SARS-CoV-2 と COVID-19 に関する備忘録 Vol.13――HV.1とかいう変異株…etc.

SARS-CoV-2 と COVID-19 に関するメモ・備忘録

Serotonin reduction in post-acute sequelae of viral infection【Cell 2023年10月16日】


  • Long COVID is associated with reduced circulating serotonin levels
  • Serotonin depletion is driven by viral RNA-induced type I interferons (IFNs)
  • IFNs reduce serotonin through diminished tryptophan uptake and hypercoagulability
  • Peripheral serotonin deficiency impairs cognition via reduced vagal signaling


Post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC, “Long COVID”) pose a significant global health challenge. The pathophysiology is unknown, and no effective treatments have been found to date. Several hypotheses have been formulated to explain the etiology of PASC, including viral persistence, chronic inflammation, hypercoagulability, and autonomic dysfunction. Here, we propose a mechanism that links all four hypotheses in a single pathway and provides actionable insights for therapeutic interventions. We find that PASC are associated with serotonin reduction. Viral infection and type I interferon-driven inflammation reduce serotonin through three mechanisms: diminished intestinal absorption of the serotonin precursor tryptophan; platelet hyperactivation and thrombocytopenia, which impacts serotonin storage; and enhanced MAO-mediated serotonin turnover. Peripheral serotonin reduction, in turn, impedes the activity of the vagus nerve and thereby impairs hippocampal responses and memory. These findings provide a possible explanation for neurocognitive symptoms associated with viral persistence in Long COVID, which may extend to other post-viral syndromes.

Graphical abstract


Brain fog in long COVID: A glutamatergic hypothesis with astrocyte dysfunction accounting for brain PET glucose hypometabolism【ScienceDirect 2023年10月13日】


Brain [18F]FDG-PET scans have revealed a glucose hypometabolic pattern in patients with long COVID. This hypometabolism might reflect primary astrocyte dysfunction. Astrocytes play a key role in regulating energy metabolism to support neuronal and synaptic activity, especially activity involving glutamate as the main neurotransmitter. Neuroinflammation is one of the purported mechanisms to explain brain damage caused by infection with SARS-CoV-2. Microglial activation can trigger reactive astrogliosis, contributing to neuroinflammatory changes. These changes can disturb glutamatergic homeostasis, ultimately leading to cognitive fatigue, which has been described in other clinical situations. We hypothesize that glutamatergic dysregulation related to astrocyte dysfunction could be the substrate of brain PET hypometabolism in long COVID patients with brain fog. Based on these elements, we propose that therapeutics targeting astrocytic glutamate regulation could help mitigate long COVID neurological manifestations.


Evolution and neutralization escape of the SARS-CoV-2 BA.2.86 subvariant【medRxiv 2023年9月8日】


Omicron BA.2.86 subvariant differs from Omicron BA.2 as well as recently circulating variants by over 30 mutations in the spike protein alone. Here we report on the first isolation of the live BA.2.86 subvariant from a diagnostic swab collected in South Africa which we tested for escape from neutralizing antibodies and viral replication properties in cell culture. BA.2.86 did not have significantly more escape than Omicron XBB.1.5 from neutralizing immunity elicited by infection of Omicron subvariants ranging from BA.1 to XBB, either by infection alone or as breakthrough infection in vaccinated individuals. Neutralization escape was present relative to earlier strains: BA.2.86 showed extensive escape both relative to ancestral virus in sera from pre-Omicron vaccinated individuals and relative to Omicron BA.1 in sera from Omicron BA.1 infected individuals. We did not observe substantial differences in viral properties in cell culture relative to XBB.1.5. Both BA.2.86 and XBB.1.5 produced infection foci of similar size, had similar cytopathic effect (both lower than ancestral SARS-CoV-2), and had similar replication dynamics. We also investigated the relationship of BA.2.86 to BA.2 sequences and found that the closest were BA.2 samples from Southern Africa circulating in early 2022. These observations suggest that BA.2.86 is more closely related to sequences from Southern Africa than other regions and so may have evolved there, and that evolution led to escape from neutralizing antibodies similar in scale to recently circulating strains of SARS-CoV-2.