Tackling the cytokine storm in COVID-19, challenges and hopes.
ABSTRACT: 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:COVID-19 is characterized by two major clinical phases, the SARS-CoV-2 infection of target cells and tissues, and a deep inflammatory state, known as "cytokine storm", caused by activation of pro-inflammatory genes, such as NF-kB, STAT-3, IL-6, IL-8, IL-1ß. Among possible anti-inflammatory agents, the "microRNA targeting" should be carefully considered, since it is well known that microRNAs are deeply involved in the expression of cytokines, chemokines and growth factors. The working general hypothesis is that targeting the microRNA network might be important for the development of therapeutic approaches to counteract the COVID-19 induction of inflammatory response. This hypothesis is based on several publications demonstrating the use of miRNA mimics for inhibitory effects on the production of proteins characterizing the COVID-19 "cytokine storm".
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: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:COVID-19 infection has a heterogenous disease course; it may be asymptomatic or causes only mild symptoms in the majority of the cases, while immunologic complications such as macrophage activation syndrome also known as secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, resulting in cytokine storm syndrome and acute respiratory distress syndrome, may also occur in some patients. According to current literature, impairment of SARS-CoV-2 clearance due to genetic and viral features, lower levels of interferons, increased neutrophil extracellular traps, and increased pyroptosis and probable other unknown mechanisms create a background for severe disease course complicated by macrophage activation syndrome and cytokine storm. Various genetic mutations may also constitute a risk factor for severe disease course and occurrence of cytokine storm in COVID-19. Once, immunologic complications like cytokine storm occur, anti-viral treatment alone is not enough and should be combined with appropriate anti-inflammatory treatment. Anti-rheumatic drugs, which are tried for managing immunologic complications of COVID-19 infection, will also be discussed including chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, JAK inhibitors, IL-6 inhibitors, IL-1 inhibitors, anti-TNF-? agents, corticosteroids, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), and colchicine. Early recognition and appropriate treatment of immunologic complications will decrease the morbidity and mortality in COVID-19 infection, which requires the collaboration of infectious disease, lung, and intensive care unit specialists with other experts such as immunologists, rheumatologists, and hematologists.
Project description:The coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic poses a serious global threat to human health and the economy. Based on accumulating evidence, its continuous progression involves not only pulmonary injury but also damage to the cardiovascular system due to intertwined pathophysiological risks. As a point of convergence in the pathophysiologic process between COVID-19 and heart failure (HF), cytokine storm induces the progression of COVID-19 in patients presenting pre-existing or new onset myocardial damage and even HF. Cytokine storm, as a trigger of the progression of HF in patients with COVID-19, has become a novel focus to explore therapies for target populations. In this review, we briefly introduce the basis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and illuminate the mechanism and links among COVID-19, cytokine storm, and HF. Furthermore, we discuss drugs and therapeutic targets for patients with COVID-19 and HF.
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.
Project description:In December 2019, a novel coronavirus, COVID-19, was discovered to be the causal agent of a severe respiratory infection named SARS-CoV-2, and it has since been recognized worldwide as a pandemic. There are still numerous doubts concerning its pathogenesis and particularly the underlying causes of the various clinical courses, ranging from severe manifestations to asymptomatic forms, including acute respiratory distress syndrome. The major factor responsible for acute respiratory distress syndrome is the so-called "cytokine storm," which is an aberrant response from the host immune system that induces an exaggerated release of proinflammatory cytokines/chemokines. In this review, we will discuss the role of cytokine storm in COVID-19 and potential treatments with which counteract this aberrant response, which may be valuable in the clinical translation.
Project description:Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has swept the world, unlike any other pandemic in the last 50 years. Our understanding of the disease has evolved rapidly since the outbreak; disease prognosis is influenced mainly by multi-organ involvement. Acute respiratory distress syndrome, heart failure, renal failure, liver damage, shock and multi-organ failure are strongly associated with morbidity and mortality. The COVID-19 disease pathology is plausibly linked to the hyperinflammatory response of the body characterized by pathological cytokine levels. The term 'cytokine storm syndrome' is perhaps one of the critical hallmarks of COVID-19 disease severity. In this review, we highlight prominent cytokine families and their potential role in COVID-19, the type I and II interferons, tumour necrosis factor and members of the Interleukin family. We address various changes in cellular components of the immune response corroborating with changes in cytokine levels while discussing cytokine sources and biological functions. Finally, we discuss in brief potential therapies attempting to modulate the cytokine storm.
Project description:The outbreak of the novel SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has developed into an unprecedented global pandemic. Clinical investigations in patients with COVID-19 has shown a strong upregulation of cytokine and interferon production in SARS-CoV2- induced pneumonia, with an associated cytokine storm syndrome. Thus, the identification of existing approved therapies with proven safety profiles to treat hyperinflammation is a critical unmet need in order to reduce COVI-19 associated mortality. To date, no specific therapeutic drugs or vaccines are available to treat COVID-19 patients. This review evaluates several options that have been proposed to control SARS-CoV2 hyperinflammation and cytokine storm, eincluding antiviral drugs, vaccines, small-molecules, monoclonal antibodies, oligonucleotides, peptides, and interferons (IFNs).
Project description:Cytokine storm is an acute hyperinflammatory response that may be responsible for critical illness in many conditions including viral infections, cancer, sepsis, and multi-organ failure. The phenomenon has been implicated in critically ill patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus implicated in COVID-19. Critically ill COVID-19 patients experiencing cytokine storm are believed to have a worse prognosis and increased fatality rate. In SARS-CoV-2 infected patients, cytokine storm appears important to the pathogenesis of several severe manifestations of COVID-19: acute respiratory distress syndrome, thromboembolic diseases such as acute ischemic strokes caused by large vessel occlusion and myocardial infarction, encephalitis, acute kidney injury, and vasculitis (Kawasaki-like syndrome in children and renal vasculitis in adult). Understanding the pathogenesis of cytokine storm will help unravel not only risk factors for the condition but also therapeutic strategies to modulate the immune response and deliver improved outcomes in COVID-19 patients at high risk for severe disease. In this article, we present an overview of the cytokine storm and its implications in COVID-19 settings and identify potential pathways or biomarkers that could be targeted for therapy. Leveraging expert opinion, emerging evidence, and a case-based approach, this position paper provides critical insights on cytokine storm from both a prognostic and therapeutic standpoint.