Baricitinib, a drug with potential effect to prevent SARS-COV-2 from entering target cells and control cytokine storm induced by COVID-19.
ABSTRACT: In December 2019, a novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) suddenly broke out in China and rapidly spread all over the world. Recently, a cell surface protein, known as angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE2), has been identified to be involved in receptor-mediated endocytosis for SARS-CoV-2 entry to the cells. Many studies have reported the clinical characteristics of COVID-19: sudden deterioration of disease around 1-2 weeks after onset; much lower level of lymphocytes, especially natural killer (NK) cells in peripheral blood; extremely high pro-inflammatory cytokines and C reactive protein (CRP). About 15.7% of patients develop severe pneumonia, and cytokine storm is an important factor leading to rapid disease progression. Currently, there are no specific drugs for COVID-19 and the cytokine storm it causes. Baricitinib intracellularly inhibits the proinflammatory signal of several cytokines by suppressing Janus kinase (JAK) JAK1/JAK2. It has been demonstrated clinical benefits for the patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), active systemic lupus erythematosus and atopic dermatitis with good efficacy and safety records. Baricitinib is expected to interrupt the passage and intracellular assembly of SARS-CoV-2 into the target cells mediated by ACE2 receptor, and treat cytokine storm caused by COVID-19. Several clinical trials are currently investigating the drug, and one of which has been completed with encouraging results. In this paper, we will elaborate the role of cytokine storm mediated by JAK-STAT pathway in severe COVID-19, the possible mechanisms of baricitinib on reducing the viral entry into the target cells and cytokine storm, the key points of pharmaceutical care based on the latest research reports, clinical trials progress and drug instruction from the US FDA, so as to provide reference for the treatment of severe COVID-19.
Project description:The COVID-19-, SARS- and MERS-related coronaviruses share many genomic and structural similarities. However, the SARS-CoV-2 is less pathogenic than SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. Despite some differences in the cytokine patterns, it seems that the cytokine storm plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of COVID-19-, SARS- and MERS. Monocytes and macrophages may be infected by SARS-CoV-2 through ACE2-dependent and ACE2-independent pathways. SARS-CoV-2 can effectively suppress the anti-viral IFN response in monocytes and macrophages. Since macrophages and dendritic cells (DCs) act as antigen presenting cells (APCs), the infection of these cells by SARS-CoV-2 impairs the adaptive immune responses against the virus. Upon infection, monocytes migrate to the tissues where they become infected resident macrophages, allowing viruses to spread through all organs and tissues. The SARS-CoV-2-infected monocytes and macrophages can produce large amounts of numerous types of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, which contribute to local tissue inflammation and a dangerous systemic inflammatory response called cytokine storm. Both local tissue inflammation and the cytokine storm play a fundamental role in the development of COVID-19-related complications, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which is a main cause of death in COVID-19 patients. Here, we describe the monocytes and macrophage responses during severe coronavirus infections, while highlighting potential therapeutic interventions to attenuate macrophage-related inflammatory reactions in possible approaches for COVID-19 treatment.
Project description:The need for proven disease-specific treatments for the novel pandemic coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 necessitates a worldwide search for therapeutic options. Since the SARS-CoV-2 virus shares extensive homology with SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, effective therapies for SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV may also have therapeutic potential for the current COVID-19 outbreak. To identify therapeutics that might be repositioned for treatment of the SARS-CoV-2 disease COVID-19, we strategically reviewed the literature to identify existing therapeutics with evidence of efficacy for the treatment of the three coronaviruses that cause severe respiratory illness (SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2). Mechanistic and in vitro analyses suggest multiple promising therapeutic options with potential for repurposing to treat patients with COVID-19. Therapeutics with particularly high potential efficacy for repurposing include camostat mesylate, remdesivir, favipiravir, tocilizumab, baricitinib, convalescent plasma, and humanized monoclonal antibodies. Camostat mesylate has shown therapeutic potential, likely by preventing viral entry into epithelial cells. In early research, the targeted antivirals remdesivir and favipiravir appear to benefit patients by decreasing viral replication; clinical trials suggest that remdesivir speeds recovery from COVID-19. Tocilizumab and baricitinib appear to improve mortality by preventing a severe cytokine storm. Convalescent plasma and humanized monoclonal antibodies offer passive immunity and decreased recovery time. This review highlights potential therapeutic options that may be repurposed to treat COVID-19 and suggests opportunities for further research.
Project description:The widespread occurrence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has led to a pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The S spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 binds with angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a functional "receptor" and then enters into host cells to replicate and damage host cells and organs. ACE2 plays a pivotal role in the inflammation, and its downregulation may aggravate COVID-19 via the renin-angiotensin system, including by promoting pathological changes in lung injury and involving inflammatory responses. Severe patients of COVID-19 often develop acute respiratory distress syndrome and multiple organ dysfunction/failure with high mortality that may be closely related to the hyper-proinflammatory status called the "cytokine storm." Massive cytokines including interleukin-6, nuclear factor kappa B (NF?B), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF?) released from SARS-CoV-2-infected macrophages and monocytes lead inflammation-derived injurious cascades causing multi-organ injury/failure. This review summarizes the current evidence and understanding of the underlying mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2, ACE2 and inflammation co-mediated multi-organ injury or failure in COVID-19 patients.
Project description:The coronavirus disease COVID-19 is a public health emergency caused by a novel coronavirus named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). SARS-CoV-2 infection uses the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, and typically spreads through the respiratory tract. Invading viruses can elicit an exaggerated host immune response, frequently leading to a cytokine storm that may be fueling some COVID-19 death. This response contributes to multi-organ dysfunction. Accumulating data points to an increased cardiovascular disease morbidity, and mortality in COVID-19 patients. This brief review explores potential available evidence regarding the association between COVID-19, and cardiovascular complications.
Project description:Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a global health threat. Some COVID-19 patients have exhibited widespread neurological manifestations including stroke. Acute ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, and cerebral venous sinus thrombosis have been reported in patients with COVID-19. COVID-19-associated coagulopathy is increasingly recognized as a result of acute infection and is likely caused by inflammation, including inflammatory cytokine storm. Recent studies suggest that axonal transport of SARS-CoV-2 to the brain can occur via the cribriform plate adjacent to the olfactory bulb that may lead to symptomatic anosmia. The internalization of SARS-CoV-2 is mediated by the binding of the spike glycoprotein of the virus to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) on cellular membranes. ACE2 is expressed in several tissues including lung alveolar cells, gastrointestinal tissue, and brain. The aim of this review is to provide insights into the clinical manifestations and pathophysiological mechanisms of stroke in COVID-19 patients. SARS-CoV-2 can down-regulate ACE2 and, in turn, overactivate the classical renin-angiotensin system (RAS) axis and decrease the activation of the alternative RAS pathway in the brain. The consequent imbalance in vasodilation, neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, and thrombotic response may contribute to the pathophysiology of stroke during SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Project description:The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 associated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) illness is a syndrome of viral replication in concert with a host inflammatory response. The cytokine storm and viral evasion of cellular immune responses may play an equally important role in the pathogenesis, clinical manifestation, and outcomes of COVID-19. Systemic proinflammatory cytokines and biomarkers are elevated as the disease progresses towards its advanced stages, and correlate with worse chances of survival. Immune modulators have the potential to inhibit cytokines and treat the cytokine storm. A literature search using PubMed, Google Scholar, and ClinicalTrials.gov was conducted through 8 July 2020 using the search terms 'coronavirus', 'immunology', 'cytokine storm', 'immunomodulators', 'pharmacology', 'severe acute respiratory syndrome 2', 'SARS-CoV-2', and 'COVID-19'. Specific immune modulators include anti-cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-1 and IL-6 receptor antagonists (e.g. anakinra, tocilizumab, sarilumab, siltuximab), Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors (e.g. baricitinib, ruxolitinib), anti-tumor necrosis factor-? (e.g. adalimumab, infliximab), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factors (e.g. gimsilumab, lenzilumab, namilumab), and convalescent plasma, with promising to negative trials and other data. Non-specific immune modulators include human immunoglobulin, corticosteroids such as dexamethasone, interferons, statins, angiotensin pathway modulators, macrolides (e.g. azithromycin, clarithromycin), hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, colchicine, and prostaglandin D2 modulators such as ramatroban. Dexamethasone 6 mg once daily (either by mouth or by intravenous injection) for 10 days may result in a reduction in mortality in COVID-19 patients by one-third for patients on ventilators, and by one-fifth for those receiving oxygen. Research efforts should focus not only on the most relevant immunomodulatory strategies but also on the optimal timing of such interventions to maximize therapeutic outcomes. In this review, we discuss the potential role and safety of these agents in the management of severe COVID-19, and their impact on survival and clinical symptoms.
Project description:Infection caused by SARS-CoV-2 can result in severe respiratory complications and death. Patients with a compromised immune system are expected to be more susceptible to a severe disease course. In this report we suggest that patients with systemic lupus erythematous might be especially prone to severe COVID-19 independent of their immunosuppressed state from lupus treatment. Specifically, we provide evidence in lupus to suggest hypomethylation and overexpression of ACE2, which is located on the X chromosome and encodes a functional receptor for the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein. Oxidative stress induced by viral infections exacerbates the DNA methylation defect in lupus, possibly resulting in further ACE2 hypomethylation and enhanced viremia. In addition, demethylation of interferon-regulated genes, NF?B, and key cytokine genes in lupus patients might exacerbate the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 and increase the likelihood of cytokine storm. These arguments suggest that inherent epigenetic dysregulation in lupus might facilitate viral entry, viremia, and an excessive immune response to SARS-CoV-2. Further, maintaining disease remission in lupus patients is critical to prevent a vicious cycle of demethylation and increased oxidative stress, which will exacerbate susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection during the current pandemic. Epigenetic control of the ACE2 gene might be a target for prevention and therapy in COVID-19.
Project description:Recent advances in the pathophysiologic understanding of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has indicated that patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) might experience cytokine release syndrome (CRS), characterized by increased interleukin (IL)-6, IL-2, IL-7, IL-10, etc. Therefore, the treatment of cytokine storm has been proposed as a critical part of rescuing severe COVID-19. Several of the cytokines involved in COVID-19 employ a distinct intracellular signaling pathway mediated by Janus kinases (JAKs). JAK inhibition, therefore, presents an attractive therapeutic strategy for CRS, which is a common cause of adverse clinical outcomes in COVID-19. Below, we review the possibilities and challenges of targeting the pathway in COVID-19.
Project description:Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), was declared pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020. SARS-CoV-2 binds its host cell receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), through the viral spike (S) protein. The mortality related to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multi-organ failure in COVID-19 patients has been suggested to be connected with cytokine storm syndrome (CSS), an excessive immune response that severely damages healthy lung tissue. In addition, cardiac symptoms, including fulminant myocarditis, are frequent in patients in a severe state of illness. Diacerein (DAR) is an anthraquinone derivative drug whose active metabolite is rhein. Different studies have shown that this compound inhibits the IL-1, IL-2, IL-6, IL-8, IL-12, IL-18, TNF-?, NF-?B and NALP3 inflammasome pathways. The antiviral activity of rhein has also been documented. This metabolite prevents hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication and influenza A virus (IAV) adsorption and replication through mechanisms involving regulation of oxidative stress and alterations of the TLR4, Akt, MAPK, and NF-?B signalling pathways. Importantly, rhein inhibits the interaction between the SARS-CoV S protein and ACE2 in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting rhein as a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of SARS-CoV infection. Based on these findings, we hypothesize that DAR is a multi-target drug useful for COVID-19 treatment. This anthraquinone may control hyperinflammatory conditions by multi-faceted cytokine inhibition and by reducing viral infection.
Project description:SARS-CoV-2 infection of human airway epithelium activates genetic programs that lead to progressive hyperinflammation in COVID-19 patients. Here we report on the transcriptomic response of airway epithelium to interferons and its suppression by the JAK inhibitors Baricitinib and Ruxolitinib. There is a debate on the regulation of the conventional versus the novel intronic promoter inducing the short ACE2 isoform. Through RNA-seq and ChIP-seq analyses for activating chromatin marks and Polymerase II, we define the interferon-activated intronic regulatory region. Our results also support that the conventional ACE2 promoter is controlled by interferon.