABSTRACT

Understanding how SARS-CoV-2 spreads within the respiratory tract is important to define the parameters controlling the severity of COVID-19. Here we examine the functional and structural consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a reconstructed human bronchial epithelium model. SARS-CoV-2 replication causes a transient decrease in epithelial barrier function and disruption of tight junctions, though viral particle crossing remains limited. Rather, SARS-CoV-2 replication leads to a rapid loss of the ciliary layer, characterized at the ultrastructural level by axoneme loss and misorientation of remaining basal bodies. Downregulation of the master regulator of ciliogenesis Foxj1 occurs prior to extensive cilia loss, implicating this transcription factor in the dedifferentiation of ciliated cells. Motile cilia function is compromised by SARS-CoV-2 infection, as measured in a mucociliary clearance assay. Epithelial defense mechanisms, including basal cell mobilization and interferon-lambda induction, ramp up only after the initiation of cilia damage. Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Syrian hamsters further demonstrates the loss of motile cilia in vivo. This study identifies cilia damage as a pathogenic mechanism that could facilitate SARS-CoV-2 spread to the deeper lung parenchyma.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Cilia/ultrastructure , Mucociliary Clearance/physiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Axoneme , Basal Bodies , Cilia/metabolism , Cilia/pathology , Cricetinae , Cytokines , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Forkhead Transcription Factors/metabolism , Humans , Lung/pathology , Male , Mesocricetus , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/pathology , Virus Replication
16.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(14)2021 Jul 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1314669

ABSTRACT

A large body of evidence shows the harmful effects of cigarette smoke to oral and systemic health. More recently, a link between smoking and susceptibility to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was proposed. COVID-19 is due to infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which uses the receptor ACE2 and the protease TMPRSS2 for entry into host cells, thereby infecting cells of the respiratory tract and the oral cavity. Here, we examined the effects of cigarette smoke on the expression of SARS-CoV-2 receptors and infection in human gingival epithelial cells (GECs). We found that cigarette smoke condensates (CSC) upregulated ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression in GECs, and that CSC activated aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) signaling in the oral cells. ACE2 was known to mediate SARS-CoV-2 internalization, and we demonstrate that CSC treatment potentiated the internalization of SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus in GECs in an AhR-dependent manner. AhR depletion using small interference RNA decreased SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus internalization in CSC-treated GECs compared with control GECs. Our study reveals that cigarette smoke upregulates SARS-CoV-2 receptor expression and infection in oral cells. Understanding the mechanisms involved in SARS-CoV-2 infection in cells of the oral cavity may suggest therapeutic interventions for preventing viral infection and transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cigarette Smoking/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Smoking/adverse effects , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Cigarette Smoking/physiopathology , Disease Susceptibility , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/virology , Gingiva/metabolism , Gingiva/virology , Humans , Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon/genetics , Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon/metabolism , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Smoking/metabolism
17.
Int J Mol Sci ; 21(20)2020 Oct 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1298152

ABSTRACT

Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are pentameric ligand-gated ion channels responsible for rapid neural and neuromuscular signal transmission. Although it is well documented that 16 subunits are encoded by the human genome, their presence in airway epithelial cells (AECs) remains poorly understood, and contribution to pathology is mainly discussed in the context of cancer. We analysed nAChR subunit expression in the human lungs of smokers and non-smokers using transcriptomic data for whole-lung tissues, isolated large AECs, and isolated small AECs. We identified differential expressions of nAChRs in terms of detection and repartition in the three modalities. Smoking-associated alterations were also unveiled. Then, we identified an nAChR transcriptomic print at the single-cell level. Finally, we reported the localizations of detectable nAChRs in bronchi and large bronchioles. Thus, we compiled the first complete atlas of pulmonary nAChR subunits to open new avenues to further unravel the involvement of these receptors in lung homeostasis and respiratory diseases.


Subject(s)
Lung/metabolism , Protein Subunits/metabolism , Receptors, Nicotinic/metabolism , Adult , Age Factors , Cell Cycle , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Protein Subunits/chemistry , Protein Subunits/genetics , Receptors, Nicotinic/chemistry , Receptors, Nicotinic/genetics , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/pathology , Signal Detection, Psychological , Smoking , Transcription, Genetic
18.
Commun Biol ; 4(1): 654, 2021 06 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1253994

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection of human airway epithelium activates genetic programs leading to progressive hyperinflammation in COVID-19 patients. Here, we report on transcriptomes activated in primary airway cells by interferons and their suppression by Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors. Deciphering the regulation of the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the receptor for SARS-CoV-2, is paramount for understanding the cell tropism of SARS-CoV-2 infection. ChIP-seq for activating histone marks and Pol II loading identified candidate enhancer elements controlling the ACE2 locus, including the intronic dACE2 promoter. Employing RNA-seq, we demonstrate that interferons activate expression of dACE2 and, to a lesser extent, the genuine ACE2 gene. Interferon-induced gene expression was mitigated by the JAK inhibitors baricitinib and ruxolitinib, used therapeutically in COVID-19 patients. Through integrating RNA-seq and ChIP-seq data we provide an in-depth understanding of genetic programs activated by interferons, and our study highlights JAK inhibitors as suitable tools to suppress these in bronchial cells.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Interferons/pharmacology , Janus Kinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Transcriptional Activation/drug effects , COVID-19/genetics , Cell Line , Humans , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Respiratory Mucosa/drug effects , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Transcriptome/drug effects
19.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 371, 2021 01 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1242035

ABSTRACT

Vaccines and therapeutics using in vitro transcribed mRNA hold enormous potential for human and veterinary medicine. Transfection agents are widely considered to be necessary to protect mRNA and enhance transfection, but they add expense and raise concerns regarding quality control and safety. We found that such complex mRNA delivery systems can be avoided when transfecting epithelial cells by aerosolizing the mRNA into micron-sized droplets. In an equine in vivo model, we demonstrated that the translation of mRNA into a functional protein did not depend on the addition of a polyethylenimine (PEI)-derived transfection agent. We were able to safely and effectively transfect the bronchial epithelium of foals using naked mRNA (i.e., mRNA formulated in a sodium citrate buffer without a delivery vehicle). Endoscopic examination of the bronchial tree and histology of mucosal biopsies indicated no gross or microscopic adverse effects of the transfection. Our data suggest that mRNA administered by an atomization device eliminates the need for chemical transfection agents, which can reduce the cost and the safety risks of delivering mRNA to the respiratory tract of animals and humans.


Subject(s)
Horses , Nasal Sprays , RNA, Messenger/administration & dosage , Respiratory Mucosa , Animals , Animals, Newborn , Cells, Cultured , Drug Carriers/administration & dosage , Drug Carriers/adverse effects , Drug Carriers/pharmacokinetics , Drug Delivery Systems/adverse effects , Drug Delivery Systems/methods , Drug Delivery Systems/veterinary , Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Female , Lung/drug effects , Lung/metabolism , Nebulizers and Vaporizers/veterinary , Polyethyleneimine/administration & dosage , Polyethyleneimine/chemistry , RNA, Messenger/adverse effects , RNA, Messenger/pharmacokinetics , Respiratory Mucosa/drug effects , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Transcription, Genetic , Transfection/methods , Transfection/veterinary , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Vaccines, DNA/adverse effects , Vaccines, DNA/pharmacokinetics
20.
Am J Pathol ; 191(8): 1374-1384, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1240148

ABSTRACT

Patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who are critically ill develop vascular complications characterized by thrombosis of small, medium, and large vessels. Dysfunction of the vascular endothelium due to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has been implicated in the pathogenesis of the COVID-19 vasculopathy. Although initial reports suggested that endothelial injury was caused directly by the virus, recent studies indicate that endothelial cells do not express angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, the receptor that SARS-CoV-2 uses to gain entry into cells, or express it at low levels and are resistant to the infection. These new findings, together with the observation that COVID-19 triggers a cytokine storm capable of injuring the endothelium and disrupting its antithrombogenic properties, favor an indirect mechanism of endothelial injury mediated locally by an augmented inflammatory reaction to infected nonendothelial cells, such as the bronchial and alveolar epithelium, and systemically by the excessive immune response to infection. Herein we review the vascular pathology of COVID-19 and critically discuss the potential mechanisms of endothelial injury in this disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Cytokine Release Syndrome/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/injuries , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Thrombosis/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Bronchi/metabolism , Bronchi/pathology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/etiology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/pathology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/therapy , Endothelium, Vascular/pathology , Humans , Pulmonary Alveoli/metabolism , Pulmonary Alveoli/pathology , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/pathology , Thrombosis/etiology , Thrombosis/pathology , Thrombosis/therapy
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