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1.
Placenta ; 117: 187-193, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1550030

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Recent evidence supports the - rare - occurrence of vertical transplacental SARS-CoV-2 transmission. We previously determined that placental expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the SARS-CoV-2 receptor, and associated viral cell entry regulators is upregulated by hypoxia. In the present study, we utilized a clinically relevant model of SARS-CoV-2-associated chronic histiocytic intervillositis/massive perivillous fibrin deposition (CHIV/MPFVD) to test the hypothesis that placental hypoxia may facilitate placental SARS-CoV-2 infection. METHODS: We performed a comparative immunohistochemical and/or RNAscope in-situ hybridization analysis of carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX, hypoxia marker), ACE2 and SARS-CoV-2 expression in free-floating versus fibrin-encased chorionic villi in a 20-weeks' gestation placenta with SARS-CoV-2-associated CHIV/MPVFD. RESULTS: The levels of CAIX and ACE2 immunoreactivity were significantly higher in trophoblastic cells of fibrin-encased villi than in those of free-floating villi, consistent with hypoxia-induced ACE2 upregulation. SARS-CoV-2 showed a similar preferential localization to trophoblastic cells of fibrin-encased villi. DISCUSSION: The localization of SARS-CoV-2 to hypoxic, fibrin-encased villi in this placenta with CHIV/MPVFD suggests placental infection and, therefore, transplacental SARS-CoV-2 transmission may be promoted by hypoxic conditions, mediated by ACE2 and similar hypoxia-sensitive viral cell entry mechanisms. Understanding of a causative link between placental hypoxia and SARS-CoV-2 transmittability may potentially lead to the development of alternative strategies for prevention of intrauterine COVID-19 transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Fibrin/analysis , Hypoxia/virology , Placenta/virology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/analysis , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Carbonic Anhydrase IX/analysis , Chorionic Villi/enzymology , Chorionic Villi/virology , Female , Gestational Age , Histiocytes/pathology , Humans , Hypoxia/pathology , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Necrosis/virology , Placenta/chemistry , Placenta/pathology , Pregnancy , Stillbirth , Trophoblasts/enzymology , Trophoblasts/virology
2.
Bull Exp Biol Med ; 172(1): 85-89, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1520386

ABSTRACT

We performed a comparative morphological analysis of placental villi in parturient women with mild and moderate COVID-19 infection. The area and perimeter of terminal villi, their capillaries, and syncytiotrophoblast were assessed on immunohistochemical preparations with antibodies to CD31 using an image analysis system; the parameters of fetal vascular component in the placental villi were also assessed. Changes in the studied parameters differed in parturient women with mild and moderate COVID-19 infection. The observed increase in the total perimeter with a simultaneous decrease in the total capillary area and the degree of vascularization of the placental villi in parturient women with COVID-19 indicates impairment of circulation in the fetal compartment and the development of placental hypoxia, which can be the cause of unfavorable neonatal outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Chorionic Villi/pathology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Trophoblasts/pathology , Adult , COVID-19/virology , Chorionic Villi/blood supply , Chorionic Villi/virology , Female , Fetus , Humans , Immunohistochemistry , Parturition/physiology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Severity of Illness Index , Trophoblasts/virology
3.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(12): 100456, 2021 12 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500334

ABSTRACT

The ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic continues to lead to high morbidity and mortality. During pregnancy, severe maternal and neonatal outcomes and placental pathological changes have been described. We evaluate SARS-CoV-2 infection at the maternal-fetal interface using precision-cut slices (PCSs) of human placenta. Remarkably, exposure of placenta PCSs to SARS-CoV-2 leads to a full replication cycle with infectious virus release. Moreover, the susceptibility of placental tissue to SARS-CoV-2 replication relates to the expression levels of ACE2. Viral proteins and/or viral RNA are detected in syncytiotrophoblasts, cytotrophoblasts, villous stroma, and possibly Hofbauer cells. While SARS-CoV-2 infection of placenta PCSs does not cause a detectable cytotoxicity or a pro-inflammatory cytokine response, an upregulation of one order of magnitude of interferon type III transcripts is measured. In conclusion, our data demonstrate the capacity of SARS-CoV-2 to infect and propagate in human placenta and constitute a basis for further investigation of SARS-CoV-2 biology at the maternal-fetal interface.


Subject(s)
Placenta/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Chorionic Villi/virology , Female , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Interferons/metabolism , Placenta/cytology , Placenta/metabolism , Pregnancy , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Trophoblasts/cytology , Trophoblasts/virology , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Virus Release , Virus Replication
4.
Arch Pathol Lab Med ; 145(11): 1328-1340, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1485410

ABSTRACT

CONTEXT.­: SARS-CoV-2 can undergo maternal-fetal transmission, heightening interest in the placental pathology findings from this infection. Transplacental SARS-CoV-2 transmission is typically accompanied by chronic histiocytic intervillositis together with necrosis and positivity of syncytiotrophoblast for SARS-CoV-2. Hofbauer cells are placental macrophages that have been involved in viral diseases, including HIV and Zika virus, but their involvement in SARS-CoV-2 is unknown. OBJECTIVE.­: To determine whether SARS-CoV-2 can extend beyond the syncytiotrophoblast to enter Hofbauer cells, endothelium, and other villous stromal cells in infected placentas of liveborn and stillborn infants. DESIGN.­: Case-based retrospective analysis by 29 perinatal and molecular pathology specialists of placental findings from a preselected cohort of 22 SARS-CoV-2-infected placentas delivered to pregnant women testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 from 7 countries. Molecular pathology methods were used to investigate viral involvement of Hofbauer cells, villous capillary endothelium, syncytiotrophoblast, and other fetal-derived cells. RESULTS.­: Chronic histiocytic intervillositis and trophoblast necrosis were present in all 22 placentas (100%). SARS-CoV-2 was identified in Hofbauer cells from 4 of 22 placentas (18.2%). Villous capillary endothelial staining was positive in 2 of 22 cases (9.1%), both of which also had viral positivity in Hofbauer cells. Syncytiotrophoblast staining occurred in 21 of 22 placentas (95.5%). Hofbauer cell hyperplasia was present in 3 of 22 placentas (13.6%). In the 7 cases having documented transplacental infection of the fetus, 2 (28.6%) occurred in placentas with Hofbauer cell staining positive for SARS-CoV-2. CONCLUSIONS.­: SARS-CoV-2 can extend beyond the trophoblast into the villous stroma, involving Hofbauer cells and capillary endothelial cells, in a small number of infected placentas. Most cases of SARS-CoV-2 transplacental fetal infection occur without Hofbauer cell involvement.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Macrophages/virology , Placenta/virology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adult , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Cell Proliferation , Endothelium/pathology , Endothelium/virology , Female , Humans , Hyperplasia/pathology , Hyperplasia/virology , Infant, Newborn , Macrophages/pathology , Macrophages/physiology , Male , Placenta/pathology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/immunology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/pathology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Stillbirth , Trophoblasts/pathology , Trophoblasts/virology
5.
Diagn Pathol ; 16(1): 88, 2021 Oct 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1448245

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, is a severe systemic thrombotic syndrome that emerged in 2019, with an ensuing pandemic. To evaluate the impact of this disease on placental tissue and perinatal outcome, histological, immunohistochemical and ultrastructural analyses of placental tissue were performed for five cases of pregnant women with COVID-19. CASE REPORTS: All five pregnant women in this series developed COVID-19 in late pregnancy. Two patients experienced respiratory distress, and computed tomography revealed signs of pneumonia, with bilateral involvement, multiple lobular and subsegmental areas of consolidation and ground-glass opacities. Histological studies of placental tissue revealed the presence of slight signs of maternal vascular underperfusion (MVUs) or foetal vascular underperfusion (FVUs) lesions and mild inflammatory lesions. CD15 immunoreactivity in the placental tissue was low in all cases, demonstrating that in these cases there was not severe foetal hypoxia/asphyxia risk for newborns or distal vascular immaturity. In all cases examined, ultrastructural analyses showed spherical-like coronavirus particles with an electron intermediate-density core as well as projections from the surface as spike-like structures in the syncytiotrophoblasts. At term, all of the women delivered newborns who were negative for SARS-CoV-2 by nasopharyngeal testing in their first day of life. All newborns were exclusively breastfed and were discharged on the 3rd day of life. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, placental patterns in pregnancy due to COVID-19 in the late stage of gestation indicate no evidence of vertical trans-placental SARS-CoV-2 transmission or a significant impact on the perinatal outcome of newborns, in both mild and more severe cases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Pandemics , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Placenta/diagnostic imaging , Placenta/pathology , Placenta/virology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Outcome , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Trophoblasts/pathology , Trophoblasts/virology
6.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(6)2021 Mar 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389393

ABSTRACT

As most recently demonstrated by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, congenital and perinatal infections are of significant concern to the pregnant population as compared to the general population. These outcomes can range from no apparent impact all the way to spontaneous abortion or fetal infection with long term developmental consequences. While some pathogens have developed mechanisms to cross the placenta and directly infect the fetus, other pathogens lead to an upregulation in maternal or placental inflammation that can indirectly cause harm. The placenta is a temporary, yet critical organ that serves multiple important functions during gestation including facilitation of fetal nutrition, oxygenation, and prevention of fetal infection in utero. Here, we review trophoblast cell immunology and the molecular mechanisms utilized to protect the fetus from infection. Lastly, we discuss consequences in the placenta when these protections fail and the histopathologic result following infection.


Subject(s)
Immunity , Placenta/immunology , Placenta/virology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/immunology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , Virus Diseases/immunology , Viruses/immunology , Female , Fetus/immunology , Fetus/virology , Humans , Placenta/pathology , Pregnancy , Trophoblasts/immunology , Trophoblasts/virology
7.
Placenta ; 112: 97-104, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1333705

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Pregnant women with covid-19 are more likely to experience preterm birth. The virus seems to be associated with a wide range of placental lesions, none of them specific. METHOD: We collected cases of Covid-19 maternal infection during pregnancy associated with poor pregnancy outcomes, for which we received the placenta. We studied clinical data and described pathological findings of placenta and post-mortem examination of fetuses. We performed an immunohistochemical study and RT-PCR of SARS-Cov-2 on placenta samples. RESULTS: We report 5 cases of poor fetal outcome, 3 fetal deaths and 2 extreme premature neonates, one with growth restriction, without clinical and biological sign of SARS-Cov-2 infection. All placenta presented massive perivillous fibrin deposition and large intervillous thrombi associated with strong SARS-Cov-2 expression in trophoblast and SARS-CoV-2 PCR positivity in amniotic fluid or on placenta samples. Chronic histiocytic intervillositis was present in 4/5 cases. Placental ultrasound was abnormal and the sFLT1-PIGF ratio was increased in one case. Timing between mothers' infection and the poor fetal outcome was ≤10 days in 4 cases. The massive placental damage are directly induced by the virus whose receptors are expressed on trophoblast, leading to trophoblast necrosis and massive inflammation in villous chamber, in a similar way it occurs in diffuse alveolar damage in adults infected by SARS-Cov-2. DISCUSSION: SARS-Cov-2 can be associated to a rare set of placental lesions which can lead to fetal demise, preterm birth, or growth restriction. Stronger surveillance of mothers infected by SARS-Cov-2 is required.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Placenta Diseases/etiology , Premature Birth/etiology , Stillbirth , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/pathology , Female , Fetal Death/etiology , France , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Male , Perinatal Death/etiology , Placenta/pathology , Placenta/virology , Placenta Diseases/diagnosis , Placenta Diseases/pathology , Placenta Diseases/virology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/diagnosis , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/pathology , Pregnancy Outcome , Premature Birth/pathology , Premature Birth/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Trophoblasts/pathology , Trophoblasts/virology
8.
Pediatr Dev Pathol ; 24(6): 581-584, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1285163

ABSTRACT

Placental infection by SARS-CoV-2 with various pathologic alterations reported. Inflammatory findings, such as extensive perivillous fibrin deposition and intervillous histiocytosis, have been postulated as risk factors for fetal infection by SARS-CoV-2. We describe the placental findings in a case of a 31-year-old mother with SARS-CoV-2 infection who delivered a preterm female neonate who tested negative for SAR-CoV2 infection. Placental examination demonstrated a small for gestational age placenta with extensive intervillous histiocytosis, syncytiotrophoblast karyorrhexis, and diffuse intervillous fibrin deposition. Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated infection of the syncytiotrophoblasts by SARS-CoV-2 inversely related to the presence of intervillous histiocytes and fibrin deposition. Our case demonstrates that despite extensive placental pathology, no fetal transmission of SARS-CoV-2 occurred, as well as postulates a relationship between placental infection, inflammation, and fibrin deposition.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Fibrin/metabolism , Histiocytosis/pathology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adult , COVID-19/virology , Female , Histiocytosis/virology , Humans , Immunohistochemistry , Infant, Newborn , Placenta/pathology , Placenta/virology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , Trophoblasts/pathology , Trophoblasts/virology
10.
J Med Virol ; 93(2): 1038-1044, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196435

ABSTRACT

The full impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on pregnancy remains uncharacterized. Current literature suggests minimal maternal, fetal, and neonatal morbidity and mortality. COVID-19 manifestations appear similar between pregnant and nonpregnant women. We present a case of placental severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus in a woman with mild COVID-19 disease, then review the literature. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction was performed to detect SARS-CoV-2. Immunohistochemistry staining was performed with specific monoclonal antibodies to detect SARS-CoV-2 antigen or to identify trophoblasts. A 29-year-old multigravida presented at 40-4/7 weeks for labor induction. With myalgias 2 days prior, she tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. We demonstrate maternal vascular malperfusion, with no fetal vascular malperfusion, as well as SARS-CoV-2 virus in chorionic villi endothelial cells, and also rarely in trophoblasts. To our knowledge, this is the first report of placental SARS-CoV-2 despite mild COVID-19 disease (no symptoms of COVID-19 aside from myalgias); patient had no fever, cough, or shortness of breath, but only myalgias and sick contacts. Despite her mild COVID-19 disease in pregnancy, we demonstrate placental vasculopathy and presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus across the placenta. Evidence of placental COVID-19 raises concern for placental vasculopathy (potentially leading to fetal growth restriction and other pregnancy complications) and possible vertical transmission-especially for pregnant women who may be exposed to COVID-19 in early pregnancy. This raises important questions of whether future pregnancy guidance should include stricter pandemic precautions, such as screening for a wider array of COVID-19 symptoms, increased antenatal surveillance, and possibly routine COVID-19 testing throughout pregnancy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Placenta/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Antigens, Viral/isolation & purification , COVID-19/classification , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Chorionic Villi/virology , Endothelial Cells/virology , Female , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , Pregnant Women , Trophoblasts/virology
12.
Hum Pathol ; 109: 69-79, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1036691

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was demonstrated in the placenta; however, the data on the prevalence of placental infection and associated histopathology are limited. To identify the frequency and features of SARS-CoV-2 involvement, we performed a clinicopathologic analysis of 75 placental cases from women infected at the time of delivery and 75 uninfected controls. Placental samples were studied with anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunohistochemistry and/or in situ hybridization. Positive results were confirmed by electron microscopy and quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). During delivery, only one woman had symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019, six women reported previous symptoms, and 68 women were asymptomatic. All neonates tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 as per nasopharyngeal swab PCR results. Obstetric histories were unremarkable in 29 of 75 SARS-CoV-2-positive and 8 of 75 SARS-CoV-2-negative women. Placental examination was normal in 12 of 75 infected and 3 of 75 uninfected subjects, respectively. In the remaining cases, placental pathology correlated with obstetric comorbidities without significant differences between SARS-CoV-2-positive and SARS-CoV-2-negative women. SARS-CoV-2 was identified in one placenta of an infected, but asymptomatic, parturient. Viral staining was predominantly localized to the syncytiotrophoblast (STB) which demonstrated marked damage accompanied by perivillous fibrin deposition and mixed intervillositis. A significant decrease of viral titers was detected in the attached umbilical cord compared with the villous parenchyma as per qRT-PCR. SARS-CoV-2 is seldom identified in placentas of infected women. Placental involvement by the virus is characterized by STB damage disrupting the placental barrier and can be seen in asymptomatic mothers without evidence of vertical transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Placenta/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Trophoblasts/pathology , Trophoblasts/virology , Adult , Female , Humans , In Situ Hybridization/methods , Placenta/virology , Pregnancy , RNA, Viral , Trophoblasts/chemistry , Viral Load
13.
Arch Pathol Lab Med ; 145(5): 517-528, 2021 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1006160

ABSTRACT

CONTEXT.­: The number of neonates with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is increasing, and in a few there are reports of intrauterine infection. OBJECTIVE.­: To characterize the placental pathology findings in a preselected cohort of neonates infected by transplacental transmission arising from maternal infection with SARS-CoV-2, and to identify pathology risk factors for placental and fetal infection. DESIGN.­: Case-based retrospective analysis by a multinational group of 19 perinatal specialists of the placental pathology findings from 2 cohorts of infants delivered to mothers testing positive for SARS-CoV-2: live-born neonates infected via transplacental transmission who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 after delivery and had SARS-CoV-2 identified in cells of the placental fetal compartment by molecular pathology, and stillborn infants with syncytiotrophoblast positive for SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS.­: In placentas from all 6 live-born neonates acquiring SARS-CoV-2 via transplacental transmission, the syncytiotrophoblast was positive for coronavirus using immunohistochemistry, RNA in situ hybridization, or both. All 6 placentas had chronic histiocytic intervillositis and necrosis of the syncytiotrophoblast. The 5 stillborn/terminated infants had placental pathology findings that were similar, including SARS-CoV-2 infection of the syncytiotrophoblast, chronic histiocytic intervillositis, and syncytiotrophoblast necrosis. CONCLUSIONS.­: Chronic histiocytic intervillositis together with syncytiotrophoblast necrosis accompanies SARS-CoV-2 infection of syncytiotrophoblast in live-born and stillborn infants. The coexistence of these 2 findings in all placentas from live-born infants acquiring their infection prior to delivery indicates that they constitute a pathology risk factor for transplacental fetal infection. Potential mechanisms of infection of the placenta and fetus with SARS-CoV-2, and potential future studies, are discussed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Chorionic Villi/pathology , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Placenta Diseases/virology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , Stillbirth , Trophoblasts/pathology , Adult , COVID-19/pathology , Chorionic Villi/virology , Chronic Disease , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Male , Necrosis , Placenta Diseases/pathology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/pathology , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , Trophoblasts/virology
14.
Viruses ; 12(11)2020 11 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-927534

ABSTRACT

The mechanism(s) by which neonates testing positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) acquire their infection has been largely unknown. Transmission of the etiological agent, SARS-CoV-2, from mother to infant has been suspected but has been difficult to confirm. This communication summarizes the spectrum of pathology findings from pregnant women with COVID-19 based upon the infection status of their infants and addresses the potential interpretation of these results in terms of the effects of SARS-CoV-2 on the placenta and the pathophysiology of maternal-fetal infection. Placentas from pregnant women with COVID-19 and uninfected neonates show significant variability in the spectrum of pathology findings. In contrast, placentas from infected maternal-neonatal dyads are characterized by the finding of mononuclear cell inflammation of the intervillous space, termed chronic histiocytic intervillositis, together with syncytiotrophoblast necrosis. These placentas show prominent positivity of syncytiotrophoblast by SARS-CoV-2, fulfilling the published criteria for transplacental viral transmission as confirmed in fetal cells through identification of viral antigens by immunohistochemistry or viral nucleic acid using RNA in situ hybridization. The co-occurrence of chronic histiocytic intervillositis and trophoblast necrosis appears to be a risk factor for placental infection with SARS-CoV-2 as well as for maternal-fetal viral transmission, and suggests a potential mechanism by which the coronavirus can breach the maternal-fetal interface.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Chorionic Villi/pathology , Necrosis/pathology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Trophoblasts/pathology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Chorionic Villi/virology , Female , Fetal Mortality , Fetus , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical/statistics & numerical data , Necrosis/mortality , Necrosis/virology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/mortality , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , RNA, Viral/biosynthesis , Risk Factors , Severity of Illness Index , Survival Analysis , Trophoblasts/virology , Virus Replication
15.
Placenta ; 103: 141-151, 2021 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-894163

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Though a large number of pregnant females have been affected by COVID-19, there is a dearth of information on the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on trophoblast function. We explored in silico, the potential interactions between SARS-CoV-2 proteins and proteins involved in the key functions of placenta. METHODS: Human proteins interacting with SARS-CoV-2 proteins were identified by Gordon et al. (2020). Genes that are upregulated in trophoblast sub-types and stages were obtained by gene-expression data from NCBI-GEO and by text-mining. Genes altered in pathological states like pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes mellitus were also identified. Genes crucial in placental functions thus identified were compared to the SARS-CoV-2 interactome for overlaps. Proteins recurring across multiple study scenarios were analyzed using text mining and network analysis for their biological functions. RESULTS: The entry receptors for SARS-CoV-2 - ACE2 and TMPRSS2 are expressed in placenta. Other proteins that interact with SARS-CoV-2 like LOX, Fibulins-2 and 5, NUP98, GDF15, RBX1, CUL3, HMOX1, PLAT, MFGE8, and MRPs are vital in placental functions like trophoblast invasion and migration, syncytium formation, differentiation, and implantation. TLE3, expressed across first trimester placental tissues and cell lines, is involved in formation of placental vasculature, and is important in SARS-CoV (2003) budding and exit from the cells by COPI vesicles. CONCLUSION: SARS-CoV-2 can potentially interact with proteins having crucial roles in the placental function. Whether these potential interactions identified in silico have effects on trophoblast functions in biological settings needs to be addressed by further in vitro and clinical studies.


Subject(s)
Computational Biology , Pregnancy Proteins/metabolism , Protein Interaction Maps , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Trophoblasts/physiology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Computer Simulation , Datasets as Topic , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Placenta/metabolism , Placenta/physiology , Placenta/virology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/metabolism , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/pathology , Pregnancy Trimester, First/metabolism , Protein Binding , Proteomics/methods , Trophoblasts/metabolism , Trophoblasts/virology , Up-Regulation
16.
Am J Reprod Immunol ; 84(5): e13317, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-694087

ABSTRACT

Since its emergence in Wuhan as a novel coronavirus disease, it has taken only a few months since January 2020 for it to be recognized as a widespread COVID-19 pandemic which has contributed to global health devastation. As pointed out by health experts, it is a once in a century pandemic of our times. Clinical observations so far indicate that the older population and immune compromised individuals, particularly in African American and Hispanic/Latino communities, are at much higher risk for infection with this novel coronavirus. In this regard, pregnancy offers an altered immunity scenario which may allow severe COVID-19 disease. The literature is so far highly conflicting on this issue. This review will offer a conceptual basis for severe or controlled disease and address trepidations for pregnant women associated with COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the comparative context of clinical consequences of other coronaviruses such as SARS and MERS. We will highlight the possible consequences of COVID-19 on the general health of pregnant women as well as its possible effects at the maternal-fetal interface. For the placenta-related pathology, we will focus our discussion on the temporal expression of ACE2 throughout gestation for possible propagation of SARS-CoV-2 in the placenta in infected women and ensuing consequences.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Trophoblasts/physiology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Disease Progression , Female , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Maternal-Fetal Exchange , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , Pregnancy Outcome , Trophoblasts/virology
17.
Placenta ; 99: 45-49, 2020 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-676316

ABSTRACT

Vertical transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and possible induction of pregnancy complications, including miscarriage, fetal malformations, fetal growth restriction and/or stillbirth, are serious concerns for pregnant individuals with COVID-19. According to clinical information, the incidence of vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is limited to date. However, even if a neonate tests negative for SARS-CoV-2, frequent abnormal findings, including fetal and maternal vascular malperfusion, have been reported in cases of COVID-19-positive mothers. Primary receptor of SARS-CoV-2 is estimated as angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). It is highly expressed in maternal-fetal interface cells, such as syncytiotrophoblasts, cytotrophoblasts, endothelial cells, and the vascular smooth muscle cells of primary and secondary villi. However other route of transplacental infection cannot be ruled out. Pathological examinations have demonstrated that syncytiotrophoblasts are often infected with SARS-CoV-2, but fetuses are not always infected. These findings suggest the presence of a placental barrier, even if it is not completely effective. As the frequency and molecular mechanisms of intrauterine vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 have not been determined to date, intensive clinical examinations by repeated ultrasound and fetal heart rate monitoring are strongly recommended for pregnant women infected with COVID-19. In addition, careful investigation of placental samples after delivery by both morphological and molecular methods is also strongly recommended.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical/statistics & numerical data , Placenta , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Antigens, Viral/analysis , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Female , Fetal Diseases/epidemiology , Fetal Diseases/virology , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Maternal-Fetal Exchange , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/analysis , Placenta/blood supply , Placenta/enzymology , Placenta/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Trophoblasts/virology
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