While corticosteroids dampen the dysregulated immune system and sometimes are prescribed as an adjunctive treatment for pneumonia, their effectiveness in the treatment of coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) remains controversial. In this issue of the JCI, Liu and Zhang et al. evaluated corticosteroid treatment in more than 400 patients with severe COVID-19. The authors assessed subjects retrospectively for cardiac and liver injury, shock, ventilation, mortality, and viral clearance. Corticosteroids in severe COVID-19 related acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) was associated with increased mortality and delayed viral clearance. Here, we consider how to reconcile the negative effects of corticosteroids revealed by Liu and Zhang et al. with the favorable effects (reduced mortality) that were described in the RECOVERY trial. We posit that treatment timing, dosage, and COVID-19 disease severity determine immune response and viral outcome. Patients with moderate-to-severe COVID-19 pneumonia are likely to benefit from moderate dose corticosteroid treatment when administered relatively late in the disease course.
Michael A. Matthay, Katherine D. Wick
The disease spectrum of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) ranges from no symptoms to multisystem failure and death. Characterization of virus-specific immune responses to severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is key to understanding disease pathogenesis, but few studies have evaluated T cell immunity. In this issue of the JCI, Sattler et al. sampled blood from subjects with COVID-19 and analyzed the activation and function of virus antigen-specific CD4+ T cells. T cells that failed to respond to peptides from the membrane, spike or nucleocapsid proteins were more common in subjects who died. In those whose T cells had the capacity to respond, older patients with more co-morbidity had larger numbers of activated T cells compared with patients that had fewer risk factors, but these cells showed impaired IFN- production. This cross-sectional study relates activated T cell responses to patient risk factors and outcome. However, T cell response trajectory over the disease course remains an open question.
Diane E. Griffin
Background. Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is the most common histologically defined renal cancer. However, it is not a uniform disease and includes several genetic subtypes with different prognosis. ccRCC is also characterized by distinguished metabolic reprogramming. Tobacco smoking (TS) is an established risk factor for ccRCC with unknown effects on tumor pathobiology. Methods. We investigated the landscape of ccRCCs and paired normal kidney tissues (NKTs) using integrated transcriptomic, metabolomic and metallomic approaches in a cohort of never smokers (NS) and long-term current smokers (LTS) Caucasian males. Results. All three Omics domains consistentl identified a distinct metabolic subtype of ccRCCs in LTS, characterized by activation of oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) coupled with reprogramming of the malate-aspartate shuttle and metabolism of aspartate, glutamate, glutamine and histidine. Cadmium, copper and inorganic arsenic accumulated in LTS tumors showing redistribution among intracellular pools, including relocation of copper into the cytochrome c oxidase complex. Gene expression signature based on the LTS metabolic subtype provided prognostic stratification of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) ccRCC tumors that was independent from genomic alterations. Conclusions. The work identifies the TS related metabolic subtype of ccRCC with vulnerabilities that can be exploited for precision medicine approaches targeting metabolic pathways. The results provide rationale for the development of metabolic biomarkers with diagnostic and prognostic applications using evaluation of OxPhos status. The metallomic analysis reveals the role of disrupted metal homeostasis in ccRCC highlighting the importance of studying effects of metals from e-cigarettes and environmental exposures.
James Reigle, Dina Secic, Jacek Biesiada, Collin Wetzel, Behrouz Shamsaei, Johnson Chu, Yuanwei Zang, Xiang Zhang, Nicholas J. Talbot, Megan E. Bischoff, Yongzhen Zhang, Charuhas V. Thakar, Krishnanath Gaitonde, Abhinav Sidana, Hai Bui, John T. Cunningham, Qing Zhang, Laura S. Schmidt, W. Marston Linehan, Mario Medvedovic, David R. Plas, Julio A. Landero Figueroa, Jarek Meller, Maria F. Czyzyk-Krzeska
Background: Viral load surrogate endpoints transformed development of HIV and hepatitis C therapeutics. Surrogate endpoints for cytomegalovirus (CMV)-related morbidity and mortality could advance development of antiviral treatments. While observational data support using CMV viral load (VL) as a trial endpoint, randomized controlled trials (RCT) demonstrating direct associations between virologic markers and clinical endpoints are lacking. Methods: We performed CMV DNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on frozen serum samples from the only placebo-controlled RCT of ganciclovir for early treatment of CMV after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). We used established criteria to assess VL kinetics as surrogates for CMV disease or death by weeks 8, 24, and 48 after randomization and quantified antiviral effects captured by each marker. We used ensemble-based machine learning to assess the predictive ability of VL kinetics and performed this analysis on a ganciclovir prophylaxis RCT for validation. Results: VL suppression with ganciclovir reduced cumulative incidence of CMV disease and death for 20 years after HCT. Mean VL, peak VL, and change in VL during the first five weeks of treatment fulfilled the Prentice definition for surrogacy, capturing > 95% of ganciclovir’s effect, and yielded highly sensitive and specific predictions by week 48. In the prophylaxis trial, viral shedding rate satisfied the Prentice definition for CMV disease by week 24. Conclusion: Our results support using CMV VL kinetics as surrogates for CMV disease, provide a framework for developing CMV preventative and therapeutic agents, and support reductions in viral load as the mechanism through which antivirals reduce CMV disease.
Elizabeth R. Duke, Brian D. Williamson, Bhavesh Borate, Jonathan L. Golob, Chiara Wychera, Terry Stevens-Ayers, Meei-Li Huang, Nicole Cossrow, Hong Wan, T. Christopher Mast, Morgan A. Marks, Mary Flowers, Keith R. Jerome, Lawrence Corey, Peter B. Gilbert, Joshua T. Schiffer, Michael Boeckh
Dr. Rotonya Carr provides her thoughts on being one of the only Black women in her field, the persistent race-gender gap among academic medical center faculty, and possible solutions to retaining and promoting Black women in academia.
Rotonya M. Carr
BACKGROUND. The T cell responses to the common cold coronaviruses have not been well characterized. Pre-existing T cell immunity to SARS-CoV-2 has been reported, and a recent study suggested that this was due to cross-recognition of the novel coronavirus by T cells specific for the common cold coronaviruses. METHODS. We used the ELISpot assay to characterize the T cell responses against peptide pools derived from the spike protein of three common cold coronaviruses (HCoV-229E, HCoV-NL63, and HCoV-OC43) and SARS-CoV-2 in 21 healthy donors who were seronegative for SARS-CoV-2 and had no known exposure to the virus. An in vitro expansion culture assay was also used to analyze memory T cell responses. RESULTS. We found responses to the spike protein of the three common cold coronaviruses in many donors. We then focused on HCoV-NL63 and demonstrated broad T cell responses to the spike protein and identified 22 targeted peptides. Interestingly, only one subject had a significant response to SARS-CoV-2 spike or nucleocapsid protein in the ELISpot assay. In vitro expansion studies suggested that T cells specific for the HCoV-NL63 spike protein in this subject could also recognize SARS-CoV-2 spike protein peptide pools. CONCLUSIONS. Healthy donors have circulating T cells specific for the spike proteins of HCoV-NL63, HCoV-229E, and HCoV-OC43. T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid proteins were present in only one subject and were potentially the result of cross-recognition by T cells specific for the common cold coronaviruses. Further studies are needed to determine whether this influences COVID-19 outcomes.
Bezawit A. Woldemeskel, Abena K. Kwaa, Caroline C. Garliss, Oliver Laeyendecker, Stuart C. Ray, Joel N. Blankson
The aorta and the large conductive arteries are immunoprivileged tissues and are protected against inflammatory attack. A breakdown of the immunoprivilege leads to autoimmune vasculitis, such as giant cell arteritis (GCA), in which CD8+ T regulatory (Treg) cells fail to contain CD4+ T cells and macrophages, resulting in the formation of tissue-destructive granulomatous lesions. Here, we report that the molecular defect of malfunctioning CD8+ Treg cells lies in aberrant NOTCH4 signaling that deviates endosomal trafficking and minimizes exosome production. By transcriptionally controlling the profile of RAB GTPases, NOTCH4 signaling restricted membrane translocation and vesicular secretion of the enzyme NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2). Specifically, NOTCH4hiCD8+ Treg cells increased RAB5A and RAB11A expression and suppressed RAB7A, culminating in the accumulation of early and recycling endosomes and trapping of NOX2 in an intracellular, non-secretory compartment. RAB7AloCD8+ Treg cells failed in the surface translocation and the exosomal release of NOX2. NOTCH4hi RAB5Ahi RAB7Alo RAB11Ahi CD8+ Treg cells left adaptive immunity unopposed, enabling a breakdown in tissue tolerance and aggressive vessel wall inflammation. Inhibiting NOTCH4 signaling corrected the defect and protected arteries from inflammatory insult. The study implicates NOTCH4-dependent transcriptional control of RAB proteins and intracellular vesicle trafficking in autoimmune disease and in vascular inflammation.
Ke Jin, Zhenke Wen, Bowen Wu, Hui Zhang, Jingtao Qiu, Yanan Wang, Kenneth J. Warrington, Gerald Berry, Jörg J. Goronzy, Cornelia M. Weyand
Inborn errors of TLR3-dependent IFN-α/β- and -λ-mediated immunity in the central nervous system (CNS) can underlie herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) encephalitis (HSE). The respective contributions of IFN-α/β and -λ are unknown. We report a child homozygous for a genomic deletion of the entire coding sequence and part of the 3’UTR of the last exon of IFNAR1, who died from HSE at the age of two years. An older cousin died following vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella at 12 months of age, and another 17-year-old cousin homozygous for the same variant has had other, less severe viral illnesses. The encoded IFNAR1 protein is expressed on the cell surface but is truncated and cannot interact with the tyrosine kinase TYK2. The patient’s fibroblasts and EBV-B cells did not respond to IFN-α2b or IFN-β, in terms of STAT1, STAT2 and STAT3 phosphorylation, or the genome-wide induction of IFN-stimulated genes. The patient’s fibroblasts were susceptible to viruses, including HSV-1, even in the presence of exogenous IFN-α2b or IFN-β. HSE is therefore a consequence of inherited complete IFNAR1 deficiency. This viral disease occurred in natural conditions, unlike those previously reported in other patients with IFNAR1 or IFNAR2 deficiency. This experiment of Nature indicates that IFN-α/β are essential for anti-HSV-1 immunity in the CNS.
Paul Bastard, Jeremy Manry, Jie Chen, Jérémie Rosain, Yoann Seeleuthner, Omar AbuZaitun, Lazaro Lorenzo, Taushif Khan, Mary Hasek, Nicholas Hernandez, Benedetta Bigio, Peng Zhang, Romain Lévy, Shai Shrot, Eduardo J. Garcia Reino, Yoon Seung Lee, Soraya Boucherit, Mélodie Aubart, Rik Gijsbers, Vivien Béziat, Zhi Li, Sandra Pellegrini, Isabelle Meyts, Flore Rozenberg, Nico Marr, Bertrand Boisson, Aurélie Cobat, Jacinta Bustamante, Qian Zhang, Emmanuelle Jouanguy, Laurent Abel, Raz Somech, Jean-Laurent Casanova, Shen-Ying Zhang
Estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer is thought to be more malignant and devastating than ER-positive breast cancer and exhibit elevated NF-κB activity. How abnormally high NF-κB activity is maintained in ER-negative breast cancer is poorly understood. The importance of linear ubiquitination, which is generated by the linear ubiquitin chain assembly complex (LUBAC), is increasingly appreciated in NF-κB signaling, which regulates cell activation and death. Here, we showed that epsin proteins, a family of ubiquitin-binding endocytic adaptors, interacted with LUBAC via its Ubiquitin-Interacting Motif (UIM) and bound LUBAC’s bona fide substrate NEMO via its N-terminal homolog (ENTH) domain. Furthermore, epsins promoted NF-κB essential modulator (NEMO) linear ubiquitination and served as scaffolds for recruiting other components of the IκB kinase (IKK) complex; thereby, resulting in the heightened IKK activation and sustained NF-κB signaling essential for the development of ER-negative breast cancer. Heightened epsin levels in ER-negative human breast cancer are associated with poor, relapse-free survival. We showed that transgenic and pharmacological approaches eliminating epsins potently impeded breast cancer development in both spontaneous and patient-derived xenograft breast cancer mouse models. Our findings established the pivotal role epsins played in promoting breast cancer. Thus, targeting epsins may represent a strategy to restrain NF-κB signaling, and provide an important perspective into ER-negative breast cancer treatment.
Kai Song, Xiaofeng Cai, Yunzhou Dong, Hao Wu, Yong Wei, Uma Shankavaram, Kui Cui, Yang Lee, Bo Zhu, Sudarshan Bhattacharjee, Beibei Wang, Kun Zhang, Aiyun Wen, Scott Wong, Lili Yu, Lijun Xia, Alana L Welm, Diane R. Bielenberg, Kevin Camphausen, Yibin Kang, Hong Chen
Muscular dystrophies are a heterogeneous group of genetic diseases, characterized by progressive degeneration of skeletal and cardiac muscle. Despite the intense investigation of different therapeutic options, a definitive treatment has not been yet developed for this debilitating class of pathologies. Cell-based therapies in muscular dystrophies have been pursued experimentally for the last three decades. Several cell types with different characteristics and tissues of origin, including myogenic stem and progenitor cells, stromal cells, and pluripotent stem cells, have been investigated over the years and have recently entered in the clinical arena with mixed results. In this review, we will do a roundup of the past attempts and describe the updated status of cell-based therapies aimed at counteracting the skeletal and cardiac myopathy present in dystrophic patients. We will present current challenges, summarize recent progresses, and make recommendations for future research and clinical trials.
Stefano Biressi, Antonio Filareto, Thomas A. Rando
Macrophages are main effectors of heme metabolism, increasing transiently in the liver during heightened disposal of damaged or senescent red blood cells (sRBC). Macrophages are also essential in defense against microbial threats, but pathologic states of heme excess may be immunosuppressive. Herein, we uncovered a mechanism whereby an acute rise in sRBC disposal by macrophages led to an immunosuppressive phenotype following intrapulmonary Klebsiella pneumoniae infection characterized by increased extrapulmonary bacterial proliferation and reduced survival from sepsis in mice. The impaired immunity to K. pneumoniae during heightened sRBC disposal was independent of iron acquisition by bacterial siderophores, as K. pneumoniae mutant lacking siderophore function recapitulated findings observed with wildtype strain. Rather, sRBC disposal induced a liver transcriptomic profile notable for suppression of Stat1 and interferon-related responses during K. pneumoniae sepsis. Excess heme handling by macrophages recapitulated STAT1 suppression during infection that required synergistic NRF1 and NRF2 activation but was independent of heme oxygenase-1 induction. Whereas iron was dispensable, the porphyrin moiety of heme was sufficient to mediate suppression of STAT1-dependent responses in human and mouse macrophages and promoted liver dissemination of K. pneumoniae in vivo. Thus, cellular heme metabolism dysfunction negatively regulates the STAT1 pathway with implications in severe infection.
Tolani F. Olonisakin, Tomeka L. Suber, Shekina Gonzalez-Ferrer, Zeyu Xiong, Hernán F. Peñaloza, Rick van der Geest, Yuting Xiong, David O. Osei-Hwedieh, Jesus Tejero, Matthew R. Rosengart, Wendy M. Mars, Daria Van Tyne, Andreas Perlegas, Samuel Brashears, Daniel B. Kim-Shapiro, Mark T. Gladwin, Michael A. Bachman, Eldad A. Hod, Claudette St. Croix, Yulia Y. Tyurina, Valerian E. Kagan, Rama K. Mallampalli, Anuradha Ray, Prabir Ray, Janet S. Lee
RNA binding protein Apobec1 Complementation Factor (A1CF) regulates posttranscriptional ApoB mRNA editing but the range of RNA targets and long-term impact of altered A1CF expression on liver function are unknown. Here we studied hepatocyte-specific A1cf transgenic (A1cf +/Tg), A1cf+/Tg Apobec1–/– and A1cf –/– mice fed chow or high fat/high fructose diets using RNA-Seq, RNA-CLIP Seq and tissue microarrays from human hepatocellular cancer (HCC). A1cf +/Tg mice exhibited increased hepatic proliferation and steatosis, with increased lipogenic gene expression (Mogat1, Mogat2, Cidea, Cd36) associated with shifts in polysomal RNA distribution. Aged A1cf +/Tg mice developed spontaneous fibrosis, dysplasia and HCC, which was accelerated on a high fat/fructose diet and independent of Apobec1. RNA-Seq revealed increased expression of mRNAs involved in oxidative stress (Gstm3, Gpx3, Cbr3), inflammatory response (Il19, Cxcl14, Tnfα, Ly6c), extracellular matrix organization (Mmp2, Col1a1, Col4a1), proliferation (Kif20a, Mcm2, Mcm4, Mcm6) with a subset of mRNAs (including Sox4, Sox9, Cdh1) identified in RNA CLIP-Seq. Increased A1CF expression in human HCC correlated with advanced fibrosis and with reduced survival in a subset with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. In conclusion, we show that hepatic A1CF overexpression selectively alters polysomal distribution and mRNA expression, promoting lipogenic, proliferative and inflammatory pathways leading to HCC.
Valerie Blanc, Jesse D. Riordan, Saeed Soleymanjahi, Joseph Nadeau, ILKe Nalbantoglu, Yan Xie, Elizabeth A. Molitor, Blair B. Madison, Elizabeth M. Brunt, Jason C. Mills, Deborah C. Rubin, Irene O.L. Ng, Yeonjung Ha, Lewis R. Roberts, Nicholas O. Davidson
In the quest to provide treatment for COVID-19 patients, available therapies that have been approved for other indications but have insufficient evidence of safety and efficacy for use against COVID-19 have been considered. One of the unintended consequences of this approach is the potential creation of shortages, depriving existing patients who are benefiting from products based on their proven indications. Here, a pharmaceutical company outlines their ethical decision-making framework to guide decision-making and ensure equity of access to products.
Arthur L. Caplan, Joanne Waldstreicher, Karla Childers, Aran Maree
CD4+ T cells interactions with B cells play a critical role in the pathogenesis of systemic autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus and chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD). Extrafollicular CD44hiCD62LloPSGL1loCD4+ (PSGL1loCD4+) T cells are associated with the pathogenesis of lupus and cGVHD, but their causal role has not been established. With murine and humanized MHC–/–HLA-A2+DR4+ murine models of cGVHD, we show that both murine and human PSGL1loCD4+ T cells from GVHD target tissues have features of B cell helpers with upregulated-expression of PD1 and ICOS and production of IL-21. They reside in non-lymphoid tissues without circulating in the blood and have features of tissue-resident memory T cells with upregulated-expression of CD69. Murine PSGL1loCD4+ T cells from GVHD target tissues augmented B cell differentiation into plasma cells and production of autoantibodies via their PD1 interaction with PD-L2 on B cells. Human PSGL1loCD4+ T cells were apposed with memory B cells in the liver tissues of humanized mice and cGVHD patients. Human PSGL1loCD4+ T cells from humanized GVHD target tissues also augmented autologous memory B cell differentiation into plasma cells and antibody production in PD1/PD-L2-dependent manner. Further preclinical studies targeting tissue-resident T cells to treat antibody-mediated features of autoimmune diseases are warranted.
Xiaohui Kong, Deye Zeng, Xiwei Wu, Bixin Wang, Shijie Yang, Qingxiao Song, Yongping Zhu, Martha Salas, Hanjun Qin, Ubaydah Nasri, Karen M. Haas, Arthur D. Riggs, Ryotaro Nakamura, Paul J. Martin, Aimin Huang, Defu Zeng
Therapeutic strategies designed to target TP53-deficient cancer cells remain elusive. Here, we showed that TP53 loss initiated a pharmacologically actionable secretory process that drove lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) progression. Molecular, biochemical, and cell biological studies showed that TP53 loss increased the expression of Golgi reassembly and stacking protein 55 kD (G55), a Golgi stacking protein that maintains Golgi organelle integrity and is part of a GOLGIN45/myosin IIA-containing protein complex that activates secretory vesicle biogenesis in the Golgi. TP53 loss activated G55-dependent secretion by relieving G55 and myosin IIA from miR-34a-dependent silencing. G55-dependent secreted proteins enhanced the proliferative and invasive activities of TP53-deficient LUAD cells and promoted angiogenesis and CD8+ T cell exhaustion in the tumor microenvironment. A small molecule that blocks G55/G45 interactions impaired secretion and reduced TP53-deficient LUAD growth and metastasis. These results identified a targetable secretory vulnerability in TP53-deficient LUAD cells.
Xiaochao Tan, Lei Shi, Priyam Banerjee, Xin Liu, Hou-Fu Guo, Jiang Yu, Neus Bota-Rabassedas, B. Leticia Rodriguez, Don L. Gibbons, William K. Russell, Chad J. Creighton, Jonathan M. Kurie
BACKGROUND. The ABO histo-blood group is defined by carbohydrate modifications and is associated with risk for multiple diseases including Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). We hypothesized that genetically determined blood subtype A1 is associated with increased risk of ARDS and markers of microvascular dysfunction and coagulation. METHODS. We conducted analyses in three cohorts of critically ill trauma and sepsis patients (n = 3,710) genotyped on genome-wide platforms to determine the association of the A1 blood type genotype with ARDS risk. We subsequently determined if associations were present in FUT2 defined non-secretors who lack ABO antigens on epithelium, but not endothelium. In a patient subgroup, we determined the associations of blood type with plasma levels of endothelial glycoproteins and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Lastly, we tested if blood type A was associated with less donor lung injury recovery during human ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP). RESULTS. The A1 genotype was associated with a higher risk of moderate to severe ARDS relative to type O in all three populations. In sepsis, this relationship was strongest in non-pulmonary infections. The association persisted in non-secretors, suggesting a vascular mechanism. The A1 genotype was also associated with higher DIC risk as well as concentrations of thrombomodulin and von Willebrand Factor, which in turn were associated with ARDS risk. Blood type A was also associated with less lung injury recovery during EVLP. CONCLUSIONS. We identified a replicable association between ABO blood type A1 and risk of ARDS among the critically ill possibly mediated through microvascular dysfunction and coagulation.
John P. Reilly, Nuala J. Meyer, Michael G.S. Shashaty, Brian J. Anderson, Caroline Ittner, Thomas G. Dunn, Brian Lim, Caitlin Forker, Michael P. Bonk, Ethan D. Kotloff, Rui Feng, Edward Cantu, Nilam S. Mangalmurti, Carolyn S. Calfee, Michael A. Matthay, Carmen Mikacenic, Keith R. Walley, James A. Russell, David C. Christiani, Mark M. Wurfel, Paul N. Lanken, Muredach P. Reilly, Jason D. Christie
In a stunningly short period of time, the unexpected coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has turned the unprepared world topsy-turvy. Although the rapidity with which the virus struck was indeed overwhelming, scientists throughout the world have also been up to the task of deciphering the mechanisms by which SARS-CoV-2 induces the multisystem- and multiorgan-inflammatory response that, collectively, contribute to the high mortality rate in affected individuals. In this issue of the JCI, Skendros et al., is one such team who report that the complement system plays a substantial role in creating the hyper-inflammation and thrombotic microangiopathy that appear to contribute to the severity of COVID-19. In support of the hypothesis that the complement system along with neutrophils and platelets contributes to COVID-19, the authors presented empirical evidence showing that treatment with the complement inhibitor, compstatin Cp-40, inhibited the expression of tissue factor in neutrophils. These results confirm that the complement axis plays a critical role and suggests that targeted therapy using complement inhibitors is a potential therapeutic option to treat COVID-19 induced inflammation.
Berhane Ghebrehiwet, Ellinor I. Peerschke
The newly emerged severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) highlights the urgent need for assays that detect protective levels of neutralizing antibodies. We studied the relationship between anti-spike ectodomain (ECD), anti-receptor binding domain (RBD) IgG titers, and SARS-CoV-2 virus neutralization (VN) titers generated by two in vitro assays using convalescent plasma samples from 68 COVID-19 patients. We report a strong positive correlation between both plasma anti-RBD and anti-ECD IgG titers and in vitro VN titer. The probability of a VN titer ≥160, the FDA-recommended level for convalescent plasma used for COVID-19 treatment, was ≥80% when anti-RBD or anti-ECD titers were ≥1:1350. Of all donors, 37% lacked VN titers ≥160. Dyspnea, hospitalization, and disease severity were significantly associated with higher VN titer. Frequent donation of convalescent plasma did not significantly decrease VN or IgG titers. Analysis of 2,814 asymptomatic adults found 73 individuals with anti-ECD IgG titers of ≥1:50 and strong positive correlation with anti-RBD and VN titers. Fourteen of these individuals had VN titers ≥1:160, all of which had anti-RBD titer ≥1:1350. We conclude that anti-RBD or anti-ECD IgG titers can serve as a surrogate for VN titers to identify suitable plasma donors. Plasma anti-RBD or anti-ECD titers of ≥1:1350 may provide critical information about protection against COVID-19 disease.
Eric Salazar, Suresh V. Kuchipudi, Paul A. Christensen, Todd Eagar, Xin Yi, Picheng Zhao, Zhicheng Jin, S. Wesley Long, Randall J. Olsen, Jian Chen, Brian Castillo, Christopher Leveque, Dalton Towers, Jason J. Lavinder, Jimmy Gollihar, Jose A. Cardona, Gregory C. Ippolito, Ruth H. Nissly, Ian Bird, Denver Greenawalt, Randall M. Rossi, Abhinay Gontu, Sreenidhi Srinivasan, Indira Poojary, Isabella M. Cattadori, Peter Hudson, Nicole M. Josleyn, Laura Prugar, Kathleen E. Huie, Andrew S. Herbert, David W. Bernard, John M. Dye, Vivek Kapur, James M. Musser
Homeostasis of bone metabolism is regulated by the central nervous system and mood disorders such as anxiety are associated with bone metabolism abnormalities, yet our understanding of the central neural circuits regulating bone metabolism is limited. Here, we demonstrate that chronic stress in crewmembers resulted in decreased bone density and elevated anxiety in an isolated habitat mimicking a space station. We then used a mouse model to demonstrate that GABAergic neural circuitry in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) mediates chronic stress-induced bone loss. We show that GABAergic inputs in the VMHdm arise from a specific group of somatostatin neurons in the posterior region of bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), which is indispensable for stress-induced bone loss and is able to trigger bone loss in the absence of stressors. In addition, the sympathetic system and glutamatergic neurons in nucleus tractus solitaries (NTS) were employed to regulate stress-induced bone loss. Our study has therefore identified the central neural mechanism by which chronic stress induced mood disorders, such as anxiety, influence bone metabolism.
Fan Yang, Yunhui Liu, Shanping Chen, Zhongquan Dai, Dazhi Yang, Dashuang Gao, Jie Shao, Yuyao Wang, Ting Wang, Zhijian Zhang, Lu Zhang, William W. Lu, Yinghui Li, Liping Wang
People with COVID-19 can develop pneumonia and severe inflammatory response with excessive cytokine release known as the cytokine storm. The Janus kinase inhibitor baricitinib used to treat rheumatoid arthritis reduces inflammation by modifying the cytokine pathway. In this issue of the JCI, Bronte and Ugel et al. performed an observational longitudinal study to evaluated the use of baricitinib in 20 patients with COVID-19. Treated subjects showed reduced levels of plasma interleukin (IL)-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF), IL-1β and phosphorylated STAT3 and swift lymphocyte restoration. Notably, these patients had a dramatically favorable clinical outcome. While bias can plague uncontrolled research, this study has biological credibility and warrants randomized control studies.
David L. Thomas