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1.
J Cannabis Res ; 3(1): 45, 2021 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1448507

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a life-threatening clinical syndrome whose potential to become one of the most grievous challenges of the healthcare system evidenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Considering the lack of target-specific treatment for ARDS, it is absolutely exigent to have an effective therapeutic modality to reduce hospitalization and mortality rate as well as to improve quality of life and outcomes for ARDS patients. ARDS is a systemic inflammatory disease starting with the pulmonary system and involves all other organs in a morbid bidirectional fashion. Mounting evidence including our findings supporting the notion that cannabinoids have potential to be targeted as regulatory therapeutic modalities in the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Therefore, it is plausible to test their capabilities as alternative therapies in the treatment of ARDS. In this study, we investigated the potential protective effects of cannabichromene (CBC) in an experimental model of ARDS. METHODS: We used, for the first time, an inhalant CBC treatment as a potential therapeutic target in a murine model of ARDS-like symptoms. ARDS was induced by intranasal administration of Poly(I:C), a synthetic mismatched double-stranded RNA, into the C57BL/6 mice (6-10 male mice/group, including sham, placebo, and CBC treated), three once-daily doses followed by a daily dose of inhalant CBC or placebo for the period of 8 days starting the first dose 2 h after the second Poly(I:C) treatment. We employed histologic, immunohistochemistry, and flow cytometry methods to assess the findings. Statistical analysis was performed by using one way analysis of variance (ANOVA) followed by Newman-Keuls post hoc test to determine the differences among the means of all experimental groups and to establish significance (p < 0.05) among all groups. RESULTS: Our data showed that CBC was able to reverse the hypoxia (increasing blood O2 saturation by 8%), ameliorate the symptoms of ARDS (reducing the pro-inflammatory cytokines by 50% in lung and blood), and protect the lung tissues from further destruction. Further analysis showed that CBC may wield its protective effects through transient receptor potential (TRP) cation channels, TRPA1 and TRPV1, increasing their expression by 5-folds in lung tissues compared to sham and untreated mice, re-establishing the homeostasis and immune balance. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that inhalant CBC may be an effective alternative therapeutic target in the treatment of ARDS. In addition, Increased expression of TRPs cation channels after CBC treatment proposes a novel role for TRPs (TRPA1 and TRPV2) as new potential mechanism to interpret the beneficial effects of CBC as well as other cannabinoids in the treatment of ARDS as well as other inflammatory diseases. Importantly, delivering CBC through an inhaler device is a translational model supporting the feasibility of trial with human subjects, authorizing further research.

2.
Breastfeed Med ; 16(5): 439-442, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1157992

ABSTRACT

Introduction: In addition to hand washing and wearing masks, social distancing and reducing exposure time to <15 minutes are the most effective measures against the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, three of these guidelines are very difficult, if not impossible, for nursing babies: they cannot wear masks, stay six feet away from the lactating breasts, nor consistently finish within 15 minutes while nursing. We report a case of a nursing mother with SARS-CoV-2 infection, documenting changes of immune cells and cytokines in breast milk with and without the infection. Case Description: With Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, we obtained expressed breast milk samples from a lactating mother before and during SARS-CoV-2 infection as documented by reverse transcription-PCR. Using flow cytometry analysis, we measured the immune cell profiles and expression of cytokines such as interferon alpha (IFNα) in milk leukocytes before and during infection. Results: There was an eightfold increase in IFNα+ milk leukocytes, from 1% before SARS-CoV-2 infection to 8% when actively infected. The milk macrophages showed the highest increase in IFNα expression. Both T and B lymphocytes showed mild increase. Innate lymphoid cells, neutrophils, and natural killer cells showed no increase in IFNα expression and the dendritic cells actually showed a reduction. Conclusion: We document the presence and high expression of IFNα in the breast milk macrophages of a lactating mother with confirmed COVID-19, compared with her milk before the infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Interferon-alpha/blood , Milk, Human/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Breast Feeding , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Lactation , Lymphocytes , Macrophages , Milk, Human/immunology , Milk, Human/virology , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
3.
Med J Islam Repub Iran ; 34: 120, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-976735

ABSTRACT

Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by a new severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus. COVID-19 patients are at risk for acute respiratory distress syndrome and death from respiratory failure. Methods: In this study the complete genome of the SARS-CoV-2 reference sequence, geologically isolated types, and Coronavirus related to human diseases were compared by the Molecular Phylogenetic Maximum Likelihood method. The secondary and tertiary structures of the main protease of SARS-CoV were defined as the most similar viruses to SARS-CoV-2, aligned with chimera software. Therefore, considering ineffective antiviral medications used for SARS-CoV and the importance of preventing acute respiratory distress syndrome as the main cause of mortality, 2 strategies were adopted to acquire the most effective drug combination. Results: The results of phylogenic analysis showed that SARS-CoV is the most similar virus to SARS-CoV-2. The secondary structure and superimposing of tertiary structure did not show a significant difference between SARS and SARS-CoV-2 3C-like main protease and the root means square deviation between Cα atoms did not support the difference between the 2 protein structures. Thus, these 2 mechanisms were fostered in accordance with the correlation between acute respiratory distress syndrome-related Coronavirus, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 on one side and the possible treatments for reducing the respiratory side effects on the other. The analysis of renin-angiotensin system as well as the tested drugs applied to acute respiratory distress syndrome cases, indicated that angiotensin II receptor blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and C21 as nonpeptide agonist might possess a promising modality of treatment for acute respiratory distress syndrome. Furthermore, implementing recombinant human ACE2 as a competitive receptor might be an effective way to trap and chelate the SARS-CoV-2 particles. Conclusion: The data suggest that combination therapy of angiotensin II receptor blockers and C21 could be a potential pharmacologic regimen to control and reduce acute respiratory distress syndrome. Moreover, rhACE2 can be recommended as an effective protective antiviral therapy in the treatment of COVID-19 and its complications.

4.
EPMA J ; 11(4): 581-601, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-932654

ABSTRACT

The long evolutionary battle between humans and pathogens has played an important role in shaping the current network of host-pathogen interactions. Each organ brings new challenges from the perspective of a pathogen to establish a suitable niche for survival while subverting the protective mechanisms of the host. Lungs, the organ for oxygen exchange, have been an easy target for pathogens due to its accessibility. The organ has evolved diverse capabilities to provide the flexibility required for an organism's health and at the same time maintain protective functionality to prevent and resolve assault by pathogens. The pathogenic invasions are strongly challenged by healthy lung architecture which includes the presence and activity of the epithelium, mucous, antimicrobial proteins, surfactants, and immune cells. Competitively, the pathogens in the form of viruses, bacteria, and fungi have evolved an arsenal of strategies that can over-ride the host's protective mechanisms. While bacteria such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) can survive in dormant form for years before getting active in humans, novel pathogens can wreak havoc as they pose a high risk of morbidity and mortality in a very short duration of time. Recently, a coronavirus strain SARS-CoV-2 has caused a pandemic which provides us an opportunity to look at the host manipulative strategies used by respiratory pathogens. Their ability to hide, modify, evade, and exploit cell's processes are key to their survival. While pathogens like M. tuberculosis have been infecting humans for thousands of years, SARS-CoV-2 has been the cause of the recent pandemic. Molecular understanding of the strategies used by these pathogens could greatly serve in design of predictive, preventive, personalized medicine (PPPM). In this article, we have emphasized on the clinically relevant evasive strategies of the pathogens in the lungs with emphasis on M. tuberculosis and SARS-CoV-2. The molecular basis of these evasive strategies illuminated through advances in genomics, cell, and structural biology can assist in the mapping of vulnerable molecular networks which can be exploited translationally. These evolutionary approaches can further assist in generating screening and therapeutic options for susceptible populations and could be a promising approach for the prediction, prevention of disease, and the development of personalized medicines. Further, tailoring the clinical data of COVID-19 patients with their physiological responses in light of known host-respiratory pathogen interactions can provide opportunities to improve patient profiling and stratification according to identified therapeutic targets.

5.
J Cell Mol Med ; 24(21): 12869-12872, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-863121

ABSTRACT

Considering lack of target-specific antiviral treatment and vaccination for COVID-19, it is absolutely exigent to have an effective therapeutic modality to reduce hospitalization and mortality rate as well as to improve COVID-19-infected patient outcomes. In a follow-up study to our recent findings indicating the potential of Cannabidiol (CBD) in the treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), here we show for the first time that CBD may ameliorate the symptoms of ARDS through up-regulation of apelin, a peptide with significant role in the central and peripheral regulation of immunity, CNS, metabolic and cardiovascular system. By administering intranasal Poly (I:C), a synthetic viral dsRNA, while we were able to mimic the symptoms of ARDS in a murine model, interestingly, there was a significant decrease in the expression of apelin in both blood and lung tissues. CBD treatment was able to reverse the symptoms of ARDS towards a normal level. Importantly, CBD treatment increased the apelin expression significantly, suggesting a potential crosstalk between apelinergic system and CBD may be the therapeutic target in the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as COVID-19 and many other pathologic conditions.


Subject(s)
Apelin/metabolism , Cannabidiol/pharmacology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/drug therapy , Administration, Intranasal , Animals , Lung/drug effects , Lung/pathology , Male , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Poly I-C/toxicity , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/chemically induced , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/metabolism , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/pathology
6.
J Neuroinflammation ; 17(1): 286, 2020 Sep 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-808484

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic is an unprecedented worldwide health crisis. COVID-19 is caused by SARS-CoV-2, a highly infectious pathogen that is genetically similar to SARS-CoV. Similar to other recent coronavirus outbreaks, including SARS and MERS, SARS-CoV-2 infected patients typically present with fever, dry cough, fatigue, and lower respiratory system dysfunction, including high rates of pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS); however, a rapidly accumulating set of clinical studies revealed atypical symptoms of COVID-19 that involve neurological signs, including headaches, anosmia, nausea, dysgeusia, damage to respiratory centers, and cerebral infarction. These unexpected findings may provide important clues regarding the pathological sequela of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Moreover, no efficacious therapies or vaccines are currently available, complicating the clinical management of COVID-19 patients and emphasizing the public health need for controlled, hypothesis-driven experimental studies to provide a framework for therapeutic development. In this mini-review, we summarize the current body of literature regarding the central nervous system (CNS) effects of SARS-CoV-2 and discuss several potential targets for therapeutic development to reduce neurological consequences in COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/complications , Nervous System Diseases/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Cannabis Cannabinoid Res ; 5(3): 197-201, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-638503

ABSTRACT

Introduction: In the absence of effective antivirals and vaccination, the pandemic of COVID-19 remains the most significant challenge to our health care system in decades. There is an urgent need for definitive therapeutic intervention. Clinical reports indicate that the cytokine storm associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is the leading cause of mortality in severe cases of some respiratory viral infections, including COVID-19. In recent years, cannabinoids have been investigated extensively due to their potential effects on the human body. Among all cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) has demonstrated potent anti-inflammatory effects in a variety of pathological conditions. Therefore, it is logical to explore whether CBD can reduce the cytokine storm and treat ARDS. Materials and Methods: In this study, we show that intranasal application of Poly(I:C), a synthetic analogue of viral double-stranded RNA, simulated symptoms of severe viral infections inducing signs of ARDS and cytokine storm. Discussion: The administration of CBD downregulated the level of proinflammatory cytokines and ameliorated the clinical symptoms of Poly I:C-induced ARDS. Conclusion: Our results suggest a potential protective role for CBD during ARDS that may extend CBD as part of the treatment of COVID-19 by reducing the cytokine storm, protecting pulmonary tissues, and re-establishing inflammatory homeostasis.

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