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1.
Indian J Med Res ; 155(1): 178-188, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2201748

ABSTRACT

Background & objectives: Autopsy study has been considered the gold standard method for studying the effects of any disease on the body. Since COVID-19 is a novel disease, autopsy is crucial to understand its pathophysiology. This study was conducted to analyze the microscopic and macroscopic findings of various organs in COVID-19 and to associate those findings with clinical observations and laboratory findings. Methods: Conventional invasive autopsies were performed on 33 patients with COVID-19 from September 7, 2020 to December 23, 2020. All the organs were removed by routine dissection techniques and preserved in 10 per cent formalin. The tissues were processed and stained according to standard practices using haematoxylin-eosin (H & E) and periodic acid-schiff (PAS) stain. Results: The study included 28 males and 5 females with a median age of 61 yr (range 30-90 yr). Massive pulmonary oedema and thrombi in the lungs were the characteristic features macroscopically. On microscopic examination, diffuse alveolar damage in the exudative/proliferative phase was found in 29 (87.88%) cases. Among the other notable microscopic findings were bronchopneumonia and lung abscesses due to secondary bacterial infection (n=17, 51.52%), acute tubular injury (n=21, 63.64%) and thrombi in the lungs, heart, and kidneys. Interpretation & conclusions: COVID-19 primarily affected the respiratory and the renal systems in the vast majority of severely affected patients in our study. We also found signs of hypercoagulability, as evidenced by widespread thrombi in multiple organs, along with a raised d-dimer level and a hyperinflammatory state manifested by elevated inflammatory markers. Our autopsy findings and altered laboratory investigations support the role of immune-mediated cellular injury along with direct virus-mediated cellular damage.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Thrombosis , Autopsy , Female , Humans , India/epidemiology , Lung/pathology , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombosis/pathology
2.
Cells ; 11(19)2022 10 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2065731

ABSTRACT

Here, we aim to describe COVID-19 pathology across different tissues to clarify the disease's pathophysiology. Lungs, kidneys, hearts, and brains from nine COVID-19 autopsies were compared by using antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, macrophages-microglia, T-lymphocytes, B-lymphocytes, and activated platelets. Alzheimer's Disease pathology was also assessed. PCR techniques were used to verify the presence of viral RNA. COVID-19 cases had a short clinical course (0-32 days) and their mean age was 77.4 y/o. Hypoxic changes and inflammatory infiltrates were present across all tissues. The lymphocytic component in the lungs and kidneys was predominant over that of other tissues (p < 0.001), with a significantly greater presence of T-lymphocytes in the lungs (p = 0.020), which showed the greatest presence of viral antigens. The heart showed scant SARS-CoV-2 traces in the endothelium-endocardium, foci of activated macrophages, and rare lymphocytes. The brain showed scarce SARS-CoV-2 traces, prominent microglial activation, and rare lymphocytes. The pons exhibited the highest microglial activation (p = 0.017). Microthrombosis was significantly higher in COVID-19 lungs (p = 0.023) compared with controls. The most characteristic pathological features of COVID-19 were an abundance of T-lymphocytes and microthrombosis in the lung and relevant microglial hyperactivation in the brainstem. This study suggests that the long-term sequelae of COVID-19 derive from persistent inflammation, rather than persistent viral replication.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Thrombosis , Aged , Antigens, Viral , Brain/pathology , Humans , Kidney , Lung/pathology , Macrophages , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes , Thrombosis/pathology
3.
Rinsho Ketsueki ; 63(9): 1233-1241, 2022.
Article in Japanese | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2056364

ABSTRACT

The levels of anti-platelet factor 4 (PF4) antibodies, also known as anti-PF4 or heparin complex antibodies, are used to diagnose heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). In HIT, anti-PF4 antibodies induced by heparin exposure cause thrombocytopenia and thrombosis. However, anti-PF4 antibodies were recently reported to be associated with the development of fatal vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) after adenoviral vector vaccination for coronavirus disease 2019. HIT and VITT are caused by anti-PF4 antibodies and have similar pathological conditions. However, the severity of these conditions differs and the detection sensitivity of their antibodies varies depending on the assays used. Herein, we review HIT and VITT associated with anti-PF4 antibodies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Heparin , Platelet Factor 4 , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic , Thrombocytopenia , Thrombosis , Antibodies , Anticoagulants/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Heparin/adverse effects , Humans , Immunologic Factors , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/complications , Thrombocytopenia/chemically induced , Thrombocytopenia/diagnosis , Thrombosis/etiology , Thrombosis/pathology , Vaccines/adverse effects
5.
Forensic Sci Med Pathol ; 18(4): 516-529, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2007252

ABSTRACT

Clinical features of COVID-19 range from mild respiratory symptoms to fatal outcomes. Autopsy findings are important for understanding COVID-19-related pathophysiology and clinical manifestations. This systematic study aims to evaluate autopsy findings in paediatric cases. We searched PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Database Reviews. We included studies that reported autopsy findings in children with COVID-19. A total of 11 studies (24 subjects) were included. The mean age of patients was 5.9 ± 5.7 years. Grossly, there was pericardial and pleural effusion, hepatosplenomegaly, cardiomegaly, heavy soft lung, enlarged kidney, and enlarged brain. The autopsy findings of the lungs were diffuse alveolar damage (78.3%), fibrin thrombi (43.5%), haemorrhage (30.4%), pneumonia (26%), congestion and oedema (26%), angiomatoid pattern (17.4%), and alveolar megakaryocytes (17.4%). The heart showed interstitial oedema (80%), myocardial foci of band necrosis (60%), fibrin microthrombi (60%), interstitial and perivascular inflammation (40%), and pancarditis (30%). The liver showed centrilobular congestion (60%), micro/macrovesicular steatosis (30%), and arterial/venous thrombi (20%). The kidney showed acute tubular necrosis (75%), congestion (62.5%), fibrin thrombi in glomerular capillaries (37.5%), and nephrocalcinosis, mesangial cell hyperplasia, tubular hyaline/granular casts (25% each). The spleen showed splenitis (71.4%), haemorrhage (71.4%), lymphoid hypoplasia (57.1%), and haemophagocytosis (28.6%). The brain revealed oedema (87.5%), congestion (75%), reactive microglia (62.5%), neuronal ischaemic necrosis (62.5%), meningoencephalitis (37.5%), and fibrin thrombi (25%). SARS-CoV-2 and CD68 were positive by immunohistochemistry in 85.7% and 33.3% cases, respectively. Autopsy findings of COVID-19 in children are variable in all important organs. It may help in better understanding the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Thrombosis , Humans , Child , Infant , Child, Preschool , SARS-CoV-2 , Autopsy , Lung/pathology , Thrombosis/pathology , Fibrin , Necrosis/pathology
6.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 11855, 2022 07 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1960495

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), remains to spread worldwide. COVID-19 is characterized by the striking high mortality in elderly; however, its mechanistic insights remain unclear. Systemic thrombosis has been highlighted in the pathogenesis of COVID-19, and lung microangiopathy in association with endothelial cells (ECs) injury has been reported by post-mortem analysis of the lungs. Here, we experimentally investigated the SARS-CoV-2 infection in cultured human ECs, and performed a comparative analysis for post-infection molecular events using early passage and replicative senescent ECs. We found that; (1) SARS-CoV-2 infects ECs but does not replicate and disappears in 72 hours without causing severe cell damage, (2) Senescent ECs are highly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, (3) SARS-CoV-2 infection alters various genes expression, which could cause EC dysfunctions, (4) More genes expression is affected in senescent ECs by SARS-CoV-2 infection than in early passage ECs, which might causes further exacerbated dysfunction in senescent ECs. These data suggest that sustained EC dysfunctions due to SARS-CoV-2 infection may contribute to the microangiopathy in the lungs, leading to deteriorated inflammation and thrombosis in COVID-19. Our data also suggest a possible causative role of EC senescence in the aggravated disease in elder COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Thrombosis , Aged , Disease Susceptibility/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombosis/pathology
7.
Int J Mol Sci ; 21(15)2020 Jul 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1934096

ABSTRACT

In physiology and pathophysiology the molecules involved in blood cell-blood cell and blood cell-endothelium interactions have been identified. Platelet aggregation and adhesion to the walls belonging to vessels involve glycoproteins (GP), GP llb and GP llla and the GP Ib-IX-V complex. Red blood cells (RBCs) in normal situations have little interaction with the endothelium. Abnormal adhesion of RBCs was first observed in sickle cell anemia involving vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1, α4ß1, Lu/BCAM, and intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-4. More recently RBC adhesion was found to be increased in retinal-vein occlusion (RVO) and in polycythemia vera (PV). The molecules which participate in this process are phosphatidylserine and annexin V in RVO, and phosphorylated Lu/BCAM and α5 laminin chain in PV. The additional adhesion in diabetes mellitus occurs due to the glycated RBC band 3 and the advanced glycation end-product receptors. The multiligand receptor binds advanced glycation end products (AGEs) or S100 calgranulins, or ß-amyloid peptide. This receptor for advanced glycation end products is known as RAGE. The binding to RAGE-activated endothelial cells leads to an inflammatory reaction and a prothrombotic state via NADPH activation and altered gene expression. RAGE blockade is a potential target for drugs preventing the deleterious consequences of RAGE activation.


Subject(s)
Cell Adhesion Molecules/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Erythrocytes/metabolism , Neoplasm Proteins/metabolism , Polycythemia Vera/metabolism , Retinal Vein Occlusion/metabolism , Cell Adhesion , Endothelial Cells/pathology , Erythrocytes/pathology , Glycation End Products, Advanced/metabolism , Humans , Polycythemia Vera/pathology , Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products/metabolism , Retinal Vein Occlusion/pathology , Thrombosis/metabolism , Thrombosis/pathology
8.
Pathol Res Pract ; 236: 154000, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1914927

ABSTRACT

Pulmonary capillary microthrombosis has been proposed as a major pathogenetic factor driving severe COVID-19. Autopsy studies reported endothelialitis but it is under debate if it is caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection of endothelial cells. In this study, RNA in situ hybridization was used to detect viral RNA and to identify the infected cell types in lung tissue of 40 patients with fatal COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein-coding RNA showed a steadily decreasing signal abundance over a period of three weeks. Besides the original virus strain the variants of concern Alpha (B.1.1.7), Delta (B.1.617.2), and Omicron (B.1.1.529) could also be detected by the assay. Viral RNA was mainly detected in alveolar macrophages and pulmonary epithelial cells, while only single virus-positive endothelial cells were observed even in cases with high viral load suggesting that viral infection of endothelial cells is not a key factor for the development of pulmonary capillary microthrombosis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Thrombosis , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Lung/pathology , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Thrombosis/pathology , Tropism
9.
Haematologica ; 107(10): 2445-2453, 2022 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1779916

ABSTRACT

In order to improve the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, there is an urgent need to unravel the pathogenesis of vaccineinduced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), a severe complication of recombinant adenoviral vector vaccines used to prevent COVID-19, and likely due to anti-platelet factor 4 (PF4) IgG antibodies. In this study, we demonstrated that 1E12, a chimeric anti-PF4 antibody with a human Fc fragment, fully mimics the effects of human VITT antibodies, as it activates platelets to a similar level in the presence of platelet factor 4 (PF4). Incubated with neutrophils, platelets and PF4, 1E12 also strongly induces NETosis, and in a microfluidic model of whole blood thrombosis, it triggers the formation of large platelet/leukocyte thrombi containing fibrin(ogen). In addition, a deglycosylated form of 1E12 (DG-1E12), which still binds PF4 but no longer interacts with Fcγ receptors, inhibits platelet, granulocyte and clotting activation induced by human anti-PF4 VITT antibodies. This strongly supports that 1E12 and VITT antibodies recognize overlapping epitopes on PF4. In conclusion, 1E12 is a potentially important tool to study the pathophysiology of VITT, and for establishing mouse models. On the other hand, DG-1E12 may help the development of a new drug that specifically neutralizes the pathogenic effect of autoimmune anti-PF4 antibodies, such as those associated with VITT.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic , Thrombocytopenia , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Epitopes , Fibrin , Humans , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments , Immunoglobulin G , Mice , Platelet Activation , Platelet Factor 4/adverse effects , Platelet Factor 4/metabolism , Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic/chemically induced , Receptors, IgG/genetics , Receptors, IgG/metabolism , Thrombocytopenia/chemically induced , Thrombosis/pathology
10.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(7)2022 Mar 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1776246

ABSTRACT

There is accumulating evidence that platelets play roles beyond their traditional functions in thrombosis and hemostasis, e.g., in inflammatory processes, infection and cancer, and that they interact, stimulate and regulate cells of the innate immune system such as neutrophils, monocytes and macrophages. In this review, we will focus on platelet activation in hemostatic and inflammatory processes, as well as platelet interactions with neutrophils and monocytes/macrophages. We take a closer look at the contributions of major platelet receptors GPIb, αIIbß3, TLT-1, CLEC-2 and Toll-like receptors (TLRs) as well as secretions from platelet granules on platelet-neutrophil aggregate and neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation in atherosclerosis, transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) and COVID-19. Further, we will address platelet-monocyte and macrophage interactions during cancer metastasis, infection, sepsis and platelet clearance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Thrombosis , Blood Platelets/pathology , Hemostasis , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Inflammation/pathology , Neutrophils/pathology , Platelet Activation , Thrombosis/pathology
11.
Front Immunol ; 13: 861245, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775684

ABSTRACT

Pregnancy can be defined a vascular event upon endocrine control. In the human hemo-chorial placentation the chorionic villi penetrate the wall of the uterine spiral arteries, to provide increasing amounts of nutrients and oxygen for optimal fetal growth. In any physiological pregnancy the natural maternal response is of a Th1 inflammatory type, aimed at avoiding blood loss through the arteriolar wall openings. The control of the vascular function, during gestation as in any other condition, is achieved through the action of two main types of prostanoids: prostaglandin E2 and thromboxane on the one hand (for vasoconstriction and coagulation), prostacyclin on the other (for vasodilation and blood fluidification). The control of the maternal immune response is upon the responsibility of the fetus itself. Indeed, the chorionic villi are able to counteract the natural maternal response, thus changing the inflammatory Th1 type into the anti-inflammatory Th2. Clinical and experimental research in the past half century address to inflammation as the leading cause of abortion, pregnancy loss, premature delivery and related pulmonary, cerebral, intestinal fetal syndromes. Increased level of Interleukin 6, Interleukin 1-beta, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alfa, Interferon-gamma, are some among the well-known markers of gestational inflammation. On the other side, COVID-19 pneumonia is a result of extensive inflammation induced by viral replication within the cells of the respiratory tract. As it may happen in the uterine arteries in the absence of an effective fetal control, viral pneumonia triggers pulmonary vascular coagulation. The cytokines involved in the process are the same as those in gestational inflammation. As the fetus breathes throughout the placenta, fetal death from placental thrombosis is similar to adult death from pulmonary thrombosis. Preventing and counteracting inflammation is mandatory in both conditions. The most relevant literature dealing with the above-mentioned concepts is reviewed in the present article.


Subject(s)
Abortion, Spontaneous , COVID-19 , Thrombosis , Abortion, Spontaneous/pathology , Adult , Cytokines , Female , Humans , Inflammation/pathology , Placenta/pathology , Pregnancy , Thrombosis/pathology
12.
J Cutan Pathol ; 49(9): 791-794, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1774773

ABSTRACT

During the 2020 coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, several cutaneous lesions were identified, including pseudo-chilblain, vesicular, urticarial, maculopapular, and livedo/necrosis. A 59-year-old obese man with probable COVID-19 developed painful cyanosis with histopathologic capillary thrombosis of toes, and the cyanosis persisted for nearly 22 months. Shortly after initial exposure to family members with documented SARS-CoV-2, he developed upper respiratory symptoms, yet his anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody and nasal swab RT-PCR tests were repeatedly negative. Two family members were hospitalized and one of them succumbed with documented SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia within 10 days of exposure. Biopsy specimen of the distal toe 16 weeks after initial exposure showed papillary dermal capillary thrombosis with endothelial swelling, telangiectasia, and peri-eccrine lymphocytic infiltrates resembling pernio. Overall, this is the first case of biopsy specimen of "long COVID toe" following presumed SARS-CoV-2 exposure, with a demonstration of thrombotic vasculopathy, toe cyanosis, and pernio-like pathology.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cyanosis , Thrombosis , Toes , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/pathology , Chilblains/pathology , Cyanosis/complications , Cyanosis/pathology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Obesity/complications , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Thrombosis/complications , Thrombosis/pathology , Time Factors , Toes/pathology
13.
Thromb Res ; 213: 179-194, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1768564

ABSTRACT

Platelet-leukocyte crosstalk is commonly manifested by reciprocal links between thrombosis and inflammation. Platelet thrombus acts as a reactive matrix that recruits leukocytes to the injury site where their massive accumulation, activation and migration promote thrombotic events while triggering inflammatory responses. As a life-threatening condition with the associations between inflammation and thrombosis, COVID-19 presents diffuse alveolar damage due to exaggerated macrophage activity and cytokine storms. These events, together with direct intracellular virus invasion lead to pulmonary vascular endothelialitis, cell membranes disruption, severe endothelial injury, and thrombosis. The developing pre-alveolar thrombus provides a hyper-reactive milieu that recruits circulating leukocytes to the injury site where their activation contributes to thrombus stabilization and thrombosis propagation, primarily through the formation of Neutrophil extracellular trap (NET). NET fragments can also circulate and deposit in further distance where they may disseminate intravascular thrombosis in severe cases of disease. Thrombi may also facilitate leukocytes migration into alveoli where their accumulation and activation exacerbate cytokine storms and tissue damage, further complicating the disease. Based on these mechanisms, whether an effective anti-inflammatory protocol can prevent thrombotic events, or on the other hand; efficient antiplatelet or anticoagulant regimens may be associated with reduced cytokine storms and tissue damage, is now of interests for several ongoing researches. Thus shedding more light on platelet-leukocyte crosstalk, the review presented here discusses the detailed mechanisms by which platelets may contribute to the pathogenesis of COVID-19, especially in severe cases where their interaction with leukocytes can intensify both inflammatory state and thrombosis in a reciprocal manner.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Thrombosis , Blood Platelets/metabolism , COVID-19/complications , Cytokine Release Syndrome , Humans , Inflammation/metabolism , Leukocytes/metabolism , Prognosis , Thrombosis/pathology
16.
Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens ; 31(1): 36-46, 2022 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1612725

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Severe COVID-19 disease is often complicated by acute kidney injury (AKI), which may transition to chronic kidney disease (CKD). Better understanding of underlying mechanisms is important in advancing therapeutic approaches. RECENT FINDINGS: SARS-CoV-2-induced endothelial injury initiates platelet activation, platelet-neutrophil partnership and release of neutrophil extracellular traps. The resulting thromboinflammation causes ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury to end organs. Severe COVID-19 induces a lipid-mediator storm with massive increases in thromboxane A2 (TxA2) and PGD2, which promote thromboinflammation and apoptosis of renal tubular cells, respectively, and thereby enhance renal fibrosis. COVID-19-associated AKI improves rapidly in the majority. However, 15-30% have protracted renal injury, raising the specter of transition from AKI to CKD. SUMMARY: In COVID-19, the lipid-mediator storm promotes thromboinflammation, ischemia-reperfusion injury and cytotoxicity. The thromboxane A2 and PGD2 signaling presents a therapeutic target with potential to mitigate AKI and transition to CKD. Ramatroban, the only dual antagonist of the thromboxane A2/TPr and PGD2/DPr2 signaling could potentially mitigate renal injury in acute and long-haul COVID. Urgent studies targeting the lipid-mediator storm are needed to potentially reduce the heavy burden of kidney disease emerging in the wake of the current pandemic.


Subject(s)
Acute Kidney Injury , COVID-19 , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic , Thrombosis , Acute Kidney Injury/etiology , COVID-19/complications , Fibrosis , Humans , Inflammation , Kidney/pathology , Lipids , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombosis/pathology
17.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0262352, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1606851

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: COVID-19 infection has been hypothesized to precipitate venous and arterial clotting events more frequently than other illnesses. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We demonstrate this increased risk of blood clots by comparing rates of venous and arterial clotting events in 4400 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in a large multisite clinical network in the United States examined from April through June of 2020, to patients hospitalized for non-COVID illness and influenza during the same time period and in 2019. RESULTS: We demonstrate that COVID-19 increases the risk of venous thrombosis by two-fold compared to the general inpatient population and compared to people with influenza infection. Arterial and venous thrombosis were both common occurrences among patients with COVID-19 infection. Risk factors for thrombosis included male gender, older age, and diabetes. Patients with venous or arterial thrombosis had high rates of admission to the ICU, re-admission to the hospital, and death. CONCLUSION: Given the ongoing scientific discussion about the impact of clotting on COVID-19 disease progression, these results highlight the need to further elucidate the role of anticoagulation in COVID-19 patients, particularly outside the intensive care unit setting. Additionally, concerns regarding clotting and COVID-19 vaccines highlight the importance of addressing the alarmingly high rate of clotting events during actual COVID-19 infection when weighing the risks and benefits of vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Thrombosis/pathology , Aged , COVID-19/mortality , Cohort Studies , Comorbidity , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , New Jersey , Retrospective Studies , Thrombosis/mortality , United States
18.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(24)2021 Dec 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580687

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 infection is associated with a broad spectrum of presentations, but alveolar capillary microthrombi have been described as a common finding in COVID-19 patients, appearing as a consequence of a severe endothelial injury with endothelial cell membrane disruption. These observations clearly point to the identification of a COVID-19-associated coagulopathy, which may contribute to thrombosis, multi-organ damage, and cause of severity and fatality. One significant finding that emerges in prothrombotic abnormalities observed in COVID-19 patients is that the coagulation alterations are mainly mediated by the activation of platelets and intrinsically related to viral-mediated endothelial inflammation. Beyond the well-known role in hemostasis, the ability of platelets to also release various potent cytokines and chemokines has elevated these small cells from simple cell fragments to crucial modulators in the blood, including their inflammatory functions, that have a large influence on the immune response during infectious disease. Indeed, platelets are involved in the pathogenesis of acute lung injury also by promoting NET formation and affecting vascular permeability. Specifically, the deposition by activated platelets of the chemokine platelet factor 4 at sites of inflammation promotes adhesion of neutrophils on endothelial cells and thrombogenesis, and it seems deeply involved in the phenomenon of vaccine-induced thrombocytopenia and thrombosis. Importantly, the hyperactivated platelet phenotype along with evidence of cytokine storm, high levels of P-selectin, D-dimer, and, on the other hand, decreased levels of fibrinogen, von Willebrand factor, and thrombocytopenia may be considered suitable biomarkers that distinguish the late stage of COVID-19 progression in critically ill patients.


Subject(s)
Blood Platelets/physiology , COVID-19/blood , Thrombosis/pathology , Blood Coagulation , Blood Coagulation Disorders/etiology , Blood Platelets/metabolism , Blood Platelets/virology , COVID-19/metabolism , Cytokine Release Syndrome , Endothelial Cells/pathology , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products , Hemostasis , Humans , Inflammation , Phenotype , Platelet Activation/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Thrombocytopenia/metabolism , Thrombosis/metabolism , Thrombosis/virology
19.
JCI Insight ; 7(2)2022 01 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1571524

ABSTRACT

Acute cardiac injury is prevalent in critical COVID-19 and associated with increased mortality. Its etiology remains debated, as initially presumed causes - myocarditis and cardiac necrosis - have proved uncommon. To elucidate the pathophysiology of COVID-19-associated cardiac injury, we conducted a prospective study of the first 69 consecutive COVID-19 decedents at CUIMC in New York City. Of 6 acute cardiac histopathologic features, presence of microthrombi was the most commonly detected among our cohort. We tested associations of cardiac microthrombi with biomarkers of inflammation, cardiac injury, and fibrinolysis and with in-hospital antiplatelet therapy, therapeutic anticoagulation, and corticosteroid treatment, while adjusting for multiple clinical factors, including COVID-19 therapies. Higher peak erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein were independently associated with increased odds of microthrombi, supporting an immunothrombotic etiology. Using single-nuclei RNA-sequencing analysis on 3 patients with and 4 patients without cardiac microthrombi, we discovered an enrichment of prothrombotic/antifibrinolytic, extracellular matrix remodeling, and immune-potentiating signaling among cardiac fibroblasts in microthrombi-positive, relative to microthrombi-negative, COVID-19 hearts. Non-COVID-19, nonfailing hearts were used as reference controls. Our study identifies a specific transcriptomic signature in cardiac fibroblasts as a salient feature of microthrombi-positive COVID-19 hearts. Our findings warrant further mechanistic study as cardiac fibroblasts may represent a potential therapeutic target for COVID-19-associated cardiac microthrombi.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Heart Injuries , RNA-Seq , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Thrombosis , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Female , Heart Injuries/genetics , Heart Injuries/metabolism , Heart Injuries/pathology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Myocardium/metabolism , Myocardium/pathology , Prospective Studies , Thrombosis/genetics , Thrombosis/metabolism , Thrombosis/pathology
20.
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
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