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1.
Transbound Emerg Dis ; 68(6): 3443-3452, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526424

ABSTRACT

The recently emerged novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, is phylogenetically related to bat coronaviruses (CoVs), specifically SARS-related CoVs from the Eurasian bat family Rhinolophidae. As this human pandemic virus has spread across the world, the potential impacts of SARS-CoV-2 on native North American bat populations are unknown, as is the ability of North American bats to serve as reservoirs or intermediate hosts able to transmit the virus to humans or to other animal species. To help determine the impacts of the pandemic virus on North American bat populations, we experimentally challenged big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) with SARS-CoV-2 under BSL-3 conditions. We inoculated the bats both oropharyngeally and nasally, and over the ensuing three weeks, we measured infectivity, pathology, virus concentrations in tissues, oral and rectal virus excretion, virus transmission, and clinical signs of disease. We found no evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in any examined bat, including no viral excretion, no transmission, no detectable virus in tissues, and no signs of disease or pathology. Based on our findings, it appears that big brown bats are resistant to infection with the SARS-CoV-2. The potential susceptibility of other North American bat species to SARS-CoV-2 remains to be investigated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chiroptera , Coronaviridae , Animals , COVID-19/veterinary , Humans , North America/epidemiology , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Front Pharmacol ; 11: 579330, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389228

ABSTRACT

The Syrian golden hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) has recently been demonstrated as a clinically relevant animal model for SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, lack of knowledge about the tissue-specific expression pattern of various proteins in these animals and the unavailability of reagents like antibodies against this species hampers these models' optimal use. The major objective of our current study was to analyze the tissue-specific expression pattern of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, a proven functional receptor for SARS-CoV-2 in different organs of the hamster. Using two different antibodies (MA5-32307 and AF933), we have conducted immunoblotting, immunohistochemistry, and immunofluorescence analysis to evaluate the ACE2 expression in different tissues of the hamster. Further, at the mRNA level, the expression of Ace2 in tissues was evaluated through RT-qPCR analysis. Both the antibodies detected expression of ACE2 in kidney, small intestine, tongue, and liver. Epithelium of proximal tubules of kidney and surface epithelium of ileum expresses a very high amount of this protein. Surprisingly, analysis of stained tissue sections showed no detectable expression of ACE2 in the lung or tracheal epithelial cells. Similarly, all parts of the large intestine were negative for ACE2 expression. Analysis of tissues from different age groups and sex didn't show any obvious difference in ACE2 expression pattern or level. Together, our findings corroborate some of the earlier reports related to ACE2 expression patterns in human tissues and contradict others. We believe that this study's findings have provided evidence that demands further investigation to understand the predominant respiratory pathology of SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease.

3.
Front Mol Biosci ; 7: 568954, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389212

ABSTRACT

Because ACE2 is a host cell receptor of the SARS-CoV-2, an investigation of ACE2 expression in normal and virus-infected human tissues is crucial for understanding the mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 infection. We identified pathways associated with ACE2 expression and gene co-expression networks of ACE2 in pan-tissue based on the gene expression profiles in normal human tissues. We found that the pathways significantly associated with ACE2 upregulation were mainly involved in immune, stromal signature, metabolism, cell growth and proliferation, and cancer and other diseases. The number of genes having a significant positive expression correlation with ACE2 in females far exceeded that in males. The estrogen receptors (ESR1 and ESR2) and androgen receptor (AR) genes had a significant positive expression correlation with ACE2. Meanwhile, the enrichment levels of immune cells were positively associated with the expression levels of ESR1 and ESR2, while they were inversely associated with the expression levels of AR in pan-tissue and multiple individual tissues. It suggests that females are likely to have a more robust immune defense system against SARS-CoV-2 than males. ACE2 was upregulated in SARS-CoV-2-infected tissues relative to normal tissues and in SARS-CoV-2-infected males relative to females, while its expression levels had no significant difference between healthy females and males. Numerous immune-related pathways were highly enriched in SARS-CoV-2-infected males relative to females. These data indicate that males are more susceptible and more likely to have an excessive immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection than females. This study furnishes potentially cues explaining why females have better clinical outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infections than males and warrant further investigation for understanding the mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

5.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(2): e503-e512, 2021 07 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1315661

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is primarily an acute respiratory tract infection. Distinctively, a substantial proportion of COVID-19 patients develop olfactory dysfunction. Especially in young patients, loss of smell can be the first or only symptom. The roles of inflammatory obstruction of the olfactory clefts, inflammatory cytokines affecting olfactory neuronal function, destruction of olfactory neurons or their supporting cells, and direct invasion of olfactory bulbs in causing olfactory dysfunction are uncertain. METHODS: We investigated the location for the pathogenesis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) from the olfactory epithelium (OE) to the olfactory bulb in golden Syrian hamsters. RESULTS: After intranasal inoculation with SARS-CoV-2, inflammatory cell infiltration and proinflammatory cytokine/chemokine responses were detected in the nasal turbinate tissues. The responses peaked between 2 and 4 days postinfection, with the highest viral load detected at day 2 postinfection. In addition to the pseudo-columnar ciliated respiratory epithelial cells, SARS-CoV-2 viral antigens were also detected in the mature olfactory sensory neurons labeled by olfactory marker protein, in the less mature olfactory neurons labeled by neuron-specific class III ß-tubulin at the more basal position, and in the sustentacular cells, resulting in apoptosis and severe destruction of the OE. During the entire course of infection, SARS-CoV-2 viral antigens were not detected in the olfactory bulb. CONCLUSIONS: In addition to acute inflammation at the OE, infection of mature and immature olfactory neurons and the supporting sustentacular cells by SARS-CoV-2 may contribute to the unique olfactory dysfunction related to COVID-19, which is not reported with SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Olfactory Receptor Neurons , Animals , Cricetinae , Humans , Mesocricetus , Olfactory Mucosa , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Cell Biosci ; 11(1): 110, 2021 Jun 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1268191

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a tremendous impact on humanity. Although COVID-19 vaccines are showing promising results, they are not 100% effective and resistant mutant SARS-CoV-2 strains are on the rise. To successfully fight against SARS-CoV-2 and prepare for future coronavirus outbreaks, it is essential to understand SARS-CoV-2 protein functions, their host interactions, and how these processes convey pathogenicity at host tissue, organ and systemic levels. In vitro models are valuable but lack the physiological context of a whole organism. Current animal models for SARS-CoV-2 research are exclusively mammals, with the intrinsic limitations of long reproduction times, few progeny, ethical concerns and high maintenance costs. These limitations make them unsuitable for rapid functional investigations of virus proteins as well as genetic and pharmacological screens. Remarkably, 90% of the SARS-CoV-2 virus-host interacting proteins are conserved between Drosophila and humans. As a well-established model system for studying human diseases, the fruit fly offers a highly complementary alternative to current mammalian models for SARS-CoV-2 research, from investigating virus protein function to developing targeted drugs. Herein, we review Drosophila's track record in studying human viruses and discuss the advantages and limitations of using fruit flies for SARS-CoV-2 research. We also review studies that already used Drosophila to investigate SARS-CoV-2 protein pathogenicity and their damaging effects in COVID-19 relevant tissues, as well as studies in which the fly was used as an efficient whole animal drug testing platform for targeted therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2 proteins or their host interacting pathways.

7.
Chem Commun (Camb) ; 57(51): 6229-6232, 2021 Jun 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1246405

ABSTRACT

Tracking the viral progression of SARS-CoV-2 in COVID-19 infected body tissues is an emerging need of the current pandemic. Imaging at near infrared second biological window (NIR-II) offers striking benefits over the other technologies to explore deep-tissue information. Here we design, synthesise and characterise a molecular probe that selectively targets the N-gene of SARS-CoV-2. Highly specific antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) were conjugated to lead sulfide quantum dots using a UV-triggered thiol-ene click chemistry for the recognition of viral RNA. Our ex vivo imaging studies demonstrated that the probe exhibits aggregation induced NIR-II emission only in presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA which can be attributed to the efficient hybridisation of the ASOs with their target RNA strands.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Fluorescent Dyes/chemistry , Oligonucleotides, Antisense/chemistry , Quantum Dots/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared/methods , Animals , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/metabolism , Click Chemistry/methods , Fluorescent Dyes/chemical synthesis , Humans , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Lung/metabolism , Lung/virology , Metal Nanoparticles/chemistry , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Models, Animal , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
8.
Pathologe ; 42(2): 208-215, 2021 Mar.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1235730

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Analyses for the presence of SARS-CoV­2 in the tissues of COVID-19 patients is important in order to improve our understanding of the disease pathophysiology for interpretation of diagnostic histopathological findings in autopsies, biopsies, or surgical specimens and to assess the potential for occupational infectious hazard. MATERIAL AND METHODS: In this review we identified 136 published studies in PubMed's curated literature database LitCovid on SARS-CoV­2 detection methods in tissues and evaluated them regarding sources of error, specificity, and sensitivity of the methods, taking into account our own experience. RESULTS: Currently, no sufficiently specific histomorphological alterations or diagnostic features for COVID-19 are known. Therefore, three approaches for SARS-CoV­2 detection are used: RNA, proteins/antigens, or morphological detection by electron microscopy. In the preanalytical phase, the dominant source of error is tissue quality, especially the different intervals between sample collection and processing or fixation (and its duration) and specifically the interval between death and sample collection in autopsies. However, this information is found in less than half of the studies (e.g., in only 42% of autopsy studies). Our own experience and first studies prove the significantly higher sensitivity and specificity of RNA-based detection methods compared to antigen or protein detection by immunohistochemistry or immunofluorescence. Detection by electron microscopy is time consuming and difficult to interpret. CONCLUSIONS: Different methods are available for the detection of SARS-CoV­2 in tissue. Currently, RNA detection by RT-PCR is the method of choice. However, extensive validation studies and method harmonization are not available and are absolutely necessary.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , RNA, Viral , Sensitivity and Specificity
9.
Front Immunol ; 12: 661052, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1229177

ABSTRACT

While lymphocytopenia is a common characteristic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the mechanisms responsible for this lymphocyte depletion are unclear. Here, we retrospectively reviewed the clinical and immunological data from 18 fatal COVID-19 cases, results showed that these patients had severe lymphocytopenia, together with high serum levels of inflammatory cytokines (IL-6, IL-8 and IL-10), and elevation of many other mediators in routine laboratory tests, including C-reactive protein, lactate dehydrogenase, α-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase and natriuretic peptide type B. The spleens and hilar lymph nodes (LNs) from six additional COVID-19 patients with post-mortem examinations were also collected, histopathologic detection showed that both organs manifested severe tissue damage and lymphocyte apoptosis in these six cases. In situ hybridization assays illustrated that SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA accumulates in these tissues, and transmission electronic microscopy confirmed that coronavirus-like particles were visible in the LNs. SARS-CoV-2 Spike and Nucleocapsid protein (NP) accumulated in the spleens and LNs, and the NP antigen restricted in angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) positive macrophages and dendritic cells (DCs). Furthermore, SARS-CoV-2 triggered the transcription of Il6, Il8 and Il1b genes in infected primary macrophages and DCs in vitro, and SARS-CoV-2-NP+ macrophages and DCs also manifested high levels of IL-6 and IL-1ß, which might directly decimate human spleens and LNs and subsequently lead to lymphocytopenia in vivo. Collectively, these results demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 induced lymphocytopenia by promoting systemic inflammation and direct neutralization in human spleen and LNs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Lymph Nodes/immunology , Lymphopenia/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spleen/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/pathology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Humans , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/pathology , Lymph Nodes/ultrastructure , Lymphopenia/etiology , Lymphopenia/pathology , Middle Aged , Phosphoproteins/immunology , RNA, Messenger/immunology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , SARS-CoV-2/ultrastructure , Spleen/ultrastructure
10.
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 1318: 223-241, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222717

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiological agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is similar to two other coronaviruses, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), in causing life-threatening respiratory infections and systemic complications in both children and adults. As the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to spread globally, increasing numbers of pregnant women have become infected, raising concern not only for their health but also for the health of their infants. This chapter discusses the effects of coronavirus infections, e.g., MERS, SARS, and COVID 19, on pregnancy and describes the evolving knowledge of COVID 19 among pregnant women. The physiological changes that occur in pregnancy, especially changes in the immune system, are reviewed in terms of their effect on susceptibility to infectious diseases. The effects of COVID-19 on the placenta, fetus, and neonate are also reviewed, including potential clinical outcomes and issues relating to testing and diagnosis. The potential mechanisms of vertical transmission of the virus between pregnant women and their infants are analyzed, including intrauterine, intrapartum, and postpartum infections. Several recent studies have reported the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in tissues from the fetal side of the placenta, permitting the diagnosis of transplacental infection of the fetus by SARS-CoV-2. Placentas from infected mothers in which intrauterine transplacental transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has occurred demonstrate an unusual combination of pathology findings which may represent risk factors for placental as well as fetal infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , Adult , Child , Female , Fetus , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Pandemics , Placenta , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/diagnosis , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Pregnant Women , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Forensic Sci Med Pathol ; 17(3): 403-410, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1219916

ABSTRACT

Since the beginning of March 2020, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has been the cause of millions of deaths worldwide. The need to better define the pathogenesis of coronavirus disease 19 (Covid-19) as well as to provide the correct statistical records concerning deaths related to this virus, inevitably involves the role of forensic pathology and routine autopsy practice. Currently, some data on macroscopic and microscopic features in autopsies performed in suspected Covid-19 cases are reported in the literature. The persistence of SARS-CoV-2 in cadavers has not yet been elucidated and only a few reports have emphasized the importance of evaluating the Virus RNA in post-mortem tissues. In this preliminary study, we observed that SARS-CoV-2 survives in multiple cadaver tissues many days after death despite some extreme conditions of post-mortem body preservation. The results of this on-going analysis could help improve the safety of working practices for pathologists as well as understanding the possible interaction between microbiological agents and the cadaver tissue's supravital reactions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Autopsy , Cadaver , Humans , Pandemics
12.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(21)2021 05 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1220249

ABSTRACT

Prolonged detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA and recurrence of PCR-positive tests have been widely reported in patients after recovery from COVID-19, but some of these patients do not appear to shed infectious virus. We investigated the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 RNAs can be reverse-transcribed and integrated into the DNA of human cells in culture and that transcription of the integrated sequences might account for some of the positive PCR tests seen in patients. In support of this hypothesis, we found that DNA copies of SARS-CoV-2 sequences can be integrated into the genome of infected human cells. We found target site duplications flanking the viral sequences and consensus LINE1 endonuclease recognition sequences at the integration sites, consistent with a LINE1 retrotransposon-mediated, target-primed reverse transcription and retroposition mechanism. We also found, in some patient-derived tissues, evidence suggesting that a large fraction of the viral sequences is transcribed from integrated DNA copies of viral sequences, generating viral-host chimeric transcripts. The integration and transcription of viral sequences may thus contribute to the detection of viral RNA by PCR in patients after infection and clinical recovery. Because we have detected only subgenomic sequences derived mainly from the 3' end of the viral genome integrated into the DNA of the host cell, infectious virus cannot be produced from the integrated subgenomic SARS-CoV-2 sequences.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Virus Integration/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Genome, Viral , HEK293 Cells , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Vero Cells , Virus Integration/physiology , Virus Replication/genetics , Virus Replication/physiology
13.
PLoS One ; 16(4): e0250708, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1206200

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is the pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 that has caused more than 2.2 million deaths worldwide. We summarize the reported pathologic findings on biopsy and autopsy in patients with severe/fatal COVID-19 and documented the presence and/or effect of SARS-CoV-2 in all organs. METHODS AND FINDINGS: A systematic search of the PubMed, Embase, MedRxiv, Lilacs and Epistemonikos databases from January to August 2020 for all case reports and case series that reported histopathologic findings of COVID-19 infection at autopsy or tissue biopsy was performed. 603 COVID-19 cases from 75 of 451 screened studies met inclusion criteria. The most common pathologic findings were lungs: diffuse alveolar damage (DAD) (92%) and superimposed acute bronchopneumonia (27%); liver: hepatitis (21%), heart: myocarditis (11.4%). Vasculitis was common only in skin biopsies (25%). Microthrombi were described in the placenta (57.9%), lung (38%), kidney (20%), Central Nervous System (CNS) (18%), and gastrointestinal (GI) tract (2%). Injury of endothelial cells was common in the lung (18%) and heart (4%). Hemodynamic changes such as necrosis due to hypoxia/hypoperfusion, edema and congestion were common in kidney (53%), liver (48%), CNS (31%) and GI tract (18%). SARS-CoV-2 viral particles were demonstrated within organ-specific cells in the trachea, lung, liver, large intestine, kidney, CNS either by electron microscopy, immunofluorescence, or immunohistochemistry. Additional tissues were positive by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests only. The included studies were from numerous countries, some were not peer reviewed, and some studies were performed by subspecialists, resulting in variable and inconsistent reporting or over statement of the reported findings. CONCLUSIONS: The main pathologic findings of severe/fatal COVID-19 infection are DAD, changes related to coagulopathy and/or hemodynamic compromise. In addition, according to the observed organ damage myocarditis may be associated with sequelae.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/physiopathology , Autopsy/methods , Biopsy/methods , Central Nervous System/virology , Endothelial Cells/virology , Female , Gastrointestinal Tract/virology , Heart/virology , Humans , Kidney/virology , Liver/virology , Lung/virology , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Placenta/virology , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Staining and Labeling/methods , Trachea/virology
14.
EClinicalMedicine ; 35: 100850, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201119

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 in children is usually mild or asymptomatic, but severe and fatal paediatric cases have been described. The pathology of COVID-19 in children is not known; the proposed pathogenesis for severe cases includes immune-mediated mechanisms or the direct effect of SARS-CoV-2 on tissues. We describe the autopsy findings in five cases of paediatric COVID-19 and provide mechanistic insight into the mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of the disease. METHODS: Children and adolescents who died with COVID-19 between March 18 and August 15, 2020 were autopsied with a minimally invasive method. Tissue samples from all vital organs were analysed by histology, electron microscopy (EM), reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry (IHC). FINDINGS: Five patients were included, one male and four female, aged 7 months to 15 years. Two patients had severe diseases before SARS-CoV-2 infection: adrenal carcinoma and Edwards syndrome. Three patients were previously healthy and had multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) with distinct clinical presentations: myocarditis, colitis, and acute encephalopathy with status epilepticus. Autopsy findings varied amongst patients and included mild to severe COVID-19 pneumonia, pulmonary microthrombosis, cerebral oedema with reactive gliosis, myocarditis, intestinal inflammation, and haemophagocytosis. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in all patients in lungs, heart and kidneys by at least one method (RT-PCR, IHC or EM), and in endothelial cells from heart and brain in two patients with MIS-C (IHC). In addition, we show for the first time the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the brain tissue of a child with MIS-C with acute encephalopathy, and in the intestinal tissue of a child with acute colitis. Interpretation: SARS-CoV-2 can infect several cell and tissue types in paediatric patients, and the target organ for the clinical manifestation varies amongst individuals. Two major patterns of severe COVID-19 were observed: a primarily pulmonary disease, with severe acute respiratory disease and diffuse alveolar damage, or a multisystem inflammatory syndrome with the involvement of several organs. The presence of SARS-CoV-2 in several organs, associated with cellular ultrastructural changes, reinforces the hypothesis that a direct effect of SARS-CoV-2 on tissues is involved in the pathogenesis of MIS-C. FUNDING: Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo, Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

15.
Endocrine ; 72(2): 317-325, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196619

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the door for SARS-CoV-2, expressed in critical metabolic tissues. So, it is rational that the new virus causes pleiotropic alterations in glucose metabolism, resulting in the complication of pre-existing diabetes's pathophysiology or creating new disease mechanisms. However, it seems that less attention has been paid to this issue. This review aimed to highlight the importance of long-term consequences and pleiotropic alterations in glucose metabolism following COVID-19 and emphasize the need for basic and clinical research in metabolism and endocrinology. RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 shifts cellular metabolism from oxidative phosphorylation to glycolysis, which leads to a decrease in ATP generation. Together with metabolic imbalance, the impaired immune system elevates the susceptibility of patients with diabetes to this deadly virus. SARS-CoV-2-induced metabolic alterations in immune cells can result in hyper inflammation and a cytokine storm. Metabolic dysfunction may affect therapies against SARS-CoV-2 infection. The effective control of metabolic complications could prove useful therapeutic targets for combating COVID-19. It is also necessary to understand the long-term consequences that will affect patients with diabetes who survived COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: Since the pathophysiology of COVID-19 is still mostly unknown, identifying the metabolic mechanisms contributing to its progression is essential to provide specific ways to prevent and improve this dangerous virus's detrimental effects. The findings show that the new virus may induce new-onset diabetes with uncertain metabolic and clinical features, supporting a potential role of COVID-19 in the development of diabetes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus , Glucose , Humans , Inflammation , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Clin Sci (Lond) ; 134(21): 2851-2871, 2020 11 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1177131

ABSTRACT

Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) is well-known for its role in blood pressure regulation via the renin-angiotensin aldosterone system (RAAS) but also functions in fertility, immunity, haematopoiesis and diseases such as obesity, fibrosis and Alzheimer's dementia. Like ACE, the human homologue ACE2 is also involved in blood pressure regulation and cleaves a range of substrates involved in different physiological processes. Importantly, it is the functional receptor for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-coronavirus (CoV)-2 responsible for the 2020, coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Understanding the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and ACE2 is crucial for the design of therapies to combat this disease. This review provides a comparative analysis of methodologies and findings to describe how structural biology techniques like X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy have enabled remarkable discoveries into the structure-function relationship of ACE and ACE2. This, in turn, has enabled the development of ACE inhibitors for the treatment of cardiovascular disease and candidate therapies for the treatment of COVID-19. However, despite these advances the function of ACE homologues in non-human organisms is not yet fully understood. ACE homologues have been discovered in the tissues, body fluids and venom of species from diverse lineages and are known to have important functions in fertility, envenoming and insect-host defence mechanisms. We, therefore, further highlight the need for structural insight into insect and venom ACE homologues for the potential development of novel anti-venoms and insecticides.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/enzymology , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/enzymology , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Virus Internalization , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Animals , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protein Conformation , Receptors, Virus/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2 , Structure-Activity Relationship
17.
Sci Immunol ; 6(58)2021 04 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1172732

ABSTRACT

Patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) present a wide range of acute clinical manifestations affecting the lungs, liver, kidneys and gut. Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) 2, the best-characterized entry receptor for the disease-causing virus SARS-CoV-2, is highly expressed in the aforementioned tissues. However, the pathways that underlie the disease are still poorly understood. Here, we unexpectedly found that the complement system was one of the intracellular pathways most highly induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection in lung epithelial cells. Infection of respiratory epithelial cells with SARS-CoV-2 generated activated complement component C3a and could be blocked by a cell-permeable inhibitor of complement factor B (CFBi), indicating the presence of an inducible cell-intrinsic C3 convertase in respiratory epithelial cells. Within cells of the bronchoalveolar lavage of patients, distinct signatures of complement activation in myeloid, lymphoid and epithelial cells tracked with disease severity. Genes induced by SARS-CoV-2 and the drugs that could normalize these genes both implicated the interferon-JAK1/2-STAT1 signaling system and NF-κB as the main drivers of their expression. Ruxolitinib, a JAK1/2 inhibitor, normalized interferon signature genes and all complement gene transcripts induced by SARS-CoV-2 in lung epithelial cell lines, but did not affect NF-κB-regulated genes. Ruxolitinib, alone or in combination with the antiviral remdesivir, inhibited C3a protein produced by infected cells. Together, we postulate that combination therapy with JAK inhibitors and drugs that normalize NF-κB-signaling could potentially have clinical application for severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Complement Activation , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Janus Kinase 1/metabolism , Janus Kinase 2/metabolism , Lung/metabolism , MAP Kinase Signaling System , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Cell Line, Tumor , Complement C3a/metabolism , Complement Factor B/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Humans , Lung/pathology
18.
Endocrine ; 72(2): 340-348, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1159631

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the receptor of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The effects of SARS-CoV-2 on normal pituitary glands function or pituitary neuroendocrine tumors (PitNETs) have not yet been elucidated. Thus, the present study aimed to investigate the potential risks of SARS-CoV-2 infection on the impairment of pituitary glands and the development of PitNETs. METHODS: PitNETs tissues were obtained from 114 patients, and normal pituitary gland tissues were obtained from the autopsy. The mRNA levels of ACE2 and angiotensin II receptor type 1 (AGTR1) were examined by quantitative real-time PCR. Immunohistochemical staining was performed for ACE2 in 69 PitNETs and 3 normal pituitary glands. The primary tumor cells and pituitary cell lines (MMQ, GH3 and AtT-20/D16v-F2) were treated with diminazene aceturate (DIZE), an ACE2 agonist, with various dose regimens. The pituitary hormones between 43 patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection were compared with 45 healthy controls. RESULTS: Pituitary glands and the majority of PitNET tissues showed low/negative ACE2 expression at both the mRNA and protein levels, while AGTR1 showed high expression in normal pituitary and corticotroph adenomas. ACE2 agonist increased the secretion of ACTH in AtT-20/D16v-F2 cells through downregulating AGTR1. The level of serum adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) was significantly increased in COVID-19 patients compared to normal controls (p < 0.001), but was dramatically decreased in critical cases compared to non-critical patients (p = 0.003). CONCLUSIONS: This study revealed a potential impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on corticotroph cells and adenomas.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neuroendocrine Tumors , Humans , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Pituitary Gland/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Int J Biol Sci ; 17(3): 897-910, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154779

ABSTRACT

HSPA5 (BiP, GRP78) has been reported as a potential host-cell receptor for SARS-Cov-2, but its expression profiles on different tissues including tumors, its susceptibility to SARS-Cov-2 virus and severity of its adverse effects on malignant patients are unclear. In the current study, HSPA5 has been found to be expressed ubiquitously in normal tissues and significantly increased in 14 of 31 types of cancer tissues. In lung cancer, mRNA levels of HSPA5 were 253-fold increase than that of ACE2. Meanwhile, in both malignant tumors and matched normal samples across almost all cancer types, mRNA levels of HSPA5 were much higher than those of ACE2. Higher expression of HSPA5 significantly decreased patient overall survival (OS) in 7 types of cancers. Moreover, systematic analyses found that 7.15% of 5,068 COVID-19 cases have malignant cancer coincidental situations, and the rate of severe events of COVID-19 patients with cancers present a higher trend than that for all COVID-19 patients, showing a significant difference (33.33% vs 16.09%, p<0.01). Collectively, these data imply that the tissues with high HSPA5 expression, not low ACE2 expression, are susceptible to be invaded by SARS-CoV-2. Taken together, this study not only indicates the clinical significance of HSPA5 in COVID-19 disease and cancers, but also provides potential clues for further medical treatments and managements of COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Gene Expression Profiling , Heat-Shock Proteins/genetics , Neoplasms/complications , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Humans , Neoplasms/metabolism , Neoplasms/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
20.
Pathologe ; 42(Suppl 1): 81-88, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1152000

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Analyses for the presence of SARS-CoV­2 in the tissues of COVID-19 patients is important in order to improve our understanding of the disease pathophysiology for interpretation of diagnostic histopathological findings in autopsies, biopsies, or surgical specimens and to assess the potential for occupational infectious hazard. MATERIAL AND METHODS: In this review we identified 136 published studies in PubMed's curated literature database LitCovid on SARS-CoV­2 detection methods in tissues and evaluated them regarding sources of error, specificity, and sensitivity of the methods, taking into account our own experience. RESULTS: Currently, no sufficiently specific histomorphological alterations or diagnostic features for COVID-19 are known. Therefore, three approaches for SARS-CoV­2 detection are used: RNA, proteins/antigens, or morphological detection by electron microscopy. In the preanalytical phase, the dominant source of error is tissue quality, especially the different intervals between sample collection and processing or fixation (and its duration) and specifically the interval between death and sample collection in autopsies. However, this information is found in less than half of the studies (e.g., in only 42% of autopsy studies). Our own experience and first studies prove the significantly higher sensitivity and specificity of RNA-based detection methods compared to antigen or protein detection by immunohistochemistry or immunofluorescence. Detection by electron microscopy is time consuming and difficult to interpret. CONCLUSIONS: Different methods are available for the detection of SARS-CoV­2 in tissue. Currently, RNA detection by RT-PCR is the method of choice. However, extensive validation studies and method harmonization are not available and are absolutely necessary.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Autopsy , Humans , RNA, Viral , Sensitivity and Specificity
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