Dysregulations in hemostasis, metabolism, immune response, and angiogenesis in post-acute COVID-19 syndrome with and without postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome: a multi-omic profiling study.

Mahdi A, Zhao A, Fredengren E, Fedorowski A, Braunschweig F, Nygren-Bonnier M, Runold M, Bruchfeld J, Nickander J, Deng Q, Checa A, Desta L, Pernow J, Ståhlberg M

Sci Rep 13 (1) 20230 [2023-11-19; online 2023-11-19]

Post-acute COVID-19 (PACS) are associated with cardiovascular dysfunction, especially postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). Patients with PACS, both in the absence or presence of POTS, exhibit a wide range of persisting symptoms long after the acute infection. Some of these symptoms may stem from alterations in cardiovascular homeostasis, but the exact mechanisms are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to provide a broad molecular characterization of patients with PACS with (PACS + POTS) and without (PACS-POTS) POTS compared to healthy subjects, including a broad proteomic characterization with a focus on plasma cardiometabolic proteins, quantification of cytokines/chemokines and determination of plasma sphingolipid levels. Twenty-one healthy subjects without a prior COVID-19 infection (mean age 43 years, 95% females), 20 non-hospitalized patients with PACS + POTS (mean age 39 years, 95% females) and 22 non-hospitalized patients with PACS-POTS (mean age 44 years, 100% females) were studied. PACS patients were non-hospitalized and recruited ≈18 months after the acute infection. Cardiometabolic proteomic analyses revealed a dysregulation of ≈200 out of 700 analyzed proteins in both PACS groups vs. healthy subjects with the majority (> 90%) being upregulated. There was a large overlap (> 90%) with no major differences between the PACS groups. Gene ontology enrichment analysis revealed alterations in hemostasis/coagulation, metabolism, immune responses, and angiogenesis in PACS vs. healthy controls. Furthermore, 11 out of 33 cytokines/chemokines were significantly upregulated both in PACS + POTS and PACS-POTS vs. healthy controls and none of the cytokines were downregulated. There were no differences in between the PACS groups in the cytokine levels. Lastly, 16 and 19 out of 88 sphingolipids were significantly dysregulated in PACS + POTS and PACS-POTS, respectively, compared to controls with no differences between the groups. Collectively, these observations suggest a clear and distinct dysregulation in the proteome, cytokines/chemokines, and sphingolipid levels in PACS patients compared to healthy subjects without any clear signature associated with POTS. This enhances our understanding and might pave the way for future experimental and clinical investigations to elucidate and/or target resolution of inflammation and micro-clots and restore the hemostasis and immunity in PACS.

Affinity Proteomics Uppsala [Service]

NGI Proteomics [Service]

NGI Uppsala (SNP&SEQ Technology Platform) [Service]

National Genomics Infrastructure [Service]

PubMed 37981644

DOI 10.1038/s41598-023-47539-1

Crossref 10.1038/s41598-023-47539-1

pmc: PMC10658082
pii: 10.1038/s41598-023-47539-1

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