Evidence showing lipotoxicity worsens outcomes in covid-19 patients and insights about the underlying mechanisms.
We compared three hospitalized patient cohorts and conducted mechanistic studies to determine if lipotoxicity worsens COVID-19. Cohort-1 (n = 30) compared COVID-19 patients dismissed home to those requiring intensive-care unit (ICU) transfer. Cohort-2 (n = 116) compared critically ill ICU patients with and without COVID-19. Cohort-3 (n = 3969) studied hypoalbuminemia and hypocalcemia's impact on COVID-19 mortality. Patients requiring ICU transfer had higher serum albumin unbound linoleic acid (LA). Unbound fatty acids and LA were elevated in ICU transfers, COVID-19 ICU patients and ICU non-survivors. COVID-19 ICU patients (cohort-2) had greater serum lipase, damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), cytokines, hypocalcemia, hypoalbuminemia, organ failure and thrombotic events. Hypocalcemia and hypoalbuminemia independently associated with COVID-19 mortality in cohort-3. Experimentally, LA reacted with albumin, calcium and induced hypocalcemia, hypoalbuminemia in mice. Endothelial cells took up unbound LA, which depolarized their mitochondria. In mice, unbound LA increased DAMPs, cytokines, causing endothelial injury, organ failure and thrombosis. Therefore, excessive unbound LA in the circulation may worsen COVID-19 outcomes.
Cartin-Ceba R, Khatua B, El-Kurdi B, Trivedi S, Kostenko S, Imam Z, Smith R, Snozek C, Navina S, Sharma V, McFayden B, Ionescu F, Stolow E, Keiser S, Tejani A, Harrington A, Acosta P, Kuwelker S, Echavarria J, Nair GB, Bataineh A, Singh VP. Evidence showing lipotoxicity worsens outcomes in covid-19 patients and insights about the underlying mechanisms. iScience. 2022 May 20;25(5):104322. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2022.104322. Epub 2022 Apr 27. PMID: 35502320; PMCID: PMC9045865.