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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
2.
Cells ; 10(3)2021 03 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1167427

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) caused the global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and particularly exhibits severe symptoms and mortality in elderly individuals. Mounting evidence shows that the characteristics of the age-related clinical severity of COVID-19 are attributed to insufficient antiviral immune function and excessive self-damaging immune reaction, involving T cell immunity and associated with pre-existing basal inflammation in the elderly. Age-related changes to T cell immunosenescence is characterized by not only restricted T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire diversity, accumulation of exhausted and/or senescent memory T cells, but also by increased self-reactive T cell- and innate immune cell-induced chronic inflammation, and accumulated and functionally enhanced polyclonal regulatory T (Treg) cells. Many of these changes can be traced back to age-related thymic involution/degeneration. How these changes contribute to differences in COVID-19 disease severity between young and aged patients is an urgent area of investigation. Therefore, we attempt to connect various clues in this field by reviewing and discussing recent research on the role of the thymus and T cells in COVID-19 immunity during aging (a synergistic effect of diminished responses to pathogens and enhanced responses to self) impacting age-related clinical severity of COVID-19. We also address potential combinational strategies to rejuvenate multiple aging-impacted immune system checkpoints by revival of aged thymic function, boosting peripheral T cell responses, and alleviating chronic, basal inflammation to improve the efficiency of anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunity and vaccination in the elderly.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Cellular Senescence/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Thymus Gland/immunology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Aging/immunology , Aging/pathology , Autoimmunity , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/physiopathology , Humans , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Thymus Gland/drug effects , Thymus Gland/physiopathology , Thymus Gland/virology
3.
Hum Vaccin Immunother ; 17(3): 638-643, 2021 03 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-872898

ABSTRACT

The thymus is a largely neglected organ but plays a significant role in the regulation of adaptive immune responses. The effect of aging on the thymus and immune senescence is well established, and the resulting inflammaging is found to be implicated in the development of many chronic diseases including atherosclerosis, hypertension and type 2 diabetes. Both aging and diseases of inflammaging are associated with severe COVID-19 disease, and a dysfunctional thymus may be a predisposing factor. In addition, insults on the thymus during childhood may lead to abnormal thymic function and may explain severe COVID-19 disease among younger individuals; therefore, measurement of thymic function may assist COVID-19 care. Those with poor thymic function may be treated prophylactically with convalescent serum or recombinant antibodies, and they may respond better to high-dose or adjuvanted COVID-19 vaccines. Treatments inducing thymic regeneration may improve patients' overall health and may be incorporated in COVID-19 management.


Subject(s)
Antibodies/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , Thymus Gland/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Humans , Inflammation/drug therapy , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/virology , Severity of Illness Index , Thymus Gland/virology
4.
Can J Microbiol ; 67(1): 23-28, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-637554

ABSTRACT

Understanding the pathogenesis of certain viral agents is essential for developing new treatments and obtaining a clinical cure. With the onset of the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic in the beginning of 2020, a rush to conduct studies and develop drugs has led to the publication of articles that seek to address knowledge gaps and contribute to the global scientific research community. There are still no reports on the infectivity or repercussions of SARS-CoV-2 infection on the central lymphoid organ, the thymus, nor on thymocytes or thymic epithelial cells. In this brief review, we present a hypothesis about lymphopenia observed in SARS patients and the probable pathological changes that the thymus may undergo due to this new virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/immunology , Lymphopenia/complications , Thymus Gland/virology , Animals , Humans , Lymphopenia/immunology , Lymphopenia/virology , Mice , Models, Immunological , Pandemics , Thymus Gland/immunology
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