Eicosanoids: the Overlooked Storm in COVID-19?

Link to article at PubMed

Hammock BD, et al. Am J Pathol 2020 - Review.


Severe coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) symptoms, including systemic inflammatory response and multi-system organ failure, are now affecting thousands of infected patients and causing widespread mortality. Coronavirus infection causes tissue damage, which triggers the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response and subsequent eicosanoid and cytokine storms. While pro-inflammatory eicosanoids including prostaglandins, thromboxanes, and leukotrienes are critical mediators of physiological processes such as inflammation, fever, allergy, and pain, their role in COVID-19 are poorly characterized. Arachidonic acid derived epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) could alleviate the systemic hyper-inflammatory response in COVID-19 infection by modulating ER stress and stimulating the resolution of inflammation. Soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) inhibitors, which increase endogenous EET levels, exhibit potent anti-inflammatory activity and inhibit various pathologic processes in preclinical disease models including pulmonary fibrosis, thrombosis, and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Therefore, targeting eicosanoids and sEH could be a novel therapeutic approach in combating COVID-19. In this review, we discuss the predominant role of eicosanoids in regulating the inflammatory cascade and propose the potential application of sEH inhibitors in alleviating COVID-19 symptoms. We also discuss the host-protective action of omega-3 fatty acid-derived epoxyeicosanoids and specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs) in regulating anti-inflammation and anti-viral response. Future studies determining the eicosanoid profile in COVID-19 patient or preclinical model are pivotal in providing the novel insight of coronavirus-host interaction and inflammation modulation.

PMID:32650004 | DOI:10.1016/j.ajpath.2020.06.010

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