Living in a hostile world: inflammation, new drug development, and coronavirus

Dobson, Geoffrey P., Biros, Erik, Letson, Hayley L., and Morris, Jodie L. (2021) Living in a hostile world: inflammation, new drug development, and coronavirus. Frontiers in Immunology, 11. 610131.

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We present a brief history of the immune response and show that Metchnikoff’s theory of inflammation and phagocytotic defense was largely ignored in the 20th century. For decades, the immune response was believed to be triggered centrally, until Lafferty and Cunningham proposed the initiating signal came from the tissues. This shift opened the way for Janeway’s pattern recognition receptor theory, and Matzinger’s danger model. All models failed to appreciate that without inflammation, there can be no immune response. The situation changed in the 1990s when cytokine biology was rapidly advancing, and the immune system’s role expanded from host defense, to the maintenance of host health. An inflammatory environment, produced by immune cells themselves, was now recognized as mandatory for their attack, removal and repair functions after an infection or injury. We explore the cellular programs of the immune response, and the role played by cytokines and other mediators to tailor the right response, at the right time. Normally, the immune response is robust, self-limiting and restorative. However, when the antigen load or trauma exceeds the body’s internal tolerances, as witnessed in some COVID-19 patients, excessive inflammation can lead to increased sympathetic outflows, cardiac dysfunction, coagulopathy, endothelial and metabolic dysfunction, multiple organ failure and death. Currently, there are few drug therapies to reduce excessive inflammation and immune dysfunction. We have been developing an intravenous (IV) fluid therapy comprising adenosine, lidocaine and Mg2+ (ALM) that confers a survival advantage by preventing excessive inflammation initiated by sepsis, endotoxemia and sterile trauma. The multi-pronged protection appears to be unique and may provide a tool to examine the intersection points in the immune response to infection or injury, and possible ways to prevent secondary tissue damage, such as that reported in patients with COVID-19.

Item ID: 65771
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1664-3224
Keywords: immunity; coagulopathy; endothelial dysfunction; sepsis; trauma; COVID-19; evolution
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2021 Dobson, Biros, Letson and Morris. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Funders: United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), United States Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC)
Projects and Grants: USSOCOM, USAMRMC SO150053 under Award W81XWH-USSOCOM-BAA-15-1
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2021 00:10
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3202 Clinical sciences > 320211 Infectious diseases @ 10%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3204 Immunology > 320499 Immunology not elsewhere classified @ 80%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3299 Other biomedical and clinical sciences > 329999 Other biomedical and clinical sciences not elsewhere classified @ 10%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920109 Infectious Diseases @ 20%
92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920108 Immune System and Allergy @ 60%
92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920199 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) not elsewhere classified @ 20%
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