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1.
Crit Care Explor ; 2(9): e0194, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493997

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Coronavirus disease 2019 is caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 virus. Patients admitted to the ICU suffer from microvascular thrombosis, which may contribute to mortality. Our aim was to profile plasma thrombotic factors and endothelial injury markers in critically ill coronavirus disease 2019 ICU patients to help understand their thrombotic mechanisms. DESIGN: Daily blood coagulation and thrombotic factor profiling with immunoassays and in vitro experiments on human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells. SETTING: Tertiary care ICU and academic laboratory. SUBJECTS: All patients admitted to the ICU suspected of being infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, using standardized hospital screening methodologies, had daily blood samples collected until testing was confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 negative on either ICU day 3 or ICU day 7 if the patient was coronavirus disease 2019 positive. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENT AND MAIN RESULTS: Age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects and ICU patients that were either coronavirus disease 2019 positive or coronavirus disease 2019 negative were enrolled. Cohorts were well balanced with the exception that coronavirus disease 2019 positive patients were more likely than coronavirus disease 2019 negative patients to suffer bilateral pneumonia. Mortality rate for coronavirus disease 2019 positive ICU patients was 40%. Compared with healthy control subjects, coronavirus disease 2019 positive patients had higher plasma von Willebrand factor (p < 0.001) and glycocalyx-degradation products (chondroitin sulfate and syndecan-1; p < 0.01). When compared with coronavirus disease 2019 negative patients, coronavirus disease 2019 positive patients had persistently higher soluble P-selectin, hyaluronic acid, and syndecan-1 (p < 0.05), particularly on ICU day 3 and thereafter. Thrombosis profiling on ICU days 1-3 predicted coronavirus disease 2019 status with 85% accuracy and patient mortality with 86% accuracy. Surface hyaluronic acid removal from human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells with hyaluronidase treatment resulted in depressed nitric oxide, an instigating mechanism for platelet adhesion to the microvascular endothelium. CONCLUSIONS: Thrombosis profiling identified endothelial activation and glycocalyx degradation in coronavirus disease 2019 positive patients. Our data suggest that medications to protect and/or restore the endothelial glycocalyx, as well as platelet inhibitors, should be considered for further study.

2.
Vasc Health Risk Manag ; 17: 273-298, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1262578

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 sepsis is characterized by acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) as a consequence of pulmonary tropism of the virus and endothelial heterogeneity of the host. ARDS is a phenotype among patients with multiorgan dysfunction syndrome (MODS) due to disseminated vascular microthrombotic disease (VMTD). In response to the viral septicemia, the host activates the complement system which produces terminal complement complex C5b-9 to neutralize pathogen. C5b-9 causes pore formation on the membrane of host endothelial cells (ECs) if CD59 is underexpressed. Also, viral S protein attraction to endothelial ACE2 receptor damages ECs. Both affect ECs and provoke endotheliopathy. Disseminated endotheliopathy activates two molecular pathways: inflammatory and microthrombotic. The former releases inflammatory cytokines from ECs, which lead to inflammation. The latter initiates endothelial exocytosis of unusually large von Willebrand factor (ULVWF) multimers and FVIII from Weibel-Palade bodies. If ADAMTS13 is insufficient, ULVWF multimers activate intravascular hemostasis of ULVWF path. In activated ULVWF path, ULVWF multimers anchored to damaged endothelial cells recruit circulating platelets and trigger microthrombogenesis. This process produces "microthrombi strings" composed of platelet-ULVWF complexes, leading to endotheliopathy-associated VMTD (EA-VMTD). In COVID-19, microthrombosis initially affects the lungs per tropism causing ARDS, but EA-VMTD may orchestrate more complex clinical phenotypes, including thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP)-like syndrome, hepatic coagulopathy, MODS and combined micro-macrothrombotic syndrome. In this pandemic, ARDS and pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE) have often coexisted. The analysis based on two hemostatic theories supports ARDS caused by activated ULVWF path is EA-VMTD and PTE caused by activated ULVWF and TF paths is macrothrombosis. The thrombotic disorder of COVID-19 sepsis is consistent with the notion that ARDS is virus-induced disseminated EA-VMTD and PTE is in-hospital vascular injury-related macrothrombosis which is not directly  related to viral pathogenesis. The pathogenesis-based therapeutic approach is discussed for the treatment of EA-VMTD with antimicrothrombotic regimen and the potential need of anticoagulation therapy for coinciding macrothrombosis in comprehensive COVID-19 care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Fibrinolytic Agents/therapeutic use , Hemostasis/physiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sepsis/complications , Thrombosis/etiology , COVID-19/complications , Humans , Pandemics , Phenotype , Sepsis/metabolism , Thrombosis/drug therapy , Thrombosis/metabolism
3.
J Hepatol ; 75(3): 647-658, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1228069

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: COVID-19 is associated with liver injury and elevated interleukin-6 (IL-6). We hypothesized that IL-6 trans-signaling in liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs) leads to endotheliopathy (a proinflammatory and procoagulant state) and liver injury in COVID-19. METHODS: Coagulopathy, endotheliopathy, and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) were retrospectively analyzed in a subset (n = 68), followed by a larger cohort (n = 3,780) of patients with COVID-19. Liver histology from 43 patients with COVID-19 was analyzed for endotheliopathy and its relationship to liver injury. Primary human LSECs were used to establish the IL-6 trans-signaling mechanism. RESULTS: Factor VIII, fibrinogen, D-dimer, von Willebrand factor (vWF) activity/antigen (biomarkers of coagulopathy/endotheliopathy) were significantly elevated in patients with COVID-19 and liver injury (elevated ALT). IL-6 positively correlated with vWF antigen (p = 0.02), factor VIII activity (p = 0.02), and D-dimer (p <0.0001). On liver histology, patients with COVID-19 and elevated ALT had significantly increased vWF and platelet staining, supporting a link between liver injury, coagulopathy, and endotheliopathy. Intralobular neutrophils positively correlated with platelet (p <0.0001) and vWF (p <0.01) staining, and IL-6 levels positively correlated with vWF staining (p <0.01). IL-6 trans-signaling leads to increased expression of procoagulant (factor VIII, vWF) and proinflammatory factors, increased cell surface vWF (p <0.01), and increased platelet attachment in LSECs. These effects were blocked by soluble glycoprotein 130 (IL-6 trans-signaling inhibitor), the JAK inhibitor ruxolitinib, and STAT1/3 small-interfering RNA knockdown. Hepatocyte fibrinogen expression was increased by the supernatant of LSECs subjected to IL-6 trans-signaling. CONCLUSION: IL-6 trans-signaling drives the coagulopathy and hepatic endotheliopathy associated with COVID-19 and could be a possible mechanism behind liver injury in these patients. LAY SUMMARY: Patients with SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) infection often have liver injury, but why this occurs remains unknown. High levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and its circulating receptor, which form a complex to induce inflammatory signals, have been observed in patients with COVID-19. This paper demonstrates that the IL-6 signaling complex causes harmful changes to liver sinusoidal endothelial cells and may promote blood clotting and contribute to liver injury.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Endothelial Cells/pathology , Interleukin-6/physiology , Liver Diseases/etiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Blood Coagulation Disorders/etiology , Fibrinogen/analysis , Humans , Interleukin-6/blood , Janus Kinase 1/metabolism , Nitriles , Pyrazoles/pharmacology , Pyrimidines , Retrospective Studies , STAT3 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Signal Transduction/physiology , von Willebrand Factor/analysis
4.
Cells ; 10(2)2021 02 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1094233

ABSTRACT

Clinical manifestations of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in pregnant women are diverse, and little is known of the impact of the disease on placental physiology. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has been detected in the human placenta, and its binding receptor ACE2 is present in a variety of placental cells, including endothelium. Here, we analyze the impact of COVID-19 in placental endothelium, studying by immunofluorescence the expression of von Willebrand factor (vWf), claudin-5, and vascular endothelial (VE) cadherin in the decidua and chorionic villi of placentas from women with mild and severe COVID-19 in comparison to healthy controls. Our results indicate that: (1) vWf expression increases in the endothelium of decidua and chorionic villi of placentas derived from women with COVID-19, being higher in severe cases; (2) Claudin-5 and VE-cadherin expression decrease in the decidua and chorionic villus of placentas from women with severe COVID-19 but not in those with mild disease. Placental histological analysis reveals thrombosis, infarcts, and vascular wall remodeling, confirming the deleterious effect of COVID-19 on placental vessels. Together, these results suggest that placentas from women with COVID-19 have a condition of leaky endothelium and thrombosis, which is sensitive to disease severity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Placenta/blood supply , Placenta/pathology , Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular/etiology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/etiology , Thrombosis/etiology , Adult , Antigens, CD/analysis , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cadherins/analysis , Claudin-5/analysis , Endothelium/blood supply , Endothelium/pathology , Endothelium/virology , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Microvessels/pathology , Microvessels/virology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular/pathology , Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular/virology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/pathology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Thrombosis/pathology , Thrombosis/virology , Young Adult , von Willebrand Factor/analysis
5.
J Thromb Haemost ; 18(12): 3296-3308, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066732

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: It is long established that von Willebrand factor (VWF) is central to hemostasis and thrombosis. Endothelial VWF is stored in cell-specific secretory granules, Weibel-Palade bodies (WPBs), organelles generated in a wide range of lengths (0.5-5.0 µm). WPB size responds to physiological cues and pharmacological treatment, and VWF secretion from shortened WPBs dramatically reduces platelet and plasma VWF adhesion to an endothelial surface. OBJECTIVE: We hypothesized that WPB-shortening represented a novel target for antithrombotic therapy. Our objective was to determine whether compounds exhibiting this activity do exist. METHODS: Using a microscopy approach coupled to automated image analysis, we measured the size of WPB bodies in primary human endothelial cells treated with licensed compounds for 24 hours. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: A novel approach to identification of antithrombotic compounds generated a significant number of candidates with the ability to shorten WPBs. In vitro assays of two selected compounds confirm that they inhibit the pro-hemostatic activity of secreted VWF. This set of compounds acting at a very early stage of the hemostatic process could well prove to be a useful adjunct to current antithrombotic therapeutics. Further, in the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, with a considerable fraction of critically ill COVID-19 patients affected by hypercoagulability, these WPB size-reducing drugs might also provide welcome therapeutic leads for frontline clinicians and researchers.


Subject(s)
Fibrinolytic Agents/pharmacology , Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells/drug effects , Organelle Size/drug effects , Weibel-Palade Bodies/drug effects , Cells, Cultured , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Drug Repositioning , Hemostasis/drug effects , Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells/pathology , Humans , Weibel-Palade Bodies/metabolism , Weibel-Palade Bodies/pathology , von Willebrand Factor/genetics , von Willebrand Factor/metabolism
6.
Clin Appl Thromb Hemost ; 27: 1076029621992128, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1063147

ABSTRACT

Hyperferritinemia is associated with poor outcomes in critically ill patients with sepsis, hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), macrophage activation syndromes (MAS) and coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19). Autopsies of hyperferritinemic patients that succumbed to either sepsis, HLH, MAS or COVID-19 have revealed disseminated microvascular thromboses with von Willebrand factor (VWF)-, platelets-, and/or fibrin-rich microthrombi. It is unknown whether high plasma ferritin concentration actively promotes microvascular thrombosis, or merely serves as a prognostic biomarker in these patients. Here, we show that secretion of VWF from human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) is significantly enhanced by 100,000 ng/ml of recombinant ferritin heavy chain protein (FHC). Ferritin fraction that was isolated by size exclusion chromatography from the plasma of critically ill HLH patients promoted VWF secretion from HUVEC, compared to similar fraction from non-critically ill control plasma. Furthermore, recombinant FHC moderately suppressed the activity of VWF cleaving metalloprotease ADAMTS-13. These observations suggest that a state of marked hyperferritinemia could promote thrombosis and organ injury by inducing endothelial VWF secretion and reducing the ADAMTS-13 activity.


Subject(s)
ADAMTS13 Protein/metabolism , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/complications , Ferritins/metabolism , Hyperferritinemia/blood , Hyperferritinemia/complications , von Willebrand Factor/metabolism , ADAMTS13 Protein/antagonists & inhibitors , COVID-19/immunology , Critical Illness , Ferritins/blood , Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells , Humans , Lymphohistiocytosis, Hemophagocytic/blood , Lymphohistiocytosis, Hemophagocytic/complications , Oxidoreductases/blood , Oxidoreductases/metabolism , Recombinant Proteins/blood , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombosis/blood , Thrombosis/etiology
7.
J Thromb Haemost ; 19(2): 513-521, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-991626

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is characterized by an increased risk of thromboembolic events, with evidence of microthrombosis in the lungs of deceased patients. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the mechanism of microthrombosis in COVID-19 progression. PATIENTS/METHODS: We assessed von Willebrand factor (VWF) antigen (VWF:Ag), VWF ristocetin-cofactor (VWF:RCo), VWF multimers, VWF propeptide (VWFpp), and ADAMTS13 activity in a cross-sectional study of 50 patients stratified according to their admission to three different intensity of care units: low (requiring high-flow nasal cannula oxygenation, n = 14), intermediate (requiring continuous positive airway pressure devices, n = 17), and high (requiring mechanical ventilation, n = 19). RESULTS: Median VWF:Ag, VWF:RCo, and VWFpp levels were markedly elevated in COVID-19 patients and increased with intensity of care, with VWF:Ag being 268, 386, and 476 IU/dL; VWF:RCo 216, 334, and 388 IU/dL; and VWFpp 156, 172, and 192 IU/dL in patients at low, intermediate, and high intensity of care, respectively. Conversely, the high-to-low molecular-weight VWF multimers ratios progressively decreased with increasing intensity of care, as well as median ADAMTS13 activity levels, which ranged from 82 IU/dL for patients at low intensity of care to 62 and 55 IU/dL for those at intermediate and high intensity of care. CONCLUSIONS: We found a significant alteration of the VWF-ADAMTS13 axis in COVID-19 patients, with an elevated VWF:Ag to ADAMTS13 activity ratio that was strongly associated with disease severity. Such an imbalance enhances the hypercoagulable state of COVID-19 patients and their risk of microthrombosis.


Subject(s)
ADAMTS13 Protein/blood , Blood Coagulation , COVID-19/blood , Thrombosis/blood , von Willebrand Factor/metabolism , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , Severity of Illness Index , Thrombosis/diagnosis , Thrombosis/etiology
8.
Med Hypotheses ; 144: 110030, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-612684

ABSTRACT

Novel Coronavirus (SARS CoV-2), the etiological agent for the highly contagious Corona virus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has threatened global health and economy infecting around 5.8 million people and causing over 359,200 deaths (as of 28th May 2020, https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/). The clinical manifestations of infected patients generally range from asymptomatic or mild to severe illness, or even death. The ability of the virus to evade the host immune response have been major reasons for high morbidity and mortality. One of the important clinical observations under conditions of critical illness show increased risk of developing disseminated intravascular coagulation. Molecular mechanisms of how SARS CoV-2 induces such conditions still remain unclear. This report describes the presence of two unique motifs in the SARS CoV-2 nucleocapsid phosphoprotein (N-protein) that can potentially interact with fibrinogen and possibly prothrombin. This is based on an established function of secretory proteins in Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus)-coagulase, Efb (Extracellular fibrinogen binding) and vWBP (von Willebrand factor Binding Protein), which are known to regulate the blood clotting cascade and the functions of host immune response. It is hypothesized that having protein interaction motifs that are homologous to these S. aureus proteins, the N-protein of this virus can mimic their functions, which may in turn play a crucial role in formation of blood clots in the host and help the virus evade host immune response. However, this hypothesis needs to be tested in vitro. Considering the overwhelming increase in the incidence of SARS CoV-2 infection globally, this information may be useful for further investigation and could help in deducing new therapeutic strategies to combat advanced stages of this disease.


Subject(s)
Bacterial Proteins/chemistry , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Fibrinogen/chemistry , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Amino Acid Motifs , COVID-19/metabolism , Humans , Immune System , Models, Theoretical , Peptides/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Staphylococcus aureus/enzymology , von Willebrand Factor/chemistry
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