Potential of natural astaxanthin in alleviating the risk of cytokine storm in COVID-19.
ABSTRACT: Host excessive inflammatory immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection is thought to underpin the pathogenesis of COVID-19 associated severe pneumonitis and acute lung injury (ALI) or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Once an immunological complication like cytokine storm occurs, anti-viral based monotherapy alone is not enough. Additional anti-inflammatory treatment is recommended. It must be noted that anti-inflammatory drugs such as JAK inhibitors, IL-6 inhibitors, TNF-? inhibitors, colchicine, etc., have been either suggested or are under trials for managing cytokine storm in COVID-19 infections. Natural astaxanthin (ASX) has a clinically proven safety profile and has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory properties. There is evidence from preclinical studies that supports its preventive actions against ALI/ARDS. Moreover, ASX has a potent PPARs activity. Therefore, it is plausible to speculate that ASX could be considered as a potential adjunctive supplement. Here, we summarize the mounting evidence where ASX is shown to exert protective effect by regulating the expression of pro-inflammatory factors IL-1?, IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-?. We present reports where ASX is shown to prevent against oxidative damage and attenuate exacerbation of the inflammatory responses by regulating signaling pathways like NF-?B, NLRP3 and JAK/STAT. These evidences provide a rationale for considering natural astaxanthin as a therapeutic agent against inflammatory cytokine storm and associated risks in COVID-19 infection and this suggestion requires further validation with clinical studies.
Project description:Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has sparked a global pandemic, affecting more than 4 million people worldwide. The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can cause acute lung injury (ALI) and even acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS); with a fatality of 7.0 %. Accumulating evidence suggested that the progression of COVID-19 is associated with lymphopenia and excessive inflammation, and a subset of severe cases might exhibit cytokine storm triggered by secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (sHLH). Furthermore, secondary bacterial infection may contribute to the exacerbation of COVID-19. We recommend using both IL-10 and IL-6 as the indicators of cytokine storm, and monitoring the elevation of procalcitonin (PCT) as an alert for initiating antibacterial agents. Understanding the dynamic progression of SARS-CoV-2 infection is crucial to determine an effective treatment strategy to reduce the rising mortality of this global pandemic.
Project description:Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine belong to the aminoquinoline drugs. Studies revealed that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine shows antagonism activity against COVID-19 under laboratory conditions. ARDS and ALI are conditions that occur in patients with COVID-19 as the main pathological complications of cytokine storm. Inflammasomes play a key role in the pathogenesis of many diseases associated with destructive inflammation. NLRP3 inflammasome has been shown to play a key role in the pathogenesis of viral diseases. The possible role of NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors in the treatment of COVID-19 has been considered. We surveyed the potential inhibitory effect of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine on inflammasome. Studies indicate that one of the possible anti-inflammatory mechanisms of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine is inhibition of the activity of NLRP3 inflammasome.
Project description:Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was declared a pandemic and international health emergency by the World Health Organization. Patients with obesity with COVID-19 are 7 times more likely to need invasive mechanical ventilation than are patients without obesity (OR 7.36; 95% CI: 1.63-33.14, p = 0.021). Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is one of the main causes of death related to COVID-19 and is triggered by a cytokine storm that damages the respiratory epithelium. Interleukins that cause the chronic low-grade inflammatory state of obesity, such as interleukin (IL)-1?, IL-6, monocyte chemoattractant peptide (MCP)-1, and, in particular, IL-17A and tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-?), also play very important roles in lung damage in ARDS. Therefore, obesity is associated with an immune state favourable to a cytokine storm. Our hypothesis is that serum concentrations of TNF-? and IL-17A are more elevated in patients with obesity and COVID-19, and consequently, they have a greater probability of developing ARDS and death. The immunobiology of IL-17A and TNF-? opens a new fascinating field of research for COVID-19.
Project description:Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a deadly respiratory illness associated with refractory hypoxemia and pulmonary edema. The recent pandemic outbreak of COVID-19 is associated with severe pneumonia and inflammatory cytokine storm in the lungs. The anti-inflammatory phytomedicine nimbolide (NIM) may not be feasible for clinical translation due to poor pharmacokinetic properties and lack of suitable delivery systems. To overcome these barriers, we have developed nimbolide liposomes conjugated with iRGD peptide (iRGD-NIMLip) for targeting lung inflammation. It was observed that iRGD-NIMLip treatment significantly inhibited oxidative stress and cytokine storm compared to nimbolide free-drug (f-NIM), nimbolide liposomes (NIMLip), and exhibited superior activity compared to dexamethasone (DEX). iRGD-NIMLip abrogated the LPS induced p65 NF-?B, Akt, MAPK, Integrin ?3 and ?5, STAT3, and DNMT1 expression. Collectively, our results demonstrate that iRGD-NIMLip could be a promising novel drug delivery system to target severe pathological consequences observed in ARDS and COVID-19 associated cytokine storm.
Project description:In the context of the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, patients affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) should be more vulnerable to Covid-19, whereas they seem to be protected against severe Covid-19. That paradox has important practical implications for the use of the drug Tocilizumab in Covid-19. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) orchestrates the so-called cytokine storm leading to the Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), the life-threatening condition that is responsible for Covid-19 deaths. However, IL-6 has a paradoxical effect in many viral infections. For pathogens such as HIV and Hepatitis B for example, high elevations show a toxic effect and are associated with higher mortality (e.g. they promote progression to AIDS in HIV patients), whereas mild elevations show a protective effect. IL-6 can be therefore considered as being both a pro-inflammatory and an anti-inflammatory cytokine. Several studies have shown that severe COPD is associated with extremely-high levels of IL-6, whereas mild COPD is associated with mild elevations of IL-6. It is plausible that the chronic, mildly-elevated concentrations of IL-6 found in mild COPD patients is protective against the deterioration of Covid-19, as it is the case for other viral diseases. That may explain why COPD is surprisingly an uncommon comorbidity in Covid-19 intensive care units. This may have an important practical implication for the treatment of Covid-19 patients: our hypothesis is that Tocilizumab must be used exclusively in patients with an ongoing cytokine storm. Otherwise, an early use of Tocilizumab can be harmful, especially in patients affected by COPD or other conditions with mildly-elevated IL-6.
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:BACKGROUNDElevated levels of inflammatory cytokines have been associated with poor outcomes among COVID-19 patients. It is unknown, however, how these levels compare with those observed in critically ill patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) or sepsis due to other causes.METHODSWe used a Luminex assay to determine expression of 76 cytokines from plasma of hospitalized COVID-19 patients and banked plasma samples from ARDS and sepsis patients. Our analysis focused on detecting statistical differences in levels of 6 cytokines associated with cytokine storm (IL-1?, IL-1RA, IL-6, IL-8, IL-18, and TNF-?) between patients with moderate COVID-19, severe COVID-19, and ARDS or sepsis.RESULTSFifteen hospitalized COVID-19 patients, 9 of whom were critically ill, were compared with critically ill patients with ARDS (n = 12) or sepsis (n = 16). There were no statistically significant differences in baseline levels of IL-1?, IL-1RA, IL-6, IL-8, IL-18, and TNF-? between patients with COVID-19 and critically ill controls with ARDS or sepsis.CONCLUSIONLevels of inflammatory cytokines were not higher in severe COVID-19 patients than in moderate COVID-19 or critically ill patients with ARDS or sepsis in this small cohort. Broad use of immunosuppressive therapies in ARDS has failed in numerous Phase 3 studies; use of these therapies in unselected patients with COVID-19 may be unwarranted.FUNDINGFunding was received from NHLBI K23 HL125663 (AJR); The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation OPP1113682 (AJR and CAB); Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases #1016687 NIH/NIAID U19AI057229-16; Stanford Maternal Child Health Research Institute; and Chan Zuckerberg Biohub (CAB).
Project description:Coronavirus pneumonia is accompanied by rapid virus replication, where a large number of inflammatory cell infiltration and cytokine storm may lead to acute lung injury, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and death. The uncontrolled release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-1? and IL-6, is associated with ARDS. This constituted the first study to report on the variability in physicochemical properties of ?-glucans extracts from the same edible mushroom Lentinus edodes on the reduction of these pro-inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress. Specifically, the impact on the immunomodulatory and cytoprotective properties of our novel in 'house' (IH-Lentinan, IHL) and a commercial (Carbosynth-Lentinan, CL) Lentinan extract were investigated using in vitro models of lung injury and macrophage phagocytosis. CL comprised higher amounts of ?-glucans and correspondingly less ?-glucans. The two lentinan extracts demonstrated varying immunomodulatory activities. Both Lentinan extracts reduced cytokine-induced NF-?B activation in human alveolar epithelial A549 cells, with the IHL extract proving more effective at lower doses. In contrast, in activated THP-1 derived macrophages, the CL extract more effectively attenuated pro-inflammatory cytokine production (TNF-?, IL-8, IL-2, IL-6, IL-22) as well as TGF-? and IL-10. The CL extract attenuated oxidative stress-induced early apoptosis, while the IHL extract attenuated late apoptosis. Our findings demonstrate significant physicochemical differences between Lentinan extracts, which produce differential in vitro immunomodulatory and pulmonary cytoprotective effects that may also have positive relevance to candidate COVID-19 therapeutics targeting cytokine storm.
Project description:The most severe presentation of COVID-19 is characterized by a hyperinflammatory state attributed to the massive pro-inflammatory cytokine release, called "cytokine storm". Several specific anti-inflammatory/immunosuppressive agents are being evaluated by ongoing clinical trials; however, there is currently insufficient evidence for their efficacy and safety in COVID-19 treatment. Given the role of phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE) 4 and cyclic adenosine monophosphate in the inflammatory response, we hypothesize that selective PDE4 inhibition may attenuate the cytokine storm in COVID-19, through the upstream inhibition of pro-inflammatory molecules, particularly TNF-?, and the regulation of the pro-inflammatory/anti-inflammatory balance. Conversely, other anti-cytokine agents lead to the downstream inhibition of specific targets, such as IL-1, IL-6 or TNF-?, and may not be efficient in blocking the cytokine storm, once it has been triggered. Due to their mechanism of action targeting an early stage of the inflammatory response and ameliorating lung inflammation, we believe that selective PDE4 inhibitors may represent a promising treatment option for the early phase of COVID-19 pneumonia before the cytokine storm and severe multiorgan dysfunction take place. Furthermore, PDE4 inhibitors present several advantages including an excellent safety profile; the oral route of administration; the convenient dosing; and beneficial metabolic properties. Interestingly, obesity and diabetes mellitus type 2 have been reported to be risk factors for the severity of COVID-19. Therefore, randomized clinical trials of PDE4 inhibitors are necessary to explore their potential therapeutic effect as an adjunct to supportive measures and other therapeutic regiments.
Project description:The newly emerging coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first reported in Wuhan, China, but has rapidly spread all over the world. Some COVID-19 patients encounter a severe symptom of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) with high mortality. This high severity is dependent on a cytokine storm, most likely induced by the interleukin-6 (IL-6) amplifier, which is hyper-activation machinery that regulates the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-?B) pathway and stimulated by the simultaneous activation of IL-6-signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and NF-?B signaling in non-immune cells including alveolar epithelial cells and endothelial cells. We hypothesize that IL-6-STAT3 signaling is a promising therapeutic target for the cytokine storm in COVID-19, because IL-6 is a major STAT3 stimulator, particularly during inflammation. We herein review the pathogenic mechanism and potential therapeutic targets of ARDS in COVID-19 patients.