Platelets amplify endotheliopathy in COVID-19
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Platelets contribute to disease severity in COVID-19
OBJECTIVE:Heightened inflammation, dysregulated immunity, and thrombotic events are characteristic of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Given that platelets are key regulators of thrombosis, inflammation, and immunity they represent prime candidates as mediators of COVID-19-associated pathogenesis. The objective of this study was to understand the contribution of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to the platelet phenotype via phenotypic (activation, aggregation) and transcriptomic characterization. APPROACH AND RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:In a cohort of 3915Â hospitalized COVID-19 patients, we analyzed blood platelet indices collected at hospital admission. Following adjustment for demographics, clinical risk factors, medication, and biomarkers of inflammation and thrombosis, we find platelet count, size, and immaturity are associated with increased critical illness and all-cause mortality. Bone marrow, lung tissue, and blood from COVID-19 patients revealed the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virions in megakaryocytes and platelets. Characterization of COVID-19 platelets found them to be hyperreactive (increased aggregation, and expression of P-selectin and CD40) and to have a distinct transcriptomic profile characteristic of prothrombotic large and immature platelets. In vitro mechanistic studies highlight that the interaction of SARS-CoV-2 with megakaryocytes alters the platelet transcriptome, and its effects are distinct from the coronavirus responsible for the common cold (CoV-OC43). CONCLUSIONS:Platelet count, size, and maturity associate with increased critical illness and all-cause mortality among hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Profiling tissues and blood from COVID-19 patients revealed that SARS-CoV-2 virions enter megakaryocytes and platelets and associate with alterations to the platelet transcriptome and activation profile.
Chronic stress primes innate immune responses in mice and humans
Psychological stress (PS) is associated with systemic inflammation and accelerates inflammatory disease progression (e.g., atherosclerosis). The mechanisms underlying stress-mediated inflammation and future health risk are poorly understood. Monocytes are key in sustaining systemic inflammation, and recent studies demonstrate that they maintain the memory of inflammatory insults, leading to a heightened inflammatory response upon rechallenge. We show that PS induces remodeling of the chromatin landscape and transcriptomic reprogramming of monocytes, skewing them to a primed hyperinflammatory phenotype. Monocytes from stressed mice and humans exhibit a characteristic inflammatory transcriptomic signature and are hyperresponsive upon stimulation with Toll-like receptor ligands. RNA and ATAC sequencing reveal that monocytes from stressed mice and humans exhibit activation of metabolic pathways (mTOR and PI3K) and reduced chromatin accessibility at mitochondrial respiration-associated loci. Collectively, our findings suggest that PS primes the reprogramming of myeloid cells to a hyperresponsive inflammatory state, which may explain how PS confers inflammatory disease risk.
Platelet and Vascular Biomarkers Associate with Thrombosis and Death in Coronavirus Disease [Letter]
Platelet regulation of myeloid suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 accelerates atherosclerosis
Platelets are best known as mediators of hemostasis and thrombosis; however, their inflammatory effector properties are increasingly recognized. Atherosclerosis, a chronic vascular inflammatory disease, represents the interplay between lipid deposition in the artery wall and unresolved inflammation. Here, we reveal that platelets induce monocyte migration and recruitment into atherosclerotic plaques, resulting in plaque platelet-macrophage aggregates. In Ldlr-/- mice fed a Western diet, platelet depletion decreased plaque size and necrotic area and attenuated macrophage accumulation. Platelets drive atherogenesis by skewing plaque macrophages to an inflammatory phenotype, increasing myeloid suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) expression and reducing the Socs1:Socs3 ratio. Platelet-induced Socs3 expression regulates plaque macrophage reprogramming by promoting inflammatory cytokine production (Il6, Il1b, and Tnfa) and impairing phagocytic capacity, dysfunctions that contribute to unresolved inflammation and sustained plaque growth. Translating our data to humans with cardiovascular disease, we found that women with, versus without, myocardial infarction have up-regulation of SOCS3, lower SOCS1:SOCS3, and increased monocyte-platelet aggregate. A second cohort of patients with lower extremity atherosclerosis demonstrated that SOCS3 and the SOCS1:SOCS3 ratio correlated with platelet activity and inflammation. Collectively, these data provide a causative link between platelet-mediated myeloid inflammation and dysfunction, SOCS3, and cardiovascular disease. Our findings define an atherogenic role of platelets and highlight how, in the absence of thrombosis, platelets contribute to inflammation.
Antisense Oligonucleotide Targeting of Thrombopoietin Represents A Novel Platelet Depletion Method to Assess the Immunomodulatory Role of Platelets
BACKGROUND:Platelets are effector cells of the innate and adaptive immune system, however understanding their role during inflammation-driven pathologies can be challenging due to several drawbacks associated with current platelet depletion methods. The generation of antisense oligonucleotides (ASO)s directed to thrombopoietin (Tpo) mRNA represents a novel method to reduce circulating platelet count. OBJECTIVE:To understand if Tpo-targeted ASO treatment represents a viable strategy to specifically reduce platelet count in mice. METHODS:Female and male mice were treated with TPO-targeted ASOs and platelet count and function assessed, in addition to circulating blood cell counts and hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. The utility of the platelet-depletion strategy was assessed in a murine model of lower airway dysbiosis. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS/CONCLUSIONS:Herein, we describe how in mice, ASO-mediated silencing of hepatic TPO expression reduces platelet, megakaryocyte, and megakaryocyte progenitor count, without altering platelet activity. TPO ASO-mediated platelet depletion can be achieved acutely and sustained chronically in the absence of adverse bleeding. TPO ASO-mediated platelet depletion allows for the reintroduction of new platelets, an advantage over commonly used antibody-mediated depletion strategies. Using a murine model of lung inflammation, we demonstrate that platelet depletion, induced by either TPO ASO or anti-CD42b treatment, reduces the accumulation of inflammatory immune cells, including monocytes and macrophages, in the lung. Altogether, we characterize a new platelet depletion method that can be sustained chronically and allows for the reintroduction of new platelets highlighting the utility of the TPO ASO method to understand the role of platelets during chronic immune-driven pathologies.
Platelet LGALS3BP Induces Myeloid Inflammation In Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
OBJECTIVE:Platelets are mediators of inflammation with immune effector cell properties, and have been implicated in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). This study investigated the role of platelet associated lectin galactoside-binding soluble 3 binding protein (LGALS3BP) as a mediator of inflammation in SLE, and a potential biomarker associated with clinical phenotypes. METHODS:We performed RNA sequencing on platelets of patients with SLE (n=54) and age, sex, and race-matched controls (n=18) and measured LGALS3BP in platelet releasate and in circulating serum. We investigated the association between levels of LGALS3BP with the prevalence, disease severity, and clinical phenotpyes of SLE, and studied platelet-mediated effects on myeloid inflammation. RESULTS:). Platelet-released LGALS3BP was highly correlated with circulating LGALS3BP (RÂ =Â 0.69, p <â€‰0.0001). Circulating LGALS3BP correlated with the SLE disease activity index (RÂ =Â 0.32, p =â€‰0.0006). Specifically, circulating LGALS3BP was higher in SLE patients with lupus nephritis than those with inactive disease (4.0 Î¼g/mL vs 2.3 Î¼g/mL, P <â€‰0.001). IFN-Î± induced LGALS3BP transcription and translation in a megakaryoblastic cell line (MEG-01) cells in a dose-dependent manner. Recombinant LGALS3BP and platelet releasates from SLE patients enhanced pro-inflammatory cytokine production by macrophages. CONCLUSIONS:These data support that platelets act as potent effector cells contributing to the pathogenesis of SLE by secreting proinflammatory LGALS3BP, which also represents a novel biomarker of SLE clinical activity.
Aspirin for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: Time for a Platelet-Guided Approach
Aspirin protects against atherothrombosis while increasing the risk of major bleeding. Although it is widely used to prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD), its benefit does not outweigh its risk for primary CVD prevention in large population settings. The recent United States Preventive Services Task Force guidelines on aspirin use to prevent CVD reflect this clinical tradeoff as well as the persistent struggle to define a population that would benefit from prophylactic aspirin therapy. Past clinical trials of primary CVD prevention with aspirin have not included consideration of a biomarker relevant to aspirin's mechanism of action, platelet inhibition. This approach is at odds with the paradigm used in other key areas of pharmacological CVD prevention, including antihypertensive and statin therapy, which combine cardiovascular risk assessment with the measurement of mechanistic biomarkers (eg, blood pressure and LDL [low-density lipoprotein]-cholesterol). Reliable methods for quantifying platelet activity, including light transmission aggregometry and platelet transcriptomics, exist and should be considered to identify individuals at elevated cardiovascular risk due to a hyperreactive platelet phenotype. Therefore, we propose a new, platelet-guided approach to the study of prophylactic aspirin therapy. We think that this new approach will reveal a population with hyperreactive platelets who will benefit most from primary CVD prevention with aspirin and usher in a new era of precision-guided antiplatelet therapy.
Long noncoding RNA CHROMR regulates antiviral immunity in humans
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have emerged as critical regulators of gene expression, yet their contribution to immune regulation in humans remains poorly understood. Here, we report that the primate-specific lncRNA CHROMR is induced by influenza A virus and SARS-CoV-2 infection and coordinates the expression of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) that execute antiviral responses. CHROMR depletion in human macrophages reduces histone acetylation at regulatory regions of ISG loci and attenuates ISG expression in response to microbial stimuli. Mechanistically, we show that CHROMR sequesters the interferon regulatory factor (IRF)-2-dependent transcriptional corepressor IRF2BP2, thereby licensing IRF-dependent signaling and transcription of the ISG network. Consequently, CHROMR expression is essential to restrict viral infection of macrophages. Our findings identify CHROMR as a key arbitrator of antiviral innate immune signaling in humans.
Platelet inhibition by low-dose aspirin is not influenced by body mass or weight
Aspirin's clinical efficacy may be influenced by body weight and mass. Although inadequate platelet inhibition by aspirin is suggested as responsible, evidence for this in non-diabetic patients is sparse. We investigated the influence of body weight and mass on aspirin's inhibition of platelet aggregation in healthy adults without diabetes. Cohort one (NYU, n =Â 84) had light transmission aggregometry (LTA) of platelet-rich plasma to submaximal adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and arachidonic acid (AA) before and following 1 week of daily 81 mg non-enteric coated aspirin. Subjects in the validation cohort (Duke, n =Â 66) were randomized to 81 mg or 325 mg non-enteric coated aspirin for 4 weeks, immediately followed by 4 weeks of the other dose, with LTA to submaximal collagen, ADP, and AA before and after each dosage period. Body mass index (BMI) range was 18.0-57.5 kg/m2 and 25% were obese. Inhibition of platelet aggregation was similar irrespective of BMI, body weight and aspirin dose. There was no correlation between platelet aggregation before or after aspirin with BMI or body weight. Our data demonstrate that aspirin produces potent inhibition of direct and indirect COX1-mediated platelet aggregation in healthy adults without diabetes regardless of body weight or mass - suggesting that other mechanisms explain lower preventive efficacy of low-dose aspirin with increasing body weight/mass.