ABSTRACT: 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:With the objective of linking early findings relating to the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus with potentially informative findings from prior research literature and to promote investigation toward therapeutic response, a coherent cellular and molecular pathway is proposed for COVID-19. The pathway is consistent with a broad range of observed clinical features and biological markers and captures key mediators of pathophysiology. In this proposed pathway, membrane fusion and cytoplasmic entry of SARS-CoV-2 virus via ACE2 and TMPRSS2-expressing respiratory epithelial cells, including pulmonary type-II pneumocytes, provoke an initial immune response featuring inflammatory cytokine production coupled with a weak interferon response, particularly in IFN-?-dependent epithelial defense. Differentiation of non-classic pathogenic T-cells and pro-inflammatory intermediate monocytes contributes to a skewed inflammatory profile, mediated by membrane-bound immune receptor subtypes (e.g., Fc?RIIA) and downstream signaling pathways (e.g., NF-?B p65 and p38 MAPK), followed by chemotactic infiltration of monocyte-derived macrophages and neutrophils into lung tissue. Endothelial barrier degradation and capillary leakage contribute to alveolar cell damage. Inflammatory cytokine release, delayed neutrophil apoptosis, and NETosis contribute to pulmonary thrombosis and cytokine storm. These mechanisms are concordant with observed clinical markers in COVID-19, including high expression of inflammatory cytokines on the TNF-?/IL-6 axis, elevated neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), diffuse alveolar damage via cell apoptosis in respiratory epithelia and vascular endothelia, elevated lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and CRP, high production of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), depressed platelet count, and thrombosis. Although certain elements are likely to be revised as new findings emerge, the proposed pathway suggests multiple points of investigation for potential therapeutic interventions. Initial candidate interventions include prophylaxis to augment epithelial defense (e.g., AT1 receptor blockade, type III and type I interferons, melatonin, calcitriol, camostat, and lopinavir) and to reduce viral load (e.g., remdesivir, ivermectin, emetine, Abelson kinase inhibitors, dopamine D2 antagonists, and selective estrogen receptor modulators). Additional interventions focus on tempering inflammatory signaling and injury (e.g., dexamethasone, doxycycline, Ang1-7, estradiol, alpha blockers, and DHA/EPA, pasireotide), as well as inhibitors targeted toward molecular mediators of the maladaptive COVID-19 immune response (e.g., IL-6, TNF-?, IL-17, JAK, and CDK9).
Project description:Aim/objective/introduction:Cytokine storm or cytokine release syndrome (CRS) is inevitable in severe and critically ill patients with novel coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). This review aimed to discuss current therapeutic options for the management of CRS in COVID-19. Background:Cytokine storm is caused by the colossal release of proinflammatory cytokines [e.g., IL (interleukin)-2, IL-6, IL-8 TNF (tumor necrosis factor)-?, etc.] causing dysregulated, hyperimmune response. This immunopathogenesis leads to acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Targeting cytokine storm with the therapies that are already available in India with the support of published guidelines and consensus can assist in achieving a better outcome in COVID-19. Review results:We predominantly included published guidelines or consensus recommendations about the management of cytokine storm in COVID-19. From the existing literature evidence, it is observed that among the currently available agents, low-dose corticosteroids and heparin can be beneficial in managing cytokine storm. The use of serine protease inhibitors such as ulinastatin has been advised by some experts. Though therapies such as high-dose vitamin C and interleukin-6 inhibitors (e.g., tocilizumab) have been advised, the evidence regarding their use for cytokine storm in COVID-19 is limited. Therapies such as Janus kinase inhibitors (JAK) inhibitors and Neurokinin-1 receptor (NK-1) antagonists are still in research. Besides, pharmaceutical treatments, use of blood purification strategies, and convalescent plasma may be life-saving options in some of the critically ill COVID-19 patients. For these therapies, there is a need to generate further evidence to substantiate their use in CRS management. Conclusion:Current management of COVID-19 is preventive and supportive. Different therapies can be used to prevent and treat the cytokine storm. More research is needed for further supporting the use of these treatments in COVID-19. How to cite this article:Mehta Y, Dixit SB, Zirpe KG, Ansari AS. Cytokine Storm in Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Expert Management Considerations. Indian J Crit Care Med 2020;24(6):429-434.
Project description:Coronavirus is a family of viruses including alpha-, beta-, gamma-, delta-coronaviruses. Only alpha- and betacoronaviruses have been observed to infect humans. Past outbreaks of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, both betacoronavirus, are the result of a spillover from animals. Recently, a new strain termed SARS-CoV-2 emerged in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. Severe cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). One contributor to the development of ARDS is cytokine storm, an overwhelming inflammatory immune response. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are genetic regulatory elements that, among many functions, alter gene expression and cellular processes. lncRNAs identified to be pertinent in COVID-19 cytokine storm have the potential to serve as disease markers or drug targets. This project aims to computationally identify conserved lncRNAs potentially regulating gene expression in cytokine storm during COVID-19. We found 22 lncRNAs that can target 10 cytokines overexpressed in COVID-19 cytokine storm, 8 of which targeted two or more cytokine storm cytokines. In particular, the lncRNA non-coding RNA activated by DNA damage (NORAD), targeted five out of the ten identified cytokine storm cytokines, and is evolutionarily conserved across multiple species. These lncRNAs are ideal candidates for further <i>in vitro</i> and <i>in vivo</i> analysis.
Project description:The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is primarily a respiratory pathogen and its clinical manifestations are dominated by respiratory symptoms, the most severe of which is acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). However, COVID-19 is increasingly recognized to cause an overwhelming inflammatory response and cytokine storm leading to end organ damage. End organ damage to heart is one of the most severe complications of COVID-19 that increases the risk of death. We proposed a two-fold mechanism responsible for causing acute coronary events in patients with COVID-19 infection: Cytokine storm leading to rapid onset formation of new coronary plaques along with destabilization of pre-existing plaques and direct myocardial injury secondary to acute systemic viral infection. A well-coordinated immune response is the first line innate immunity against a viral infection. However, an uncoordinated response and hypersecretion of cytokines and chemokines lead to immune related damage to the human body. Human Coronavirus (HCoV) infection causes infiltration of inflammatory cells that cause excessive production of cytokines, proteases, coagulation factors, oxygen radicals and vasoactive molecules causing endothelial damage, disruption of fibrous cap and initiation of formation of thrombus. Systemic viral infections also cause vasoconstriction leading to narrowing of vascular lumen and stimulation of platelet activation via shear stress. The resultant cytokine storm causes secretion of hypercoagulable tissue factor without consequential increase in counter-regulatory pathways such as AT-III, activated protein C and plasminogen activator type 1. Lastly, influx of CD4+ T-cells in cardiac vasculature results in an increased production of cytokines that stimulate smooth muscle cells to migrate into the intima and generate collagen and other fibrous products leading to advancement of fatty streaks to advanced atherosclerotic lesions. Direct myocardial damage and cytokine storm leading to destabilization of pre-existing plaques and accelerated formation of new plaques are the two instigating mechanisms for acute coronary syndromes in COVID-19.
Project description:Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused a global outbreak and severely posed threat to people's health and social stability. Mounting evidence suggests that immunopathological changes, including diminished lymphocytes and elevated cytokines, are important drivers of disease progression and death in coronavirus infections. Cytokine storm not only limits further spread of virus in the body but also induces secondary tissue damage through the secretion of large amounts of active mediators and inflammatory factors. It has been determined that cytokine storm is a major cause of deaths in COVID-19; therefore, in order to reverse the deterioration of severe and critically ill patients from this disease, the cytokine storm has become a key therapeutic target. Although specific mechanisms of the occurrences of cytokine storms in COVID-19 have not been fully illuminated, hyper-activated innate immune responses, and dysregulation of ACE2 (angiotensin converting enzyme 2) expression and its downstream pathways might provide possibilities. Tailored immunoregulatory therapies have been applied to counteract cytokine storms, such as inhibition of cytokines, corticosteroids, blood purification therapy, and mesenchymal stem cell therapy. This review will summarize advances in the research of cytokine storms induced by COVID-19, as well as potential intervention strategies to control cytokine storms.
Project description:Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). SARS-CoV-2 triggers an immune response with local inflammation in the lung, which may extend to a systemic hyperinflammatory reaction. Excessive inflammation has been reported in severe cases with respiratory failure and cardiovascular complications. In addition to the release of cytokines, referred to as cytokine release syndrome or "cytokine storm," increased pro-inflammatory lipid mediators derived from the omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) arachidonic acid may cause an "eicosanoid storm," which contributes to the uncontrolled systemic inflammation. Specialized pro-resolving mediators, which are derived from omega-3 PUFA, limit inflammatory reactions by an active process called resolution of inflammation. Here, the rationale for omega-3 PUFA supplementation in COVID-19 patients is presented along with a brief overview of the study protocol for the trial "Resolving Inflammatory Storm in COVID-19 Patients by Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids - A single-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled feasibility study" (COVID-Omega-F). EudraCT: 2020-002293-28; clinicaltrials.gov: NCT04647604.
Project description:Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2) is the pathogen that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). As of 25 May 2020, the outbreak of COVID-19 has caused 347,192 deaths around the world. The current evidence showed that severely ill patients tend to have a high concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-6, compared to those who are moderately ill. The high level of cytokines also indicates a poor prognosis in COVID-19. Besides, excessive infiltration of pro-inflammatory cells, mainly involving macrophages and T-helper 17 cells, has been found in lung tissues of patients with COVID-19 by postmortem examination. Recently, increasing studies indicate that the "cytokine storm" may contribute to the mortality of COVID-19. Here, we summarize the clinical and pathologic features of the cytokine storm in COVID-19. Our review shows that SARS-Cov-2 selectively induces a high level of IL-6 and results in the exhaustion of lymphocytes. The current evidence indicates that tocilizumab, an IL-6 inhibitor, is relatively effective and safe. Besides, corticosteroids, programmed cell death protein (PD)-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibition, cytokine-adsorption devices, intravenous immunoglobulin, and antimalarial agents could be potentially useful and reliable approaches to counteract cytokine storm in COVID-19 patients.
Project description:Clinical evidence indicates that the fatal outcome observed with severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 infection often results from alveolar injury that impedes airway capacity and multi-organ failure-both of which are associated with the hyperproduction of cytokines, also known as a cytokine storm or cytokine release syndrome. Clinical reports show that both mild and severe forms of disease result in changes in circulating leukocyte subsets and cytokine secretion, particularly IL-6, IL-1?, IL-10, TNF, GM-CSF, IP-10 (IFN-induced protein 10), IL-17, MCP-3, and IL-1ra. Not surprising, therapies that target the immune response and curtail the cytokine storm in coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) patients have become a focus of recent clinical trials. Here we review reports on leukocyte and cytokine data associated with COVID-19 disease in 3939 patients in China and describe emerging data on immunopathology. With an emphasis on immune modulation, we also look at ongoing clinical studies aimed at blocking proinflammatory cytokines; transfer of immunosuppressive mesenchymal stem cells; use of convalescent plasma transfusion; as well as immunoregulatory therapy and traditional Chinese medicine regimes. In examining leukocyte and cytokine activity in COVID-19, we focus in particular on how these levels are altered as the disease progresses (neutrophil NETosis, macrophage, T cell response, etc.) and proposed consequences to organ pathology (coagulopathy, etc.). Viral and host interactions are described to gain further insight into leukocyte biology and how dysregulated cytokine responses lead to disease and/or organ damage. By better understanding the mechanisms that drive the intensity of a cytokine storm, we can tailor treatment strategies at specific disease stages and improve our response to this worldwide public health threat.
Project description:The outbreak of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is the current world health concern, presenting a public health dilemma with ascending morbidity and mortality rates exceeding any previous viral spread, without a standard effective treatment yet. SARS-CoV-2 infection is distinguished with multiple epidemiological and pathological features, one of them being the elevated levels of cytokine release, which in turn trigger an aberrant uncontrolled response known as "cytokine storm". This phenomenon contributes to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), leading to pneumonia and respiratory failure, which is considered a major contributor to COVID-19-associated fatality rates. Taking into account that the vast majority of the COVID-19 cases are aggravated by the respiratory and multiorgan failure triggered by the sustained release of cytokines, implementing therapeutics that alleviate or diminish the upregulated inflammatory response would provide a therapeutic advantage to COVID-19 patients. Indeed, dexamethasone, a widely available and inexpensive corticosteroid with anti-inflammatory effects, has shown a great promise in reducing mortality rates in COVID-19 patients. In this review, we have critically compared the clinical impact of several potential therapeutic agents that could block or interfere with the cytokine storm, such as IL-1 inhibitors, IL-6 inhibitors, mast cell targeting agents, and corticosteroids. This work focused on highlighting and contrasting the current success and limitations towards the involvement of these agents in future treatment protocols.
Project description:The novel coronavirus is not only causing respiratory problems, but it may also damage the heart, kidneys, liver, and other organs; in Wuhan, 14 to 30% of COVID-19 patients have lost their kidney function and now require either dialysis or kidney transplants. The novel coronavirus gains entry into humans by targeting the ACE2 receptor that found on lung cells, which destroy human lungs through cytokine storms, and this leads to hyperinflammation, forcing the immune cells to destroy healthy cells. This is why some COVID-19 patients need intensive care. The inflammatory chemicals released during COVID-19 infection cause the liver to produce proteins that defend the body from infections. However, these proteins can cause blood clotting, which can clog blood vessels in the heart and other organs; as a result, the organs are deprived of oxygen and nutrients which could ultimately lead to multiorgan failure and consequent progression to acute lung injury, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and often death. However, there are novel protein modification tools called the QTY code, which are similar in their structure to antibodies, which could provide a solution to excess cytokines. These synthetic proteins can be injected into the body to bind the excess cytokines created by the cytokine storm; this will eventually remove the excessive cytokines and inhibit the severe symptoms caused by the COVID-19 infection. In this review, we will focus on cytokine storm in COVID-19 patients, their impact on the body organs, and the potential treatment by QTY code-designed detergent-free chemokine receptors.