Presence of hyaluronan in lung alveoli in severe Covid-19 -
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The gel-like liquid that can form in the lungs of patients with severe COVID-19 infection appears to be glycosaminoglycan hyaluronan (HA), Swedish researchers have discovered in findings that could pave the way for novel therapies for the disease.

"We have for the first time demonstrated a striking presence of hyaluronan in alveolar spaces of the lungs in lethal cases of COVID-19," say researchers in a report published recently in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

They studied lung samples obtained at autopsy from severe COVID-19 victims and compared these with lung tissue from people undergoing thoracic surgery. They found that the alveolar spaces in patients with COVID-19 were filled with exudate that stained heavily for HA, which disappeared when it was exposed to an enzyme that breaks down the polysaccharide.

"Based on this novel finding, adjuvant treatment targeting hyaluronan may be a promising approach to reduce mortality in critically ill COVID-19 patients," such as the antispasmodic hymecromone, which slows down the production of hyaluronan, the authors speculate.

For the current study, Swedish researchers examined lung tissue obtained at autopsy from three COVID-19 positive adults: two men, aged 47 and 48 years, and one woman aged 73 years.

These were compared with lung tissue from four patients undergoing thoracic surgery. The samples from all seven individuals were processed in an identical manner.

Two patients with COVID-19 had been in the exudative phase of the disease when they died, and the third was in the proliferation phase, with diffuse alveolar damage.

The alveolar spaces of all three patients with COVID-19 were filled with exudate and alveolar plugs that had pronounced HA staining. Moreover, the alveolar walls were damaged and hyperplastic, and HA staining was seen in the thickened alveolar interstitium.

The researchers say that, in contrast, the lung tissue from those undergoing thoracic surgery showed HA staining only in the alveolar walls and perivascular tissue.

Finally, they treated all the samples with hyaluronidase derived from bovine testes, which "effectively abolished the HA staining."

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D●●●●h R●●a General Medicine
Interesting this could lead to a revolutionary therapy in future
Oct 21, 2020Like