The case of complement activation in COVID-19 multiorgan impact.
ABSTRACT: The novel coronavirus disease COVID-19 originates in the lungs, but it may extend to other organs, causing, in severe cases, multiorgan damage, including cardiac injury and acute kidney injury. In severe cases, the presence of kidney injury is associated with increased risk of death, highlighting the relevance of this organ as a target of SARS-CoV-2 infection. COVID-19-associated tissue injury is not primarily mediated by viral infection, but rather is a result of the inflammatory host immune response, which drives hypercytokinemia and aggressive inflammation that affect lung parenchymal cells, diminishing oxygen uptake, but also endothelial cells, resulting in endotheliitis and thrombotic events and intravascular coagulation. The complement system represents the first response of the host immune system to SARS-CoV-2 infection, but there is growing evidence that unrestrained activation of complement induced by the virus in the lungs and other organs plays a major role in acute and chronic inflammation, endothelial cell dysfunction, thrombus formation, and intravascular coagulation, and ultimately contributes to multiple organ failure and death. In this review, we discuss the relative role of the different complement activation products in the pathogenesis of COVID-19-associated tissue inflammation and thrombosis and propose the hypothesis that blockade of the terminal complement pathway may represent a potential therapeutic option for the prevention and treatment of lung and multiorgan damage.
Project description:A novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has recently emerged in China and spread internationally, posing a health emergency to the global community. COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 is associated with an acute respiratory illness that varies from mild to the life-threatening acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The complement system is part of the innate immune arsenal against pathogens, in which many viruses can evade or employ to mediate cell entry. The immunopathology and acute lung injury orchestrated through the influx of pro-inflammatory macrophages and neutrophils can be directly activated by complement components to prime an overzealous cytokine storm. The manifestations of severe COVID-19 such as the ARDS, sepsis and multiorgan failure have an established relationship with activation of the complement cascade. We have collected evidence from all the current studies we are aware of on SARS-CoV-2 immunopathogenesis and the preceding literature on SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV infection linking severe COVID-19 disease directly with dysfunction of the complement pathways. This information lends support for a therapeutic anti-inflammatory strategy against complement, where a number of clinically ready potential therapeutic agents are available.
Project description:COVID-19 is often related to hyperinflammation that drives lung or multiorgan injury. The immunopathological mechanisms that cause excessive inflammation are under investigation and constantly updated. Here, a gene network approach was used on recently published data sets to identify possible COVID-19 inflammatory mechanisms and bioactive genes. First, network analysis of putative SARS-CoV-2 cellular receptors led to the mining of a neutrophil-response signature and relevant inflammatory genes. Second, analysis of RNA-seq data sets of lung cells infected with SARS-CoV-2 revealed that infected cells expressed neutrophil-attracting chemokines. Third, analysis of RNA-seq data sets of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid cells from COVID-19 patients identified upregulation of neutrophil genes and chemokines. Different inflammatory genes mined here, including TNFR, IL-8, CXCR1, CXCR2, ADAM10, GPR84, MME, ANPEP, and LAP3, might be druggable targets in efforts to limit SARS-CoV-2 inflammation in severe clinical cases. The possible role of neutrophils in COVID-19 inflammation needs to be studied further.
Project description:Graphical abstract Highlights • The structural similarity analysis identified 3,735 human proteins (hSARS-CoV-2) similar to the 16 SARS-CoV-2 proteins.• MAPK1, MAPK3, AKT1, and SRC proteins are the critical drivers of signaling pathways and often overlap with the associated pathways during SARS-CoV-2 infection.• Several viral proteins interact with MAVS, TRAF6, IRAK1, IRF3, and IRF7 and inhibit IFN-I and ISGs production.• TP53, TNF, MAPK3 proteins in Cytokines storm and VAMP8, ITGAM, and STOM in Neutrophils degranulation are regulatory proteins associated with the ARDS.• Proteomics data showed 28 candidates associated with complement and coagulation cascade during SARS-CoV-2 infection.• Our study suggests that therapeutic targeting of the downstream proteins of the complement system can mitigate SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis. The emergence and continued spread of SARS-CoV-2 have resulted in a public health emergency across the globe. The lack of knowledge on the precise mechanism of viral pathogenesis is impeding medical intervention. In this study, we have taken both in silico and in vitro experimental approaches to unravel the mechanism of viral pathogenesis associated with complement and coagulation pathways. Based on the structural similarities of viral and host proteins, we initially generated a protein-protein interactome profile. Further computational analysis combined with Gene Ontology (GO) analysis and KEGG pathway analysis predicted key annotated pathways associated with viral pathogenesis. These include MAPK signaling, complement, and coagulation cascades, endocytosis, PD-L1 expression, PD-1 checkpoint pathway in cancer and C-type lectin receptor signaling pathways. Degree centrality analysis pinned down to MAPK1, MAPK3, AKT1, and SRC are crucial drivers of signaling pathways and often overlap with the associated pathways. Most strikingly, the complement and coagulation cascade and platelet activation pathways are interconnected, presumably directing thrombotic activity observed in severe or critical cases of COVID-19. This is complemented by in vitro studies of Huh7 cell infection and analysis of the transcriptome and proteomic profile of gene candidates during viral infection. The most known candidates associated with complement and coagulation cascade signaling by KEGG pathway analysis showed significant up-regulated fold change during viral infection. Collectively both in silico and in vitro studies suggest complement and coagulation cascade signaling are a mechanism for intravascular coagulation, thrombotic changes, and associated complications in severe COVID-19 patients.
Project description:SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent of COVID-19. Severe COVID-19 disease has been associated with disseminated intravascular coagulation and thrombosis, but the mechanisms underlying COVID-19-related coagulopathy remain unknown. The risk of severe COVID-19 disease is higher in males than in females and increases with age. To identify gene products that may contribute to COVID-19-related coagulopathy, we analyzed the expression of genes associated with the Gene Ontology (GO) term "blood coagulation" in the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) database and identified four procoagulants, whose expression is higher in males and increases with age (ADAMTS13, F11, HGFAC, KLKB1), and two anticoagulants, whose expression is higher in females and decreases with age (C1QTNF1, SERPINA5). However, the expression of none of these genes was regulated in a proteomics dataset of SARS-CoV-2-infected cells and none of the proteins have been identified as a binding partner of SARS-CoV-2 proteins. Hence, they may rather generally predispose individuals to thrombosis without directly contributing to COVID-19-related coagulopathy. In contrast, the expression of the procoagulant transferrin (not associated to the GO term "blood coagulation") was higher in males, increased with age, and was upregulated upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. Hence, transferrin warrants further examination in ongoing clinic-pathological investigations.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The outbreak of COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 has been a pandemic. The objective of our study was to explore the association between sex and clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19. METHODS:Detailed clinical data including clinical characteristics, laboratory tests, imaging features and treatments of 1190 cases of adult patients with confirmed COVID-19 were retrospectively analyzed. Associations between sex and clinical outcomes were identified by multivariable Cox regression analysis. RESULTS:There were 635 (53.4%) male and 555 (46.6%) female patients in this study. Higher rates of acute kidney injury (5.5% vs. 2.9%, p = 0.026), acute cardiac injury (9.1% vs. 4.3%, p = 0.001), and disseminated intravascular coagulation (2.5% vs. 0.7%, P = 0.024) were observed in males. Compared with female patients, male patients with COVID-19 had a higher inhospital mortality rate (15.7% vs. 10.3%, p = 0.005). However, Cox regression analysis showed that sex did not influence inhospital mortality of COVID-19 patients. CONCLUSIONS:Male sex was associated with a worse prognosis of COVID-19, but it seems not to be an independent prognostic factor.
Project description:Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has rapidly become a global pandemic. In addition to the acute pulmonary symptoms of COVID-19 (the disease associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection), pulmonary and distal coagulopathies have caused morbidity and mortality in many patients. Currently, the molecular pathogenesis underlying COVID-19 associated coagulopathies are unknown. While there are many theories for the cause of this pathology, including hyper inflammation and excess tissue damage, the cellular and molecular underpinnings are not yet clear. By analyzing transcriptomic data sets from experimental and clinical research teams, we determined that changes in the gene expression of genes important in the extrinsic coagulation cascade in the lung epithelium may be important triggers for COVID-19 coagulopathy. This regulation of the extrinsic blood coagulation cascade is not seen with influenza A virus (IAV)-infected NHBEs suggesting that the lung epithelial derived coagulopathies are specific to SARS-Cov-2 infection. This study is the first to identify potential lung epithelial cell derived factors contributing to COVID-19 associated coagulopathy. GRAPHICAL ABSTRACT: AUTHOR SUMMARY:Why was this study done?: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has rapidly become a global pandemic.In addition to the acute pulmonary symptoms of COVID-19 (the disease associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection), pulmonary and distal coagulopathies have caused morbidity and mortality in many patients.Currently, the molecular pathogenesis underlying COVID-19 associated coagulopathies are unknown. Understanding the molecular basis of dysregulated blood coagulation during SARS-CoV-2 infection may help promote new therapeutic strategies to mitigate these complications in COVID-19 patients.What did the researchers do and find?: We analyzed three publicly available RNA sequencing datasets to identify possible molecular etiologies of COVID-19 associated coagulopathies. These data sets include sequencing libraries from clinically isolated samples of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from SARS-CoV-2 positive patients and healthy controls. We also analyzed a publicly available RNA sequencing dataset derived from in vitro SARS-CoV-2 infected primary normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells and mock infected samples. Pathway analysis of both NHBE and BALF differential gene expression gene sets. We found that SARS-CoV-2 infection induces the activation of the extrinsic blood coagulation cascade and suppression of the plasminogen activation system in both NHBEs and cells isolated from the BALF. PBMCs did not differentially express genes regulating blood coagulation.Comparison with influenza A virus (IAV)-infected NHBEs revealed that the regulation of the extrinsic blood coagulation cascade is unique to SARS-CoV-2, and not seen with IAV infection.What do these findings mean?: The hyper-activation of the extrinsic blood coagulation cascade and the suppression of the plasminogen activation system in SARS-CoV-2 infected epithelial cells may drive diverse coagulopathies in the lung and distal organ systems.The gene transcription pattern in SARS-CoV-2 infected epithelial cells is distinct from IAV infected epithelial cells with regards to the regulation of blood coagulation.
Project description:Novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), has rapidly spread throughout the world, resulting in a pandemic with high mortality. There are no effective treatments for the management of severe COVID-19 and current therapeutic trials are focused on antiviral therapy and attenuation of hyper-inflammation with anti-cytokine therapy. Severe COVID-19 pneumonia shares some pathological similarities with severe bacterial pneumonia and sepsis. In particular, it disrupts the haemostatic balance, which results in a procoagulant state locally in the lungs and systemically. This culminates in the formation of microthrombi, disseminated intravascular coagulation and multi-organ failure. The deleterious effects of exaggerated inflammatory responses and activation of coagulation have been investigated in bacterial pneumonia and sepsis and there is recognition that although these pathways are important for the host immune response to pathogens, they can lead to bystander tissue injury and are negatively associated with survival. In the past two decades, evidence from preclinical studies has led to the emergence of potential anticoagulant therapeutic strategies for the treatment of patients with pneumonia, sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome, and some of these anticoagulant approaches have been trialled in humans. Here, we review the evidence from preclinical studies and clinical trials of anticoagulant treatment strategies in bacterial pneumonia and sepsis, and discuss the importance of these findings in the context of COVID-19.
Project description:The newly identified coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that spread from China is causing the pandemic COVID-19 with a fatality rate from 5-15%. It causes fever, cough, myalgia, fatigue up to dyspnoea, responsible for hospitalization and artificial oxygenation. SARS-CoV-2 infects human cells using ACE2, the transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) and the SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro ). Once bound to ACE2 and the other two proteases in concert they allow the virus replication and spread throughout the body. Our attention has been focused on the role of ACE2 as its binding to by the virus increases bradykinin and its metabolites, which facilitate inflammation in the lung (causing cough and fever), coagulation and the complement system. These three systems are involved in angioedema, cardiovascular dysfunction and sepsis, pathologies which occur in COVID-19 patients. Thus, we propose that blocking the kallikrein-kinin system with lanadelumab, approved for hereditary angioedema, will prevent facilitation of these 3 systems. LINKED ARTICLES: This article is part of a themed issue on The Pharmacology of COVID-19. To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v177.21/issuetoc.
Project description:SARS-CoV-2 is characterized by a multiorgan tropism including the kidneys. Recent autopsy series indicated that SARS-CoV-2 can infect both tubular and glomerular cells. Whereas tubular cell infiltration may contribute to acute kidney injury, data on a potential clinical correlative to glomerular affection is rare. We describe the first case of nephrotic syndrome in the context of COVID-19 in a renal transplant recipient. A 35 year old male patient received a kidney allograft for primary focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). Three months posttransplant a recurrence of podocytopathy was successfully managed by plasma exchange, ivIG, and a conversion from tacrolimus to belatacept (initial proteinuria > 6 g/l decreased to 169 mg/l). Six weeks later he was tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and developed a second increase of proteinuria (5.6 g/l). Renal allograft biopsy revealed diffuse podocyte effacement and was positive for SARS-CoV-2 in RNA in-situ hybridation indicating a SARS-CoV-2 associated recurrence of podocytopathy. Noteworthy, nephrotic proteinuria resolved spontaneously after recovering from COVID-19. The present case expands the spectrum of renal involvement in COVID-19 from acute tubular injury to podocytopathy in renal transplant recipients. Thus, it may be wise to test for SARS-CoV-2 prior to initiation of immunosuppression in new onset glomerulopathy during the pandemic.
Project description:The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, caused by SARS-CoV-2, represents the greatest medical challenge in decades. We provide a comprehensive review of the clinical course of COVID-19, its comorbidities, and mechanistic considerations for future therapies. While COVID-19 primarily affects the lungs, causing interstitial pneumonitis and severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), it also affects multiple organs, particularly the cardiovascular system. Risk of severe infection and mortality increase with advancing age and male sex. Mortality is increased by comorbidities: cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, chronic pulmonary disease, and cancer. The most common complications include arrhythmia (atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachyarrhythmia, and ventricular fibrillation), cardiac injury [elevated highly sensitive troponin I (hs-cTnI) and creatine kinase (CK) levels], fulminant myocarditis, heart failure, pulmonary embolism, and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Mechanistically, SARS-CoV-2, following proteolytic cleavage of its S protein by a serine protease, binds to the transmembrane angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) -a homologue of ACE-to enter type 2 pneumocytes, macrophages, perivascular pericytes, and cardiomyocytes. This may lead to myocardial dysfunction and damage, endothelial dysfunction, microvascular dysfunction, plaque instability, and myocardial infarction (MI). While ACE2 is essential for viral invasion, there is no evidence that ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) worsen prognosis. Hence, patients should not discontinue their use. Moreover, renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitors might be beneficial in COVID-19. Initial immune and inflammatory responses induce a severe cytokine storm [interleukin (IL)-6, IL-7, IL-22, IL-17, etc.] during the rapid progression phase of COVID-19. Early evaluation and continued monitoring of cardiac damage (cTnI and NT-proBNP) and coagulation (D-dimer) after hospitalization may identify patients with cardiac injury and predict COVID-19 complications. Preventive measures (social distancing and social isolation) also increase cardiovascular risk. Cardiovascular considerations of therapies currently used, including remdesivir, chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, tocilizumab, ribavirin, interferons, and lopinavir/ritonavir, as well as experimental therapies, such as human recombinant ACE2 (rhACE2), are discussed.