SARS-CoV-2 と COVID-19 に関する備忘録 Vol.16――心臓に腫瘍、ミトコンドリア損傷、マクロファージや泡沫細胞への感染…etc.

SARS-CoV-2 と COVID-19 に関するメモ・備忘録

High Risk of Heart Tumors after COVID-19【MDPI 2023年10月20日】


An emergence of evidence suggests that severe COVID-19 is associated with an increased risk of developing breast and gastrointestinal cancers. The aim of this research was to assess the risk of heart tumors development in patients who have had COVID-19. Methods: A comparative analysis of 173 heart tumors was conducted between 2016 and 2023. Immunohistochemical examination with antibodies against spike SARS-CoV-2 was performed on 21 heart tumors: 10 myxomas operated before 2020 (the control group), four cardiac myxomas, one proliferating myxoma, three papillary fibroelastomas, two myxofibrosarcomas, one chondrosarcoma resected in 2022–2023. Immunohistochemical analysis with antibodies against CD34 and CD68 was also conducted on the same 11 Post-COVID period heart tumors. Immunofluorescent examination with a cocktail of antibodies against spike SARS-CoV-2/CD34 and spike SARS-CoV-2/CD68 was performed in 2 cases out of 11 (proliferating myxoma and classic myxoma). Results: A 1.5-fold increase in the number of heart tumors by 2023 was observed, with a statistically significant increase in the number of myxomas. There was no correlation with vaccination, and no significant differences were found between patients from 2016–2019 and 2021–2023 in terms of gender, age, and cardiac rhythm dis-orders. Morphological examination revealed the expression of spike SARS-CoV-2 in tumor cells, endothelial cells, and macrophages in 10 out of 11 heart tumors. Conclusion: The detection of SARS-CoV-2 persistence in endothelium and macrophages as well as in tumor cells of benign and malignant cardiac neoplasms, the increase in the number of these tumors, especially cardiac myxomas, after the pandemic by 2023 may indicate a trend toward an increased risk of cardiac neoplasms in COVID-19 patients, which re-quires further research on this issue and a search for new evidence.


Validation of ANG-1 and P-SEL as biomarkers of post-COVID-19 conditions using data from the Biobanque québécoise de la COVID-19 (BQC-19)【Clinical Proteomics 2023年10月24日】


The quest for understanding and managing the long-term effects of COVID-19, often referred to as Long COVID or post-COVID-19 condition (PCC), remains an active research area. Recent findings highlighted angiopoietin-1 (ANG-1) and p-selectin (P-SEL) as potential diagnostic markers, but validation is essential, given the inconsistency in COVID-19 biomarker studies. Leveraging the biobanque québécoise de la COVID-19 (BQC19) biobank, we analyzed the data of 249 participants. Both ANG-1 and P-SEL levels were significantly higher in patients with PCC participants compared with control subjects at 3 months using the Mann-Whitney U test. We managed to reproduce and validate the findings, emphasizing the importance of collaborative biobanking efforts in enhancing the reproducibility and credibility of Long COVID research outcomes.


SARS-CoV-2 infection triggers pro-atherogenic inflammatory responses in human coronary vessels【nature cardiovascular research 2023年9月28日】


Patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) present increased risk for ischemic cardiovascular complications up to 1 year after infection. Although the systemic inflammatory response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection likely contributes to this increased cardiovascular risk, whether SARS-CoV-2 directly infects the coronary vasculature and attendant atherosclerotic plaques remains unknown. Here we report that SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA is detectable and replicates in coronary lesions taken at autopsy from severe COVID-19 cases. SARS-CoV-2 targeted plaque macrophages and exhibited a stronger tropism for arterial lesions than adjacent perivascular fat, correlating with macrophage infiltration levels. SARS-CoV-2 entry was increased in cholesterol-loaded primary macrophages and dependent, in part, on neuropilin-1. SARS-CoV-2 induced a robust inflammatory response in cultured macrophages and human atherosclerotic vascular explants with secretion of cytokines known to trigger cardiovascular events. Our data establish that SARS-CoV-2 infects coronary vessels, inducing plaque inflammation that could trigger acute cardiovascular complications and increase the long-term cardiovascular risk.


SARS-CoV-2 infects coronary arteries, increases plaque inflammation【NIH 2023年9月28日】

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can directly infect the arteries of the heart and cause the fatty plaque inside arteries to become highly inflamed, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. The findings(link is external), published in the journal Nature Cardiovascular Research, may help explain why certain people who get COVID-19 have a greater chance of developing cardiovascular disease, or if they already have it, develop more heart-related complications.

In the study, researchers focused on older people with fatty buildup, known as atherosclerotic plaque, who died from COVID-19. However, because the researchers found the virus infects and replicates in the arteries no matter the levels of plaque, the findings could have broader implications for anybody who gets COVID-19.

“Since the early days of the pandemic, we have known that people who had COVID-19 have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease or stroke up to one year after infection,” said Michelle Olive, Ph.D., acting associate director of the Basic and Early Translational Research Program at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of NIH. “We believe we have uncovered one of the reasons why.”

Though previous studies have shown that SARS-CoV-2 can directly infect tissues such as the brain and lungs, less was known about its effect on the coronary arteries. Researchers knew that after the virus reaches the cells, the body’s immune system sends in white blood cells known as macrophages to help clear the virus. In the arteries, macrophages also help remove cholesterol, and when they become overloaded with cholesterol, they morph into a specialized type of cell called foam cells.

The researchers thought that if SARS-CoV-2 could directly infect arterial cells, the macrophages that normally are turned loose might increase inflammation in the existing plaque, explained Chiara Giannarelli, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in the departments of medicine and pathology at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine and senior author on the study. To test their theory, Giannarelli and her team took tissue from the coronary arteries and plaque of people who had died from COVID-19 and confirmed the virus was in those tissues. Then they took arterial and plaque cells – including macrophages and foam cells – from healthy patients and infected them with SARS-CoV-2 in a lab dish. They found that the virus had also infected those cells and tissues.

Additionally, the researchers found that when they compared the infection rates of SARS-CoV-2, they showed that the virus infects macrophages at a higher rate than other arterial cells. Cholesterol-laden foam cells were the most susceptible to infection and unable to readily clear the virus. This suggested that foam cells might act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 in the atherosclerotic plaque. Having more build-up of plaque, and thus a greater number of foam cells, could increase the severity or persistence of COVID-19.

The researchers then turned their attention to the inflammation they predicted might occur in the plaque after infecting it with the virus. They quickly documented the release of molecules, known as cytokines, that are known to increase inflammation and promote the formation of even more plaque. The cytokines were released by infected macrophages and foam cells. The researchers said this may help explain why people who have underlying plaque buildup and then get COVID-19 may have cardiovascular complications long after getting the infection.

“This study is incredibly important as it adds to the larger body of work to better understand COVID-19,” said Olive. “This is just one more study that demonstrates how the virus both infects and causes inflammation in many cells and tissues throughout the body. Ultimately, this is information that will inform future research on both acute and Long COVID.”

Though the findings conclusively show that SARS-CoV-2 can infect and replicate in the macrophages of plaques and arterial cells, they are only relevant to the original strains of SARS-CoV-2 that circulated in New York City between May 2020 and May 2021. The study was conducted in a small cohort of older individuals, all of whom had atherosclerosis and other medical conditions; therefore, the results cannot be generalized to younger, healthy individuals.

This work was funded by the NIH/NHLBI grants 1R01HL165258, R01HL153712, R35HL135799 and R01HL084312. NIAID and NIDDK also provided funding.


A Case of Longitudinally Extensive Transverse Myelitis Following COVID-19 Infection【Cureus 2023年10月24日】


One of the rare complications following acute COVID-19 infection is acute transverse myelitis (ATM). With only a few cases of ATM reported in the literature, an addition of longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM) diagnosed in our patient would underscore the complexity and diversity of neurological manifestations associated with this viral illness. A 54-year-old patient presented to the emergency department with fever, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting. The patient’s nasopharyngeal swab for COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) resulted positive. Few days later, the patient developed bilateral upper, lower extremities weakness, back pain, urinary retention and dysphagia. Subsequently, the clinical presentation, MRI, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and laboratory findings pointed toward LETM as a complication of COVID-19 infection over other differentials. The aggressiveness of this disease necessitated high-dose steroids and plasmapheresis, pain control medication and rehabilitation which led to a slight improvement in the neurological symptoms at the time of discharge to the rehabilitation facility.


An atlas of continuous adaptive evolution in endemic human viruses【Cell Host & Microbe 2023年10月24日】


  • Ongoing adaptive evolution in human endemic viruses is largely in surface proteins
  • Immune evasion drives continuous adaptive evolution in many endemic human viruses
  • Antigenic evolution occurs in several viral families
  • SARS-CoV-2 is accumulating protein-coding changes faster than other endemic viruses


Through antigenic evolution, viruses such as seasonal influenza evade recognition by neutralizing antibodies. This means that a person with antibodies well tuned to an initial infection will not be protected against the same virus years later and that vaccine-mediated protection will decay. To expand our understanding of which endemic human viruses evolve in this fashion, we assess adaptive evolution across the genome of 28 endemic viruses spanning a wide range of viral families and transmission modes. Surface proteins consistently show the highest rates of adaptation, and ten viruses in this panel are estimated to undergo antigenic evolution to selectively fix mutations that enable the escape of prior immunity. Thus, antibody evasion is not an uncommon evolutionary strategy among human viruses, and monitoring this evolution will inform future vaccine efforts. Additionally, by comparing overall amino acid substitution rates, we show that SARS-CoV-2 is accumulating protein-coding changes at substantially faster rates than endemic viruses.

Graphical abstract