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SARS-CoV-2 drives NLRP3 inflammasome activation in human microglia through spike protein, 2022, Eduardo A. Albornoz et al

Discussion in 'Epidemics (including Covid-19, not Long Covid)' started by Mij, Nov 1, 2022.

  1. Mij

    Mij Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    6,661
    Abstract
    Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) is primarily a respiratory disease, however, an increasing number of reports indicate that SARS-CoV-2 infection can also cause severe neurological manifestations, including precipitating cases of probable Parkinson’s disease. As microglial NLRP3 inflammasome activation is a major driver of neurodegeneration, here we interrogated whether SARS-CoV-2 can promote microglial NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Using SARS-CoV-2 infection of transgenic mice expressing human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) as a COVID-19 pre-clinical model, we established the presence of virus in the brain together with microglial activation and NLRP3 inflammasome upregulation in comparison to uninfected mice.

    Next, utilising a model of human monocyte-derived microglia, we identified that SARS-CoV-2 isolates can bind and enter human microglia in the absence of viral replication. This interaction of virus and microglia directly induced robust inflammasome activation, even in the absence of another priming signal. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that purified SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein activated the NLRP3 inflammasome in LPS-primed microglia, in a ACE2-dependent manner. Spike protein also could prime the inflammasome in microglia through NF-κB signalling, allowing for activation through either ATP, nigericin or α-synuclein. Notably, SARS-CoV-2 and spike protein-mediated microglial inflammasome activation was significantly enhanced in the presence of α-synuclein fibrils and was entirely ablated by NLRP3-inhibition. Finally, we demonstrate SARS-CoV-2 infected hACE2 mice treated orally post-infection with the NLRP3 inhibitory drug MCC950, have significantly reduced microglial inflammasome activation, and increased survival in comparison with untreated SARS-CoV-2 infected mice.

    These results support a possible mechanism of microglial innate immune activation by SARS-CoV-2, which could explain the increased vulnerability to developing neurological symptoms akin to Parkinson’s disease in COVID-19 infected individuals, and a potential therapeutic avenue for intervention.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41380-022-01831-0
     
  2. SNT Gatchaman

    SNT Gatchaman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    1,297
    Location:
    Aotearoa New Zealand

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