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1.
J Infect Dis ; 224(Supplement_6): S642-S646, 2021 Dec 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559852

ABSTRACT

We previously demonstrated that the late gestation placental expression pattern of ACE2 (the primary severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 [SARS-CoV-2] receptor) is localized to the villous syncytiotrophoblast (ST), usually in a polarized membranous pattern at the ST base sparing the apical surface (that directly exposed to maternal blood). We found that the late gestation placental expression pattern of TMPRSS2 (the spike proteinase required for SARS-CoV-2 cellular infection), is usually absent in the trophoblast but is rarely, weakly expressed in the placental endothelium. We now show the developmental protein expression patterns of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 by immunohistochemistry throughout gestation, from the first through third trimester. We found that TMPRSS2 expression was rarely detectable in villous endothelium and very rarely detectable in the ST across gestation. We found that ACE2 expression varied during gestation with circumferential ST expression more common in early gestations and polarized expression more common in later gestation. Although this study is small, these preliminary results suggest that earlier gestation pregnancies may be more vulnerable to infection than later gestation pregnancies.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19 , Placenta/metabolism , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Adult , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Female , Gestational Age , Humans , Placenta/virology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/metabolism , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/pathology , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Trophoblasts
2.
Angiogenesis ; 24(3): 677-693, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1549443

ABSTRACT

Endothelial barrier disruption and vascular leak importantly contribute to organ dysfunction and mortality during inflammatory conditions like sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome. We identified the kinase Arg/Abl2 as a mediator of endothelial barrier disruption, but the role of Arg in endothelial monolayer regulation and its relevance in vivo remain poorly understood. Here we show that depletion of Arg in endothelial cells results in the activation of both RhoA and Rac1, increased cell spreading and elongation, redistribution of integrin-dependent cell-matrix adhesions to the cell periphery, and improved adhesion to the extracellular matrix. We further show that Arg is activated in the endothelium during inflammation, both in murine lungs exposed to barrier-disruptive agents, and in pulmonary microvessels of septic patients. Importantly, Arg-depleted endothelial cells were less sensitive to barrier-disruptive agents. Despite the formation of F-actin stress fibers and myosin light chain phosphorylation, Arg depletion diminished adherens junction disruption and intercellular gap formation, by reducing the disassembly of cell-matrix adhesions and cell retraction. In vivo, genetic deletion of Arg diminished vascular leak in the skin and lungs, in the presence of a normal immune response. Together, our data indicate that Arg is a central and non-redundant regulator of endothelial barrier integrity, which contributes to cell retraction and gap formation by increasing the dynamics of adherens junctions and cell-matrix adhesions in a Rho GTPase-dependent fashion. Therapeutic inhibition of Arg may provide a suitable strategy for the treatment of a variety of clinical conditions characterized by vascular leak.


Subject(s)
Extracellular Matrix/metabolism , Gap Junctions/enzymology , Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells/enzymology , Protein-Tyrosine Kinases/metabolism , Pulmonary Alveoli/enzymology , Animals , Cell Adhesion/genetics , Enzyme Activation , Extracellular Matrix/genetics , Gap Junctions/genetics , Humans , Inflammation/enzymology , Inflammation/genetics , Mice , Mice, Knockout , Protein-Tyrosine Kinases/genetics
3.
Infect Disord Drug Targets ; 21(4): 480-483, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1435869

ABSTRACT

Ocular tissues can serve as a reservoir for the SARS-CoV-2 virus which can not only cause conjunctivitis but also serve as a source of infection transmission to others. Additionally, the eye and its tear drainage apparatus can track the SARS-CoV-2 from the eye into the respiratory tract of the patient. The potential ocular presence of the SARS-CoV-2 in the eye of a patient can target ACE2 receptors in the endothelium of the conjunctival vessels and use the lacrimal sac a potential space to evade immune detection and clinical isolation. The recently reported case of COVID-19 after the acquisition of SARS-CoV-2 from a COVID-19 patient should alert the healthcare professionals dealing with COVID-19 patients that wearing masks alone cannot guarantee protection against infection transmission. Further studies, like isolation of SARS-CoV-2 from the eyes of patients with COVID-19, are needed to identify the eyes as a potential source of SARS-CoV-2 infection transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Conjunctiva , Humans , Masks , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci ; 62(7): 6, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388618

ABSTRACT

Purpose: To investigate the expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the receptor for SARS-CoV-2 in human retina. Methods: Human post-mortem eyes from 13 non-diabetic control cases and 11 diabetic retinopathy cases were analyzed for the expression of ACE2. To compare the vascular ACE2 expression between different organs that involve in diabetes, the expression of ACE2 was investigated in renal specimens from nondiabetic and diabetic nephropathy patients. Expression of TMPRSS2, a cell-surface protease that facilitates SARS-CoV-2 entry, was also investigated in human nondiabetic retinas. Primary human retinal endothelial cells (HRECs) and primary human retinal pericytes (HRPCs) were further used to confirm the vascular ACE2 expression in human retina. Results: We found that ACE2 was expressed in multiple nonvascular neuroretinal cells, including the retinal ganglion cell layer, inner plexiform layer, inner nuclear layer, and photoreceptor outer segments in both nondiabetic and diabetic retinopathy specimens. Strikingly, we observed significantly more ACE2 positive vessels in the diabetic retinopathy specimens. By contrast, in another end-stage organ affected by diabetes, the kidney, ACE2 in nondiabetic and diabetic nephropathy showed apical expression of ACE2 tubular epithelial cells, but no endothelial expression in glomerular or peritubular capillaries. Western blot analysis of protein lysates from HRECs and HRPCs confirmed expression of ACE2. TMPRSS2 expression was present in multiple retinal neuronal cells, vascular and perivascular cells, and Müller glia. Conclusions: Together, these results indicate that retina expresses ACE2 and TMPRSS2. Moreover, there are increased vascular ACE2 expression in diabetic retinopathy retinas.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Diabetic Retinopathy/enzymology , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Retina/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Binding Sites , Blotting, Western , Cells, Cultured , Diabetic Nephropathies/enzymology , Diabetic Nephropathies/pathology , Diabetic Nephropathies/virology , Diabetic Retinopathy/pathology , Diabetic Retinopathy/virology , Endothelium, Vascular/enzymology , Endothelium, Vascular/virology , Female , Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect , Humans , Immunohistochemistry , Male , Middle Aged , Pericytes/enzymology , Pericytes/virology , Retinal Vessels/enzymology , Retinal Vessels/pathology , Retinal Vessels/virology , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism
5.
Sci Adv ; 6(48)2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388431

ABSTRACT

Acute respiratory distress syndrome is associated with a robust inflammatory response that damages the vascular endothelium, impairing gas exchange. While restoration of microcapillaries is critical to avoid mortality, therapeutic targeting of this process requires a greater understanding of endothelial repair mechanisms. Here, we demonstrate that lung endothelium possesses substantial regenerative capacity and lineage tracing reveals that native endothelium is the source of vascular repair after influenza injury. Ablation of chicken ovalbumin upstream promoter-transcription factor 2 (COUP-TF2) (Nr2f2), a transcription factor implicated in developmental angiogenesis, reduced endothelial proliferation, exacerbating viral lung injury in vivo. In vitro, COUP-TF2 regulates proliferation and migration through activation of cyclin D1 and neuropilin 1. Upon influenza injury, nuclear factor κB suppresses COUP-TF2, but surviving endothelial cells ultimately reestablish vascular homeostasis dependent on restoration of COUP-TF2. Therefore, stabilization of COUP-TF2 may represent a therapeutic strategy to enhance recovery from pathogens, including H1N1 influenza and SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COUP Transcription Factor II/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Lung/cytology , Lung/physiology , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/metabolism , Regeneration/genetics , Animals , COUP Transcription Factor II/genetics , Cell Movement/genetics , Cell Proliferation/genetics , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Gene Knockout Techniques , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/virology , Transfection
6.
Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol ; 65(3): 300-308, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1381187

ABSTRACT

Endothelial dysfunction is implicated in the thrombotic events reported in patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19), but the underlying molecular mechanisms are unknown. Circulating levels of the coagulation cascade activator PAI-1 are substantially higher in patients with COVID-19 with severe respiratory dysfunction than in patients with bacterial sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Indeed, the elevation of PAI-1 is recognized as an early marker of endothelial dysfunction. Here, we report that the rSARS-CoV-2-S1 (recombinant severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 [SARS-CoV-2] viral envelope spike) glycoprotein stimulated robust production of PAI-1 by human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (HPMECs). We examined the role of protein degradation in this SARS-CoV-2-S1 induction of PAI-1 and found that the proteasomal degradation inhibitor bortezomib inhibited SARS-CoV-2-S1-mediated changes in PAI-1. Our data further show that bortezomib upregulated KLF2, a shear-stress-regulated transcription factor that suppresses PAI-1 expression. Aging and metabolic disorders are known to increase mortality and morbidity in patients with COVID-19. We therefore examined the role of ZMPSTE24 (zinc metallopeptidase STE24), a metalloprotease with a demonstrated role in host defense against RNA viruses that is decreased in older individuals and in metabolic syndrome, in the induction of PAI-1 in HPMECs by SARS-CoV-2-S1. Indeed, overexpression of ZMPSTE24 blunted enhancement of PAI-1 production in spike protein-exposed HPMECs. In addition, we found that membrane expression of the SARS-CoV-2 entry receptor ACE2 was reduced by ZMPSTE24-mediated cleavage and shedding of the ACE2 ectodomain, leading to accumulation of ACE2 decoy fragments that may bind SARS-CoV-2. These data indicate that decreases in ZMPSTE24 with age and comorbidities may increase vulnerability to vascular endothelial injury by SARS-CoV-2 viruses and that enhanced production of endothelial PAI-1 might play role in prothrombotic events in patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Endothelial Cells/pathology , Membrane Proteins/metabolism , Metalloendopeptidases/metabolism , Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1/metabolism , Pulmonary Artery/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Aging , COVID-19/metabolism , Cells, Cultured , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/virology , Humans , Membrane Proteins/genetics , Metalloendopeptidases/genetics , Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1/genetics , Proteolysis , Pulmonary Artery/metabolism , Pulmonary Artery/virology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
7.
FEBS Open Bio ; 2021 Jun 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1306632

ABSTRACT

Children show a distinct presentation of COVID-19, characterized by a lower incidence and mild phenotype, but the reason for this is still unknown. The angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) functions as the primary cell entry receptor for Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and is thought to cause distinct clinical features between children and old people. The primary purpose of this study was to determine whether differences exist in the level of expression and distribution of ACE2 between neonatal and adult rat lungs. The lung tissues from rats of various ages were used to investigate the expression patterns of ACE2. Western blot, immunohistochemistry, and immunofluorescence were used to quantify or identify the localization of ACE2 in rat lungs. ACE2 was homogenously expressed in fewer alveolar type II (AT2) cells in the neonatal lung, with no polarization to the alveolar space and additional expression in pulmonary endothelium when compared to adult rat lungs. These findings suggest that the patterns of ACE2 distribution and cellular localization in rat lungs change with age.

8.
Stem Cells ; 39(10): 1335-1348, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1293333

ABSTRACT

Thromboembolic stroke remains a major cause of neurological disability and death. Current stroke treatments (aspirin, tissue plasminogen activator) are significantly limited by timing and risks for hemorrhage which have driven researchers to explore other approaches. Stem cell-based therapy appears to be an effective option for ischemic stroke. Besides trans-differentiation into neural cells, stem cells also provide acute protection via paracrine signaling pathways through which releasing neuroprotective factors. We previously reported that intraperitoneal administration of human placenta mesenchymal stem cell (hPMSC) therapy upon reperfusion significantly protected the brain against middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO)-induced injury. In the present study, we specifically investigated the role of hPMSC-derived angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2) in protection of MCAO-induced brain injury by measurement of brain tissue viability, cerebral blood flow, and neurological score. Here, we report for the first time that hPMSC expressing substantial amount of ACE-2, which mediates hPMSC protection in the MCAO model. Strikingly, we found that the protective effects of hPMSC in MCAO-induced brain injury could be attenuated by pretreatment of hPMSCs with MLN-4760, a specific inhibitor of ACE-2 activity, or by transfection of hPMSCs with ACE-2-shRNA-lentivirus. The hPMSC-derived ACE-2 specific protective mechanism was further demonstrated by administration of PD123319, an Angiotensin type-2 receptor antagonist, or A779, a MasR antagonist. Importantly, our study demonstrated that the protective effects of hPMSC in experimental stroke are ACE-2/MasR dependent and this signaling pathway represents an innovative and highly promising approach for targeted stroke therapy.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Brain Injuries , Ischemic Stroke , Mesenchymal Stem Cells , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Female , Humans , Ischemic Stroke/metabolism , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/metabolism , Placenta , Pregnancy , Tissue Plasminogen Activator/metabolism
9.
Nature ; 586(7831): 785-789, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281725

ABSTRACT

In the mammalian lung, an apparently homogenous mesh of capillary vessels surrounds each alveolus, forming the vast respiratory surface across which oxygen transfers to the blood1. Here we use single-cell analysis to elucidate the cell types, development, renewal and evolution of the alveolar capillary endothelium. We show that alveolar capillaries are mosaics; similar to the epithelium that lines the alveolus, the alveolar endothelium is made up of two intermingled cell types, with complex 'Swiss-cheese'-like morphologies and distinct functions. The first cell type, which we term the 'aerocyte', is specialized for gas exchange and the trafficking of leukocytes, and is unique to the lung. The other cell type, termed gCap ('general' capillary), is specialized to regulate vasomotor tone, and functions as a stem/progenitor cell in capillary homeostasis and repair. The two cell types develop from bipotent progenitors, mature gradually and are affected differently in disease and during ageing. This cell-type specialization is conserved between mouse and human lungs but is not found in alligator or turtle lungs, suggesting it arose during the evolution of the mammalian lung. The discovery of cell type specialization in alveolar capillaries transforms our understanding of the structure, function, regulation and maintenance of the air-blood barrier and gas exchange in health, disease and evolution.


Subject(s)
Capillaries/cytology , Pulmonary Alveoli/blood supply , Pulmonary Alveoli/cytology , Pulmonary Gas Exchange , Aging , Alligators and Crocodiles/anatomy & histology , Animals , Biological Evolution , Capillaries/metabolism , Cell Division , Cell Self Renewal , Cellular Senescence , Humans , Male , Mice , Pulmonary Alveoli/metabolism , Stem Cells/classification , Stem Cells/cytology , Turtles/anatomy & histology
10.
Cell Res ; 31(8): 836-846, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275907

ABSTRACT

Severe COVID-19 disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 is frequently accompanied by dysfunction of the lungs and extrapulmonary organs. However, the organotropism of SARS-CoV-2 and the port of virus entry for systemic dissemination remain largely unknown. We profiled 26 COVID-19 autopsy cases from four cohorts in Wuhan, China, and determined the systemic distribution of SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in the lungs and multiple extrapulmonary organs of critically ill COVID-19 patients up to 67 days after symptom onset. Based on organotropism and pathological features of the patients, COVID-19 was divided into viral intrapulmonary and systemic subtypes. In patients with systemic viral distribution, SARS-CoV-2 was detected in monocytes, macrophages, and vascular endothelia at blood-air barrier, blood-testis barrier, and filtration barrier. Critically ill patients with long disease duration showed decreased pulmonary cell proliferation, reduced viral RNA, and marked fibrosis in the lungs. Permanent SARS-CoV-2 presence and tissue injuries in the lungs and extrapulmonary organs suggest direct viral invasion as a mechanism of pathogenicity in critically ill patients. SARS-CoV-2 may hijack monocytes, macrophages, and vascular endothelia at physiological barriers as the ports of entry for systemic dissemination. Our study thus delineates systemic pathological features of SARS-CoV-2 infection, which sheds light on the development of novel COVID-19 treatment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Lung/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Autopsy , COVID-19/virology , China , Cohort Studies , Critical Illness , Female , Fibrosis , Hospitalization , Humans , Kidney/pathology , Kidney/virology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/pathology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/virology , Lung/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spleen/pathology , Spleen/virology , Trachea/pathology , Trachea/virology
11.
J Immunol ; 206(12): 2819-2827, 2021 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1261380

ABSTRACT

The etiology and pathology of Kawasaki disease (KD) remain elusive. Cub domain-containing protein 1 (CDCP1), a cell-surface protein that confers poor prognosis of patients with certain solid tumors, was recently identified as one of the most significantly upregulated genes in SARS-CoV-2-infected children who developed systemic vasculitis, a hallmark of KD. However, a potential role of CDCP1 in KD has not previously been explored. In this study, we found that CDCP1 knockout (KO) mice exhibited attenuated coronary and aortic vasculitis and decreased serum Candida albicans water-soluble fraction (CAWS)-specific IgM/IgG2a and IL-6 concentrations compared with wild-type mice in an established model of KD induced by CAWS administration. CDCP1 expression was not detectable in cardiomyocytes, cardio fibroblasts, or coronary endothelium, but constitutive expression of CDCP1 was observed on dendritic cells (DCs) and was upregulated by CAWS stimulation. CAWS-induced IL-6 production was significantly reduced in CDCP1 KO DCs, in association with impaired Syk-MAPK signaling pathway activation. These novel findings suggest that CDCP1 might regulate KD development by modulating IL-6 production from DCs via the Syk-MAPK signaling pathway.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Neoplasm/immunology , Cell Adhesion Molecules/immunology , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome/immunology , Animals , Cell Adhesion Molecules/deficiency , Cells, Cultured , Female , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout
12.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(6): 100321, 2021 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1253745

ABSTRACT

The pathogenesis of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains poorly understood. While several studies suggest that immune dysregulation plays a central role, the key mediators of this process are yet to be defined. Here, we demonstrate that plasma from a high proportion (93%) of critically ill COVID-19 patients, but not healthy controls, contains broadly auto-reactive immunoglobulin M (IgM) and less frequently auto-reactive IgG or IgA. Importantly, these auto-IgMs preferentially recognize primary human lung cells in vitro, including pulmonary endothelial and epithelial cells. By using a combination of flow cytometry, analytical proteome microarray technology, and lactose dehydrogenase (LDH)-release cytotoxicity assays, we identify high-affinity, complement-fixing, auto-reactive IgM directed against 260 candidate autoantigens, including numerous molecules preferentially expressed on the cellular membranes of pulmonary, vascular, gastrointestinal, and renal tissues. These findings suggest that broad IgM-mediated autoimmune reactivity may be involved in the pathogenesis of severe COVID-19, thereby identifying a potential target for therapeutic interventions.


Subject(s)
Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Autoantibodies/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Complement C4/metabolism , Critical Illness , Humans , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Intensive Care Units , Lung/metabolism , Protein Array Analysis , Proteome/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
13.
Front Aging Neurosci ; 13: 653591, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1238872

ABSTRACT

The liver-derived hormone hepcidin, a member of the defensin family of antimicrobial peptides, plays an important role in host defense and innate immunity due to its broad antibacterial and antiviral properties. Ferritin, an iron storage protein is often associated with iron deficiency, hypoferritinemia, hypoxia, and immune complications, which are all significant concerns for systemic infection in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Down's syndrome (DS) dementia. Serum and post-mortem brain samples were collected from AD, DS and age-matched control subjects. Serum samples were analyzed with ELISA for ferritin, hepcidin and IL-6. Additionally, post-mortem brain sections were assessed by immunohistochemistry for iron-related and inflammatory proteins. A significant increase in serum hepcidin levels was found in DS, compared to controls and AD subjects (p < 0.0001). Hepcidin protein was visible in the epithelial cells of choroid plexus, meningeal macrophages and in the astrocytes close to the endothelium of blood vessels. Hepcidin co-localized with IL-6, indicating its anti-inflammatory properties. We found significant correlation between hypoferritinemia and elevated levels of serum hepcidin in AD and DS. Hepcidin can be transported via macrophages and the majority of the vesicular hepcidin enters the brain via a compromised blood brain barrier (BBB). Our findings provide further insight into the molecular implications of the altered iron metabolism in acute inflammation, and can aid towards the development of preventive strategies and novel treatments in the fight against neuroinflammation.

14.
Clin Med Insights Cardiol ; 15: 11795468211010705, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1236531

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus-2 has rapidly spread and emerged as a pandemic. Although evidence on its pathophysiology is growing, there are still issues that should be taken into consideration, including its effects on pre-existing peripheral vascular disease. The aim of this review is to describe the thrombotic and endothelial dysfunctions caused by SARS-CoV-2, assess if cardiovascular comorbidities render an individual susceptible to the infection and determine the course of pre-existing vascular diseases in infected individuals. A search through MEDLINE, PubMed and EMBASE was conducted and more than 260 articles were identified and 97 of them were reviewed; the rest were excluded because they were not related to the aim of this study. Hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and cerebrovascular diseases comprised 24.30% ± 16.23%, 13.29% ± 12.88%, 14.82% ± 7.57% and 10.82% ± 11.64% of the cohorts reviewed, respectively. Arterial and venous thrombotic complications rocketed up to 31% in severely infected individuals in some studies. We suggest that hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cerebrovascular diseases may render an individual susceptible to severe COVID-19 infection. Pre-existing vascular diseases are expected to deteriorate with SARS-CoV-2 infection as a consequence of its increased thrombotic burden and the development of endothelial dysfunction. COVID-19 has emerged only a few months ago and it is premature to predict the long-term effects to the vascular system. Its disturbances of the coagulation mechanisms and effects on vascular endothelium will likely provoke a surge of vascular complications in the coming months.

15.
Arab J Gastroenterol ; 22(2): 177-179, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1230341

ABSTRACT

Despite the emerging data about the thrombophilic effect of the novel coronavirus [1] , the relation between coagulation disorders and the COVID-19 pandemic is still not well understood. Various studies pointed to the significant role of the COVID-19 induced cytokine storm in development of the hypercoagulable state which leads to serious thromboembolic complications [2,3] . Some studies report the development of severe immune thrombocytopenia induced by the novel coronavirus [4] . Other studies found a correlation between COVID-19 disease and the development of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) [5]. Patients with severe COVID-19 disease have an increased risk for development of gastrointestinal bleeding (GI) which may be related to stress [6] , critical illness or mechanical ventilation [7] . Further studies showed the ability of the novel coronavirus to infect the epithelial cells of the GI tract [8] . Moreover, some data pointed to the ability of the virus even to infect the endothelium of blood vessels [9]. The relation between the COVID-19 pandemic and GI bleeding deserves more studies [10]. We present a case of GI bleeding in a patient with severe COVID-19 disease. We assume that COVID-19 disease can be a predominant factor for the development of DIC and GI bleeding.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage/virology , Blood Coagulation Disorders , COVID-19/complications , Humans , Pandemics
16.
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
17.
Brain Behav Immun Health ; 14: 100251, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1193238

ABSTRACT

Although our current knowledge of the pathophysiology of COVID-19 is still fragmentary, the information so far accrued on the tropism and life cycle of its etiological agent SARS-CoV-2, together with the emerging clinical data, suffice to indicate that the severe acute pulmonary syndrome is the main, but not the only manifestation of COVID-19. Necropsy studies are increasingly revealing underlying endothelial vasculopathies in the form of micro-haemorrhages and micro-thrombi. Intertwined with defective antiviral responses, dysregulated coagulation mechanisms, abnormal hyper-inflammatory reactions and responses, COVID-19 is disclosing a wide pathophysiological palette. An additional property in categorising the disease is the combination of tissue (e.g. neuro- and vasculo-tropism) with organ tropism, whereby the virus preferentially attacks certain organs with highly developed capillary beds, such as the lungs, gastrointestinal tract, kidney and brain. These multiple clinical presentations confirm that the acute respiratory syndrome as described initially is increasingly unfolding as a more complex nosological entity, a multiorgan syndrome of systemic breadth. The neurological manifestations of COVID-19, the focus of this review, reflect this manifold nature of the disease.

18.
BMC Nephrol ; 22(1): 91, 2021 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1136213

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 infection in kidney transplant recipients often lead to allograft dysfunction. The allograft injury has various histopathological manifestations. Our case illustrates the unusual combination of allograft rejection, acute kidney injury secondary to oxalate nephropathy and SARS CoV-2 nephropathy as the cause of irreversible allograft failure. CASE PRESENTATION: A 56 year old renal allograft recipient presented with a history of fever and diarrhoea for the preceding 4 weeks, tested positive for Sars-CoV2 on nasal swab and was found to have severe allograft dysfunction, necessitating haemodialysis. He subsequently underwent an allograft biopsy, which demonstrated antibody mediated rejection along with the presence of extensive oxalate deposition in the tubules. Ultrastructural examination demonstrated spherical spiked particles in the glomerular capillary endothelium and the presence of tubulo-reticular inclusions suggestive of an active COVID-19 infection within the kidney. The intra-tubular oxalate deposition was considered to be the result of high dose, supplemental Vitamin C used as an immune booster in many patients with COVID - 19 infection in India. CONCLUSIONS: This case highlights the complex pathology that may be seen in following COVID-19 disease and the need for kidney biopsies in these patients to better understand the aetiology of disease.


Subject(s)
Ascorbic Acid/adverse effects , COVID-19/complications , Graft Rejection/etiology , Hyperoxaluria/complications , Kidney Transplantation , Primary Graft Dysfunction/etiology , Acute Kidney Injury/etiology , Ascorbic Acid/administration & dosage , COVID-19/diagnosis , Fatal Outcome , Humans , Kidney Diseases/complications , Kidney Diseases/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Primary Graft Dysfunction/pathology , Primary Graft Dysfunction/virology
19.
J Infect Dis ; 223(5): 752-764, 2021 03 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1117027

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to produce substantial morbidity and mortality. To understand the reasons for the wide-spectrum complications and severe outcomes of COVID-19, we aimed to identify cellular targets of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) tropism and replication in various tissues. METHODS: We evaluated RNA extracted from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded autopsy tissues from 64 case patients (age range, 1 month to 84 years; 21 COVID-19 confirmed, 43 suspected COVID-19) by SARS-CoV-2 reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). For cellular localization of SARS-CoV-2 RNA and viral characterization, we performed in situ hybridization (ISH), subgenomic RNA RT-PCR, and whole-genome sequencing. RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 was identified by RT-PCR in 32 case patients (21 COVID-19 confirmed, 11 suspected). ISH was positive in 20 and subgenomic RNA RT-PCR was positive in 17 of 32 RT-PCR-positive case patients. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was localized by ISH in hyaline membranes, pneumocytes, and macrophages of lungs; epithelial cells of airways; and endothelial cells and vessel walls of brain stem, leptomeninges, lung, heart, liver, kidney, and pancreas. The D614G variant was detected in 9 RT-PCR-positive case patients. CONCLUSIONS: We identified cellular targets of SARS-CoV-2 tropism and replication in the lungs and airways and demonstrated its direct infection in vascular endothelium. This work provides important insights into COVID-19 pathogenesis and mechanisms of severe outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Endothelium, Vascular/virology , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Autopsy , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , In Situ Hybridization , Infant , Lung/virology , Male , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Tropism , Whole Genome Sequencing , Young Adult
20.
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 1321: 173-180, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1114246

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the SARS-C0V-2 virus, was initially considered and managed in a similar manner to the previous SARS epidemic as they are both caused by coronaviruses. What has now become apparent is that a major cause of morbidity and mortality in COVID-19 is abnormal thrombosis. This thrombosis occurs on a macro- and microvascular level and is unique to this disease. The virus has been demonstrated in the endothelium of the pulmonary alveoli and as such is thought to contribute to the devastating respiratory complications encountered. D-dimer concentrations are frequently raised in COVID to levels not frequently seen previously. The optimal anticoagulation treatment in COVID remains to be determined, and the myriad of pathophysiologic effects caused by this virus in the human host have also yet to be fully elucidated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronavirus , Hemostatics , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
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