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Cyclosporine A Inhibits Viral Infection and Release as Well as Cytokine Production in Lung Cells by Three SARS-CoV-2 Variants.
Fenizia, Claudio; Galbiati, Silvia; Vanetti, Claudia; Vago, Riccardo; Clerici, Mario; Tacchetti, Carlo; Daniele, Tiziana.
  • Fenizia C; Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, Milano University Medical School, Milan, Italy.
  • Galbiati S; Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences "L Sacco," Milano University Medical School, Milan, Italy.
  • Vanetti C; Complication of Diabetes Unit, Diabetes Research Institute, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy.
  • Vago R; Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, Milano University Medical School, Milan, Italy.
  • Clerici M; Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences "L Sacco," Milano University Medical School, Milan, Italy.
  • Tacchetti C; Urological Research Institute, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy.
  • Daniele T; Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy.
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(1): e0150421, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604818
ABSTRACT
In December 2019, a new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) started spreading worldwide causing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The hyperactivation of the immune system has been proposed to account for disease severity and death in COVID-19 patients. Despite several approaches having been tested, no therapeutic protocol has been approved. Given that Cyclosporine A (CsA) is well-known to exert a strong antiviral activity on several viral strains and an anti-inflammatory role in different organs with relevant benefits in diverse pathological contexts, we tested its effects on SARS-CoV-2 infection of lung cells. We found that treatment with CsA either before or after infection of CaLu3 cells by three SARS-CoV-2 variants (i) reduces the expression of both viral RNA and proteins in infected cells; (ii) decreases the number of progeny virions released by infected cells; (iii) dampens the virus-triggered synthesis of cytokines (including IL-6, IL-8, IL1α and TNF-α) that are involved in cytokine storm in patients. Altogether, these data provide a rationale for CsA repositioning for the treatment of severe COVID-19 patients. IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2 is the most recently identified member of the betacoronavirus genus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. Repurposing of available drugs has been a "quick and dirty" approach to try to reduce mortality and severe symptoms in affected patients initially, and can still represent an undeniable and valuable approach to face COVID-19 as the continuous appearance and rapid diffusion of more "aggressive"/transmissible variants, capable of eluding antibody neutralization, challenges the effectiveness of some anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. Here, we tested a known antiviral and anti-inflammatory drug, Cyclosporine A (CsA), and found that it dampens viral infection and cytokine release from lung cells upon exposure to three different SARS-CoV-2 variants. Knock down of the main intracellular target of CsA, Cyclophilin A, does not phenocopy the drug inhibition of viral infection. Altogether, these findings shed new light on the cellular mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 infection and provide the rationale for CsA repositioning to treat severe COVID-19 patients.
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Full text: Available Collection: International databases Database: MEDLINE Main subject: Antiviral Agents / Cytokines / Cyclosporine / Virus Release / SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 / Lung / Anti-Inflammatory Agents Type of study: Clinical Practice Guide / Prognostic study Topics: Vaccines / Variants Limits: Humans Language: English Journal: Microbiol Spectr Year: 2022 Document Type: Article Affiliation country: Spectrum.01504-21

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Full text: Available Collection: International databases Database: MEDLINE Main subject: Antiviral Agents / Cytokines / Cyclosporine / Virus Release / SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 / Lung / Anti-Inflammatory Agents Type of study: Clinical Practice Guide / Prognostic study Topics: Vaccines / Variants Limits: Humans Language: English Journal: Microbiol Spectr Year: 2022 Document Type: Article Affiliation country: Spectrum.01504-21