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1.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(21)2022 Nov 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2099581

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Since a large portion of the world's population is currently unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated and has limited access to approved treatments against COVID-19, there is an urgent need to continue research on treatment options, especially those at low cost and which are immediately available to patients, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Prior in vitro and observational studies have shown that fluoxetine, possibly through its inhibitory effect on the acid sphingomyelinase/ceramide system, could be a promising antiviral and anti-inflammatory treatment against COVID-19. In this report, we evaluated the potential antiviral and anti-inflammatory activities of fluoxetine in a K18-hACE2 mouse model of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and against variants of concern in vitro, i.e., SARS-CoV-2 ancestral strain, Alpha B.1.1.7, Gamma P1, Delta B1.617 and Omicron BA.5. Fluoxetine, administrated after SARS-CoV-2 infection, significantly reduced lung tissue viral titres and expression of several inflammatory markers (i.e., IL-6, TNFα, CCL2 and CXCL10). It also inhibited the replication of all variants of concern in vitro. A modulation of the ceramide system in the lung tissues, as reflected by the increase in the ratio HexCer 16:0/Cer 16:0 in fluoxetine-treated mice, may contribute to explain these effects. Our findings demonstrate the antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties of fluoxetine in a K18-hACE2 mouse model of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and its in vitro antiviral activity against variants of concern, establishing fluoxetine as a very promising candidate for the prevention and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease pathogenesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Mice , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacology , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Ceramides , COVID-19/drug therapy , Disease Models, Animal , Fluoxetine/pharmacology , Fluoxetine/therapeutic use
2.
Immunity ; 55(11): 2103-2117.e10, 2022 Nov 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2095502

ABSTRACT

The surface of the central nervous system (CNS) is protected by the meninges, which contain a dense network of meningeal macrophages (MMs). Here, we examined the role of tissue-resident MM in viral infection. MHC-II- MM were abundant neonatally, whereas MHC-II+ MM appeared over time. These barrier macrophages differentially responded to in vivo peripheral challenges such as LPS, SARS-CoV-2, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). Peripheral LCMV infection, which was asymptomatic, led to a transient infection and activation of the meninges. Mice lacking macrophages but conserving brain microglia, or mice bearing macrophage-specific deletion of Stat1 or Ifnar, exhibited extensive viral spread into the CNS. Transcranial pharmacological depletion strategies targeting MM locally resulted in several areas of the meninges becoming infected and fatal meningitis. Low numbers of MHC-II+ MM, which is seen upon LPS challenge or in neonates, corelated with higher viral load upon infection. Thus, MMs protect against viral infection and may present targets for therapeutic manipulation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis , Animals , Mice , Lipopolysaccharides , Mice, Inbred C57BL , SARS-CoV-2 , Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus/physiology , Macrophages , Meninges
3.
Science ; 376(6590): eabi9591, 2022 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2088383

ABSTRACT

In this work, we find that CD8+ T cells expressing inhibitory killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) are the human equivalent of Ly49+CD8+ regulatory T cells in mice and are increased in the blood and inflamed tissues of patients with a variety of autoimmune diseases. Moreover, these CD8+ T cells efficiently eliminated pathogenic gliadin-specific CD4+ T cells from the leukocytes of celiac disease patients in vitro. We also find elevated levels of KIR+CD8+ T cells, but not CD4+ regulatory T cells, in COVID-19 patients, correlating with disease severity and vasculitis. Selective ablation of Ly49+CD8+ T cells in virus-infected mice led to autoimmunity after infection. Our results indicate that in both species, these regulatory CD8+ T cells act specifically to suppress pathogenic T cells in autoimmune and infectious diseases.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases , COVID-19 , Animals , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Humans , Mice , Receptors, KIR , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory
4.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 2724-2734, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2087655

ABSTRACT

The development of safe and effective vaccines to respond to COVID-19 pandemic/endemic remains a priority. We developed a novel subunit protein-peptide COVID-19 vaccine candidate (UB-612) composed of: (i) receptor binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein fused to a modified single-chain human IgG1 Fc; (ii) five synthetic peptides incorporating conserved helper and cytotoxic T lymphocyte (Th/CTL) epitopes derived from SARS-CoV-2 structural proteins (three from S2 subunit, one from membrane and one from nucleocapsid), and one universal Th peptide; (iii) aluminum phosphate as adjuvant. The immunogenicity and protective immunity induced by UB-612 vaccine were evaluated in four animal models: Sprague-Dawley rats, AAV-hACE2 transduced BALB/c mice, rhesus and cynomolgus macaques. UB-612 vaccine induced high levels of neutralizing antibody and T-cell responses, in all animals. The immune sera from vaccinated animals neutralized the SARS-CoV-2 original wild-type strains and multiple variants of concern, including Delta and Omicron. The vaccination significantly reduced viral loads, lung pathology scores, and disease progression after intranasal and intratracheal challenge with SARS-CoV-2 in mice, rhesus and cynomolgus macaques. UB-612 has been tested in primary regimens in Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical studies and is currently being evaluated in a global pivotal Phase 3 clinical study as a single dose heterologous booster.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Rats , Mice , Humans , Animals , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies , Pandemics/prevention & control , COVID-19/prevention & control , Rats, Sprague-Dawley , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Vaccines, Subunit/genetics , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Macaca mulatta , Antibodies, Viral
6.
Virology ; 576: 61-68, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2086825

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 variants have posed significant challenges to the hopes of using ancestral strain-based vaccines to address the risk of breakthrough infection by variants. We designed and developed a bivalent vaccine based on SARS-CoV-2 Alpha and Beta variants (named SCTV01C). SCTV01C antigens were stable at 25 oC for at least 6 months. In the presence of a squalene-based oil-in-water adjuvant SCT-VA02B, SCTV01C showed significant protection efficacy against antigen-matched Beta variant, with favorable safety profiles in rodents. Notably, SCTV01C exhibited cross-neutralization capacity against Omicron subvariants (BA.1, BA.1.1, BA.2, BA.3, and BA.4/5) in mice, superior to a WT (D614G)-based vaccine, which reinforced our previously published findings that SCTV01C exhibited broad-spectrum neutralizing potencies against over a dozen pre-Omicron variants and the Omicron BA.1 variant. In summary, variant-based multivalent protein vaccine could be a platform approach to address the challenging issues of emerging variants, vaccine hesitancy and the needs of affordable and thermal stable vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Mice , Humans , Animals , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccines, Combined , Viral Vaccines/genetics , Squalene , COVID-19/prevention & control , Antibodies, Viral , Water , Antibodies, Neutralizing
7.
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol ; 456: 116284, 2022 Dec 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2086745

ABSTRACT

Genetic and environmental factors impact on the interindividual variability of susceptibility to communicable and non-communicable diseases. A class of ubiquitous chemicals, Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been linked in epidemiological studies to immunosuppression and increased susceptibility to viral infections, but possible mechanisms are not well elucidated. To begin to gain insight into the role of PFAS in susceptibility to one such viral infection, Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), male and female C57BL/6 J mice were exposed to control water or a mixture of 5 PFAS (PFOS, PFOA, PFNA, PFHxS, Genx) for 12 weeks and lungs were isolated for examination of expression of SARS-CoV-2-related receptors Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) and others. Secondary analyses included circulating hormones and cytokines which have been shown to directly or indirectly impact on ACE2 expression and severity of viral infections. Changes in mRNA and protein expression were analyzed by RT-qPCR and western blotting and circulating hormones and cytokines were determined by ELISA and MESO QuickPlex. The PFAS mixture decreased Ace2 mRNA 2.5-fold in male mice (p < 0.0001), with no significant change observed in females. In addition, TMPRSS2, ANPEP, ENPEP and DPP4 (other genes implicated in COVID-19 infection) were modulated due to PFAS. Plasma testosterone, but not estrogen were strikingly decreased due to PFAS which corresponded to PFAS-mediated repression of 4 representative pulmonary AR target genes; hemoglobin, beta adult major chain (Hbb-b1), Ferrochelatase (Fech), Collagen Type XIV Alpha 1 Chain (Col14a1), 5'-Aminolevulinate Synthase 2 (Alas2). Finally, PFAS modulated circulating pro and anti-inflammatory mediators including IFN-γ (downregulated 3.0-fold in females; p = 0.0301, 2.1-fold in males; p = 0.0418) and IL-6 (upregulated 5.6-fold in males; p = 0.030, no change in females). In conclusion, our data indicate long term exposure to a PFAS mixture impacts mechanisms related to expression of ACE2 in the lung. This work provides a mechanistic rationale for important future studies of PFAS exposure and subsequent viral infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Fluorocarbons , Male , Female , Mice , Animals , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , SARS-CoV-2 , Fluorocarbons/toxicity , Cytokines , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Lung , Hormones , RNA, Messenger
8.
Animal Model Exp Med ; 5(5): 401-409, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2084982

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the most consequential pandemic of this century, threatening human health and public safety. SARS-CoV-2 has been continuously evolving through mutation of its genome and variants of concern have emerged. The World Health Organization R&D Blueprint plan convened a range of expert groups to develop animal models for COVID-19, a core requirement for the prevention and control of SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The animal model construction techniques developed during the SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV pandemics were rapidly deployed and applied in the establishment of COVID-19 animal models. To date, a large number of animal models for COVID-19, including mice, hamsters, minks and nonhuman primates, have been established. Infectious diseases produce unique manifestations according to the characteristics of the pathogen and modes of infection. Here we classified animal model resources around the infection route of SARS-CoV-2, and summarized the characteristics of the animal models constructed via transnasal, localized, and simulated transmission routes of infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Cricetinae , Animals , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2 , Pandemics , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Models, Animal
9.
J Cell Biol ; 221(7)2022 07 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2082890

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causal pathogen of the ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Loss of smell and taste are symptoms of COVID-19, and may be related to cilia dysfunction. Here, we found that the SARS-CoV-2 ORF10 increases the overall E3 ligase activity of the CUL2ZYG11B complex by interacting with ZYG11B. Enhanced CUL2ZYG11B activity by ORF10 causes increased ubiquitination and subsequent proteasome-mediated degradation of an intraflagellar transport (IFT) complex B protein, IFT46, thereby impairing both cilia biogenesis and maintenance. Further, we show that exposure of the respiratory tract of hACE2 mice to SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-CoV-2 ORF10 alone results in cilia-dysfunction-related phenotypes, and the ORF10 expression in primary human nasal epithelial cells (HNECs) also caused a rapid loss of the ciliary layer. Our study demonstrates how SARS-CoV-2 ORF10 hijacks CUL2ZYG11B to eliminate IFT46 and leads to cilia dysfunction, thereby offering a powerful etiopathological explanation for how SARS-CoV-2 causes multiple cilia-dysfunction-related symptoms specific to COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Cilia , SARS-CoV-2 , Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases , Animals , Cells, Cultured , Cilia/metabolism , Cilia/pathology , Cytoskeletal Proteins , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/virology , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Smell , Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases/metabolism
10.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(20)2022 Oct 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2081861

ABSTRACT

d-Arabinofuranosyl-pyrimidine and -purine nucleoside analogues containing alkylthio-, acetylthio- or 1-thiosugar substituents at the C2' position were prepared from the corresponding 3',5'-O-silylene acetal-protected nucleoside 2'-exomethylenes by photoinitiated, radical-mediated hydrothiolation reactions. Although the stereochemical outcome of the hydrothiolation depended on the structure of both the thiol and the furanoside aglycone, in general, high d-arabino selectivity was obtained. The cytotoxic effect of the arabinonucleosides was studied on tumorous SCC (mouse squamous cell) and immortalized control HaCaT (human keratinocyte) cell lines by MTT assay. Three pyrimidine nucleosides containing C2'-butylsulfanylmethyl or -acetylthiomethyl groups showed promising cytotoxicity at low micromolar concentrations with good selectivity towards tumor cells. SAR analysis using a methyl ß-d-arabinofuranoside reference compound showed that the silyl-protecting group, the nucleobase and the corresponding C2' substituent are crucial for the cell growth inhibitory activity. The effects of the three most active nucleoside analogues on parameters indicative of cytotoxicity, such as cell size, division time and cell generation time, were investigated by near-infrared live cell imaging, which showed that the 2'-acetylthiomethyluridine derivative induced the most significant functional and morphological changes. Some nucleoside analogues also exerted anti-SARS-CoV-2 and/or anti-HCoV-229E activity with low micromolar EC50 values; however, the antiviral activity was always accompanied by significant cytotoxicity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pyrimidine Nucleosides , Thiosugars , Humans , Mice , Animals , Arabinonucleosides/chemistry , Arabinonucleosides/pharmacology , Nucleosides/pharmacology , Nucleosides/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Acetals , Sulfhydryl Compounds/chemistry , Purines , Structure-Activity Relationship
11.
Molecules ; 27(20)2022 Oct 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2081847

ABSTRACT

Griseofulvin is an antifungal polyketide metabolite produced mainly by ascomycetes. Since it was commercially introduced in 1959, griseofulvin has been used in treating dermatophyte infections. This fungistatic has gained increasing interest for multifunctional applications in the last decades due to its potential to disrupt mitosis and cell division in human cancer cells and arrest hepatitis C virus replication. In addition to these inhibitory effects, we and others found griseofulvin may enhance ACE2 function, contribute to vascular vasodilation, and improve capillary blood flow. Furthermore, molecular docking analysis revealed that griseofulvin and its derivatives have good binding potential with SARS-CoV-2 main protease, RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), and spike protein receptor-binding domain (RBD), suggesting its inhibitory effects on SARS-CoV-2 entry and viral replication. These findings imply the repurposing potentials of the FDA-approved drug griseofulvin in designing and developing novel therapeutic interventions. In this review, we have summarized the available information from its discovery to recent progress in this growing field. Additionally, explored is the possible mechanism leading to rare hepatitis induced by griseofulvin. We found that griseofulvin and its metabolites, including 6-desmethylgriseofulvin (6-DMG) and 4- desmethylgriseofulvin (4-DMG), have favorable interactions with cytokeratin intermediate filament proteins (K8 and K18), ranging from -3.34 to -5.61 kcal mol-1. Therefore, they could be responsible for liver injury and Mallory body (MB) formation in hepatocytes of human, mouse, and rat treated with griseofulvin. Moreover, the stronger binding of griseofulvin to K18 in rodents than in human may explain the observed difference in the severity of hepatitis between rodents and human.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Polyketides , Mice , Humans , Rats , Animals , Griseofulvin/pharmacology , Antifungal Agents/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Molecular Docking Simulation , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Keratins/metabolism , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase
12.
Front Immunol ; 13: 919815, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2080131

ABSTRACT

Since first reported in 2019, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is rapidly acquiring mutations, particularly in the spike protein, that can modulate pathogenicity, transmission and antibody evasion leading to successive waves of COVID19 infections despite an unprecedented mass vaccination necessitating continuous adaptation of therapeutics. Small animal models can facilitate understanding host-pathogen interactions, target selection for therapeutic drugs, and vaccine development, but availability and cost of studies in BSL3 facilities hinder progress. To generate a BSL2-compatible in vivo system that specifically recapitulates spike protein mediated disease we used replication competent, GFP tagged, recombinant Vesicular Stomatitis Virus where the VSV glycoprotein was replaced by the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (rVSV-SARS2-S). We show that infection requires hACE2 and challenge of neonatal but not adult, K18-hACE2 transgenic mice (hACE2tg) leads to productive infection of the lungs and brains. Although disease progression was faster in SARS-CoV-2 infected mice, infection with both viruses resulted in neuronal infection and encephalitis with increased expression of Interferon-stimulated Irf7, Bst2, Ifi294, as well as CxCL10, CCL5, CLC2, and LILRB4, and both models were uniformly lethal. Further, prophylactic treatment targeting the Spike protein (Receptor Binding Domain) with antibodies resulted in similar levels of protection from lethal infection against rVSV-SARS2-S and SARS-CoV-2 viruses. Strikingly, challenge of neonatal hACE2tg mice with SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern (SARS-CoV-2-α, -ß, ϒ, or Δ) or the corresponding rVSV-SARS2-S viruses (rVSV-SARS2-Spike-α, rVSV-SARS2-Spike-ß, rVSV-SARS2-Spike-ϒ or rVSV-SARS2-Spike-Δ) resulted in increased lethality, suggesting that the Spike protein plays a key role in determining the virulence of each variant. Thus, we propose that rVSV-SARS2-S virus can be used to understand the effect of changes to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein on infection and to evaluate existing or experimental therapeutics targeting spike protein of current or future VOC of SARS-CoV-2 under BSL-2 conditions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Animals , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Membrane Glycoproteins/metabolism , Mice , Receptors, Immunologic , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
13.
PLoS One ; 17(10): e0274829, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2079738

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is a global threat. To forestall the pandemic, developing safe and effective vaccines is necessary. Because of the rapid production and little effect on the host genome, mRNA vaccines are attractive, but they have a relatively low immune response after a single dose. Replicon RNA (repRNA) is a promising vaccine platform for safety and efficacy. RepRNA vaccine encodes not only antigen genes but also the genes necessary for RNA replication. Thus, repRNA is self-replicative and can play the role of an adjuvant by itself, which elicits robust immunity. This study constructed and evaluated a repRNA vaccine in which the gene encoding the spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 was inserted into a replicon of yellow fever virus 17D strain. Upon electroporation of this repRNA into baby hamster kidney cells, the S protein and yellow fever virus protein were co-expressed. Additionally, the self-replication ability of repRNA vaccine was confirmed using qRT-PCR, demonstrating its potency as a vaccine. Immunization of C57BL/6 mice with 1 µg of the repRNA vaccine induced specific T-cell responses but not antibody responses. Notably, the T-cell response induced by the repRNA vaccine was significantly higher than that induced by the nonreplicative RNA vaccine in our experimental model. In the future, it is of the essence to optimize vaccine administration methods and improve S protein expression, like protection of repRNA by nanoparticles and evasion of innate immunity of the host to enhance the immune-inducing ability of the repRNA vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Mice , Animals , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines , Yellow fever virus , COVID-19/prevention & control , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , Replicon , RNA/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Antibodies, Viral , Antibodies, Neutralizing
14.
EMBO Mol Med ; 14(11): e16818, 2022 Nov 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2081082

ABSTRACT

There is an unmet clinical need to end the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past 2 years, the SARS-CoV-2 continued to evolve and poses a critical challenge to the efficacy of the vaccine and neutralizing antibody therapies. The fifth wave of the pandemic is driven by the Omicron variants, due to their ability to evade prior immunity and their resistance to therapeutic antibodies. The report by Zhang et al in the current issue of EMBO Molecular Medicine shows that the engineered decoy ACE2 can reduce lung injury and improve survival in K18-hACE2 transgenic mice inoculated with a lethal dose of the SARS-CoV-2 and potentially targets the Omicron variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Mice , Animals , Humans , COVID-19/therapy , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Pandemics , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Mice, Transgenic , Antibodies, Viral
15.
Front Immunol ; 13: 1025495, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2080158

ABSTRACT

Disorders of systemic metabolism can influence immunity. Individuals with obesity are known to have increased inflammation, increased risk to select autoimmune diseases, impaired response to several infections, and impaired vaccine response. For example, over the last decade, it has become clear that individuals with obesity have increased risk of morbidity and mortality from influenza infection. Unsurprisingly, this finding is also observed in the current COVID-19 pandemic: individuals with obesity, particularly severe obesity, have increased risk of poor outcomes from SARS-CoV-2 infection, including increased rates of hospitalization, ICU admission, mechanical ventilation, and death. Several studies have now demonstrated a critical role for T cells in the context of obesity-associated immune dysfunction in response to viral infection, and one mechanism for this may be altered T cell metabolism. Indeed, recent studies have shown that activated T cells from obese mice have an altered metabolic profile characterized by increased glucose oxidation, both in vitro and in vivo following viral infection. For that reason, treatments that target abnormal immune cell metabolism in obesity may improve outcomes to viral infection. To that end, several recent studies have shown that use of the metabolic drug, metformin, can reverse abnormal T cell metabolism and restore T cell immunity, as well as survival, in response to viral infection. These findings will be discussed in detail here.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Metformin , Animals , Mice , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes , Obesity/complications , Metformin/therapeutic use , Oxidative Stress , Glucose
16.
Front Immunol ; 13: 1004045, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2080154

ABSTRACT

Haemodialysis patients respond poorly to vaccination and continue to be at-risk for severe COVID-19. Therefore, dialysis patients were among the first for which a fourth COVID-19 vaccination was recommended. However, targeted information on how to best maintain immune protection after SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations in at-risk groups for severe COVID-19 remains limited. We provide, to the best of our knowledge, for the first time longitudinal vaccination response data in dialysis patients and controls after a triple BNT162b2 vaccination and in the latter after a subsequent fourth full-dose of mRNA-1273. We analysed systemic and mucosal humoral IgG responses against the receptor-binding domain (RBD) and ACE2-binding inhibition towards variants of concern including Omicron and Delta with multiplex-based immunoassays. In addition, we assessed Spike S1-specific T-cell responses by interferon γ release assay. After triple BNT162b2 vaccination, anti-RBD B.1 IgG and ACE2 binding inhibition reached peak levels in dialysis patients, but remained inferior compared to controls. Whilst we detected B.1-specific ACE2 binding inhibition in 84% of dialysis patients after three BNT162b2 doses, binding inhibition towards the Omicron variant was only detectable in 38% of samples and declining to 16% before the fourth vaccination. By using mRNA-1273 as fourth dose, humoral immunity against all SARS-CoV-2 variants tested was strongly augmented with 80% of dialysis patients having Omicron-specific ACE2 binding inhibition. Modest declines in T-cell responses in dialysis patients and controls after the second vaccination were restored by the third BNT162b2 dose and significantly increased by the fourth vaccination. Our data support current advice for a four-dose COVID-19 immunisation scheme for at-risk individuals such as haemodialysis patients. We conclude that administration of a fourth full-dose of mRNA-1273 as part of a mixed mRNA vaccination scheme to boost immunity and to prevent severe COVID-19 could also be beneficial in other immune impaired individuals. Additionally, strategic application of such mixed vaccine regimens may be an immediate response against SARS-CoV-2 variants with increased immune evasion potential.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Vaccines , Mice , Animals , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , SARS-CoV-2 , 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273 , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Vaccination , Immunoglobulin G , Renal Dialysis , RNA, Messenger
17.
BMC Med ; 20(1): 359, 2022 10 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2079420

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome disease (SFTS), caused by the novel tick-borne SFTS virus (SFTSV), was listed among the top 10 priority infectious disease by World Health Organization due to the high fatality rate of 5-30% and the lack of effective antiviral drugs and vaccines and therefore raised the urgent need to develop effective anti-SFTSV drugs to improve disease treatment. METHODS: The antiviral drugs to inhibit SFTSV infection were identified by screening the library containing 1340 FDA-approved drugs using the SFTSV infection assays in vitro. The inhibitory effect on virus entry and the process of clathrin-mediated endocytosis under different drug doses was evaluated based on infection assays by qRT-PCR to determine intracellular viral copies, by Western blot to characterize viral protein expression in cells, and by immunofluorescence assays (IFAs) to determine virus infection efficiencies. The therapeutic effect was investigated in type I interferon receptor defective A129 mice in vivo with SFTSV infection, from which lesions and infection in tissues caused by SFTSV infection were assessed by H&E staining and immunohistochemical analysis. RESULTS: Six drugs were identified as exerting inhibitory effects against SFTSV infection, of which anidulafungin, an antifungal drug of the echinocandin family, has a strong inhibitory effect on SFTSV entry. It suppresses SFTSV internalization by impairing the late endosome maturation and decreasing virus fusion with the membrane. SFTSV-infected A129 mice had relieving symptoms, reduced tissue lesions, and improved disease outcomes following anidulafungin treatment. Moreover, anidulafungin exerts an antiviral effect in inhibiting the entry of other viruses including SARS-CoV-2, SFTSV-related Guertu virus and Heartland virus, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus, Zika virus, and Herpes simplex virus 1. CONCLUSIONS: The results demonstrated that the antifungal drug, anidulafungin, could effectively inhibit virus infection by interfering with virus entry, suggesting it may be utilized for the clinical treatment of infectious viral diseases, in addition to its FDA-approved use as an antifungal. The findings also suggested to further evaluate the anti-viral effects of echinocandins and their clinical importance for patients with infection of viruses, which may promote therapeutic strategies as well as treatments and improve outcomes pertaining to various viral and fungal diseases.


Subject(s)
Anidulafungin , Bunyaviridae Infections , Virus Diseases , Animals , Mice , Anidulafungin/pharmacology , Anidulafungin/therapeutic use , Antifungal Agents/pharmacology , Antifungal Agents/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Bunyaviridae Infections/drug therapy , Clathrin , Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Proteins , Virus Diseases/drug therapy
18.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(44): e2206509119, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2077260

ABSTRACT

The sudden emergence and rapid spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) omicron variant has raised questions about its animal reservoir. Here, we investigated receptor recognition of the omicron's receptor-binding domain (RBD), focusing on four of its mutations (Q493R, Q498R, N501Y, and Y505H) surrounding two mutational hotspots. These mutations have variable effects on the RBD's affinity for human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), but they all enhance the RBD's affinity for mouse ACE2. We further determined the crystal structure of omicron RBD complexed with mouse ACE2. The structure showed that all four mutations are viral adaptations to mouse ACE2: three of them (Q493R, Q498R, and Y505H) are uniquely adapted to mouse ACE2, whereas the other one (N501Y) is adapted to both human ACE2 and mouse ACE2. These data reveal that the omicron RBD was well adapted to mouse ACE2 before omicron started to infect humans, providing insight into the potential evolutionary origin of the omicron variant.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , Animals , Humans , Mice , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , COVID-19/genetics , Protein Binding , Mutation
19.
Nat Cell Biol ; 24(11): 1595-1605, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2077059

ABSTRACT

Salivary glands act as virus reservoirs in various infectious diseases and have been reported to be targeted by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). However, the mechanisms underlying infection and replication in salivary glands are still enigmatic due to the lack of proper in vitro models. Here, we show that human induced salivary glands (hiSGs) generated from human induced pluripotent stem cells can be infected with SARS-CoV-2. The hiSGs exhibit properties similar to those of embryonic salivary glands and are a valuable tool for the functional analysis of genes during development. Orthotopically transplanted hiSGs can be engrafted at a recipient site in mice and show a mature phenotype. In addition, we confirm SARS-CoV-2 infection and replication in hiSGs. SARS-CoV-2 derived from saliva in asymptomatic individuals may participate in the spread of the virus. hiSGs may be a promising model for investigating the role of salivary glands as a virus reservoir.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells , Humans , Animals , Mice , SARS-CoV-2 , Organoids , Salivary Glands
20.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 6100, 2022 Oct 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2077054

ABSTRACT

In cultured cells, SARS-CoV-2 infects cells via multiple pathways using different host proteases. Recent studies have shown that the furin and TMPRSS2 (furin/TMPRSS2)-dependent pathway plays a minor role in infection of the Omicron variant. Here, we confirm that Omicron uses the furin/TMPRSS2-dependent pathway inefficiently and enters cells mainly using the cathepsin-dependent endocytosis pathway in TMPRSS2-expressing VeroE6/TMPRSS2 and Calu-3 cells. This is the case despite efficient cleavage of the spike protein of Omicron. However, in the airways of TMPRSS2-knockout mice, Omicron infection is significantly reduced. We furthermore show that propagation of the mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 QHmusX strain and human clinical isolates of Beta and Gamma is reduced in TMPRSS2-knockout mice. Therefore, the Omicron variant isn't an exception in using TMPRSS2 in vivo, and analysis with TMPRSS2-knockout mice is important when evaluating SARS-CoV-2 variants. In conclusion, this study shows that TMPRSS2 is critically important for SARS-CoV-2 infection of murine airways, including the Omicron variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Humans , Mice , Cathepsins , Furin/genetics , Furin/metabolism , Mice, Knockout , Peptide Hydrolases , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization
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