Does the spike protein from mRNA technology based COVID gene injection cause inflammation and immune activation? Yes, Khan et al. & Robles et al. present evidence e.g. inflammation of TLR2-Dependent

by Paul Alexander

Activation of the NF-ΚB Pathway & as an endothelial inflammation via Integrin A5β1 and NF-ΚB Signaling.



‘The pathogenesis of COVID-19 is associated with a hyperinflammatory response; however, the precise mechanism of SARS-CoV-2-induced inflammation is poorly understood. Here, we investigated direct inflammatory functions of major structural proteins of SARS-CoV-2. We observed that spike (S) protein potently induced inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, including IL-6, IL-1β, TNFα, CXCL1, CXCL2, and CCL2, but not IFNs in human and mouse macrophages. No such inflammatory response was observed in response to membrane (M), envelope (E), and nucleocapsid (N) proteins. When stimulated with extracellular S protein, human and mouse lung epithelial cells also produced inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Interestingly, epithelial cells expressing S protein intracellularly were non-inflammatory, but elicited an inflammatory response in macrophages when co-cultured. Biochemical studies revealed that S protein triggers inflammation via activation of the NF-κB pathway in a MyD88-dependent manner. '

Further, such an activation of the NF-κB pathway was abrogated in Tlr2-deficient macrophages. Consistently, administration of S protein-induced IL-6, TNF-α, and IL-1β in wild-type, but not Tlr2-deficient mice. Notably, upon recognition of S protein, TLR2 dimerizes with TLR1 or TLR6 to activate the NF-κB pathway. Taken together, these data reveal a mechanism for the cytokine storm during SARS-CoV-2 infection and suggest that TLR2 could be a potential therapeutic target for COVID-19.’


‘Vascular endothelial cells (ECs) form a critical interface between blood and tissues that maintains whole-body homeostasis. In COVID-19, disruption of the EC barrier results in edema, vascular inflammation, and coagulation, hallmarks of this severe disease. However, the mechanisms by which ECs are dysregulated in COVID-19 are unclear. Here, we show that the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 alone activates the EC inflammatory phenotype in a manner dependent on integrin ⍺5β1 signaling. Incubation of human umbilical vein ECs with whole spike protein, its receptor-binding domain, or the integrin-binding tripeptide RGD induced the nuclear translocation of NF-κB and subsequent expression of leukocyte adhesion molecules (VCAM1 and ICAM1), coagulation factors (TF and FVIII), proinflammatory cytokines (TNFα, IL-1β, and IL-6), and ACE2, as well as the adhesion of peripheral blood leukocytes and hyperpermeability of the EC monolayer. In addition, inhibitors of integrin ⍺5β1 activation prevented these effects. Furthermore, these vascular effects occur in vivo, as revealed by the intravenous administration of spike, which increased expression of ICAM1, VCAM1, CD45, TNFα, IL-1β, and IL-6 in the lung, liver, kidney, and eye, and the intravitreal injection of spike, which disrupted the barrier function of retinal capillaries.

We suggest that the spike protein, through its RGD motif in the receptor-binding domain, binds to integrin ⍺5β1 in ECs to activate the NF-κB target gene expression programs responsible for vascular leakage and leukocyte adhesion. These findings uncover a new direct action of SARS-CoV-2 on EC dysfunction and introduce integrin ⍺5β1 as a promising target for treating vascular inflammation in COVID-19.’