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Cellix Solutions model inflammation to accelerate your COVID-19 research


Cardiovascular involvement in COVID-19 - key manifestations and hypothetical mechanisms
Cardiovascular involvement in COVID-19 - key manifestations and hypothetical mechanisms, [1].

In this newsletter, we continue to explore how Cellix’s VenaFlux Solutions can help researchers to study mechanisms involved in the development of severe COVID-19 disease such as:

  • Severe systemic inflammation due to a cytokine storm: this newsletter focuses on this aspect and gives information on respective model and solution.

  • Endothelial Dysfunction: click here for previous blog.

  • Microvascular Thrombosis: click here for previous blog.

Mounting evidence has demonstrated that severely ill COVID-19 patients presented with elevated levels of cytokines such as serum IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, suggesting the involvement of a cytokine storm. Cytokine storms represent an exaggerated immune response characterized by over-production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines such as IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-6, IL-1β, IL-18, CXCL8 and CXCL10.

A rash with red blotchy skin; a common side effect of COVID-19 often referred to as "COVID toe", [2].
A rash with red blotchy skin; a common side effect of COVID-19 often referred to as "COVID toe", [2].

While an adequate release of cytokines is critical for the body's defence against viral infection, uncontrolled and aberrant immune system activation can lead to organ injury.  Timely control of hyper-inflammatory response is crucial to prevent multi-organ dysfunction accompanying COVID-19.


A new study led by Chinese researchers in collaboration with UCLA's Dr. Yibin Wang [3] has shown that people hospitalized with COVID-19 who took statin drugs were less likely to die and less likely to need mechanical ventilation than those who did not take the cholesterol-lowering drugs.  Hospitalized patients taking statins had a 5.2% mortality rate, compared to a 9.4% mortality rate in patients not taking statins - from two groups of COVID-19 patients with matching clinic characteristics except statin usage. Statin use was also linked to lower levels of inflammation, and a lower incidence of acute respiratory distress syndrome and admission to intensive care units.

Statins are potent lipid-lowering agents that act on the mevalonate pathway by inhibiting HMG-CoA the rate-limiting enzyme for cholesterol synthesis. It has been previously shown that statins have anti-inflammatory properties that are independent of their lipid lowering capability. For example, patients with cardiovascular disease or patients prior to surgery who were receiving statin therapy had a lower incidence of sepsis and with fewer progressing to severe sepsis and death.