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1.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 414, 2021 12 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1556321

ABSTRACT

Azvudine (FNC) is a nucleoside analog that inhibits HIV-1 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). Recently, we discovered FNC an agent against SARS-CoV-2, and have taken it into Phase III trial for COVID-19 patients. FNC monophosphate analog inhibited SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV-OC43 coronavirus with an EC50 between 1.2 and 4.3 µM, depending on viruses or cells, and selective index (SI) in 15-83 range. Oral administration of FNC in rats revealed a substantial thymus-homing feature, with FNC triphosphate (the active form) concentrated in the thymus and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Treating SARS-CoV-2 infected rhesus macaques with FNC (0.07 mg/kg, qd, orally) reduced viral load, recuperated the thymus, improved lymphocyte profiles, alleviated inflammation and organ damage, and lessened ground-glass opacities in chest X-ray. Single-cell sequencing suggested the promotion of thymus function by FNC. A randomized, single-arm clinical trial of FNC on compassionate use (n = 31) showed that oral FNC (5 mg, qd) cured all COVID-19 patients, with 100% viral ribonucleic acid negative conversion in 3.29 ± 2.22 days (range: 1-9 days) and 100% hospital discharge rate in 9.00 ± 4.93 days (range: 2-25 days). The side-effect of FNC is minor and transient dizziness and nausea in 16.12% (5/31) patients. Thus, FNC might cure COVID-19 through its anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity concentrated in the thymus, followed by promoted immunity.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , Azides/administration & dosage , COVID-19/drug therapy , Deoxycytidine/analogs & derivatives , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Thymus Gland , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Animals , Coronavirus OC43, Human/metabolism , Deoxycytidine/administration & dosage , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Rats , Thymus Gland/metabolism , Thymus Gland/virology
3.
Biomed Pharmacother ; 141: 111835, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1271574

ABSTRACT

Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) produced by mast cells is involved in allergic inflammation pathogenesis. Chloroquine (CQ) is known to be an anti-malarial drug; however, additional protective functions of CQ have been discovered. This study aims to clarify an anti-inflammatory effect of CQ through modulating TSLP levels using an in vitro model of phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) + A23187-activated human mast cell line (HMC-1) and an in vivo model of PMA-irritated ear edema. CQ treatment reduced the production and mRNA expression levels of TSLP in activated HMC-1 cells. CQ down-regulated caspase-1 (CASP1), MAPKs, and NF-κB levels enhanced by stimulation with PMA + A23187. Moreover, ear thickness in ear edema was suppressed following CQ treatment. CQ decreased CASP1 and NF-κB levels in the ear tissue. TSLP levels in the ear tissue and serum were reduced following CQ treatment. Collectively, the above findings elucidate that CQ inhibits the pro-inflammatory mechanisms of TSLP via the down-regulation of distinct intracellular signaling cascade in mast cells. Therefore, CQ may have protective roles against TSLP-mediated inflammatory disorders.


Subject(s)
Caspase 1/drug effects , Caspase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Chloroquine/pharmacology , Cytokines/biosynthesis , Mast Cells/drug effects , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Stromal Cells/metabolism , Thymus Gland/metabolism , Animals , Calcimycin/pharmacology , Cell Line , Ear Diseases/drug therapy , Edema/drug therapy , Humans , MAP Kinase Signaling System/drug effects , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred ICR , NF-kappa B/drug effects , RNA, Messenger/biosynthesis , RNA, Messenger/genetics , Stromal Cells/drug effects , Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate/pharmacology , Thymus Gland/drug effects
4.
Clin Infect Dis ; 71(16): 2150-2157, 2020 11 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1153175

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Thymosin alpha 1 (Tα1) had been used in the treatment of viral infections as an immune response modifier for many years. However, clinical benefits and the mechanism of Tα1 treatment for COVID-19 patients are still unclear. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the clinical outcomes of 76 severe COVID-19 cases admitted to 2 hospitals in Wuhan, China, from December 2019 to March 2020. The thymus output in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from COVID-19 patients was measured by T-cell receptor excision circles (TRECs). The levels of T-cell exhaustion markers programmed death-1 (PD-1) and T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain protein 3 (Tim-3) on CD8+ T cells were detected by flow cytometry. RESULTS: Compared with the untreated group, Tα1 treatment significantly reduced the mortality of severe COVID-19 patients (11.11% vs 30.00%, P = .044). Tα1 enhanced blood T-cell numbers in COVID-19 patients with severe lymphocytopenia. Under such conditions, Tα1 also successfully restored CD8+ and CD4+ T-cell numbers in elderly patients. Meanwhile, Tα1 reduced PD-1 and Tim-3 expression on CD8+ T cells from severe COVID-19 patients compared with untreated cases. It is of note that restoration of lymphocytopenia and acute exhaustion of T cells were roughly parallel to the rise of TRECs. CONCLUSIONS: Tα1 treatment significantly reduced mortality of severe COVID-19 patients. COVID-19 patients with counts of CD8+ T cells or CD4+ T cells in circulation less than 400/µL or 650/µL, respectively, gained more benefits from Tα1. Tα1 reversed T-cell exhaustion and recovered immune reconstitution through promoting thymus output during severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Lymphopenia/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Thymalfasin/metabolism , Adult , Aged , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Thymalfasin/genetics , Thymus Gland/metabolism
5.
Stem Cell Rev Rep ; 17(1): 285-290, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1082312

ABSTRACT

The paper presents the results of a standard and complex treatment method using the peptide drug thymus thymalin in patients with COVID-19. One of the mechanisms of the immunomodulatory effect of thymalin is considered to be the ability of this peptide drug to influence the differentiation of human hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). It was found that, as a result of standard treatment, patients in the control group showed a decrease in the concentration of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6, C-reactive protein, D-dimer. The addition of thymalin to standard therapy accelerated the decline in both these indicators and the indicators of the T cell system. This has helped reduce the risk of blood clots in COVID-19 patients. The revealed properties of the thymus peptide preparation are the rationale for its inclusion in the complex treatment of coronavirus infection. Peptideswith potential biological activity against SARS-CoV-2 virus [29]. Note: Nitrogen atoms are shown in blue, oxygen atoms - in red, carbon atoms - in gray, hydrogen atoms - in white, and phosphorus atoms - in yellow.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Differentiation/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Thymus Hormones/therapeutic use , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cytokines/genetics , Hematopoiesis/drug effects , Hematopoietic Stem Cells/drug effects , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Thymus Gland/metabolism , Thymus Hormones/genetics , Thymus Hormones/metabolism
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