Background: Plasma cell mastitis (PCM) is a nonbacterial breast inflammation with severe and intense clinical manifestation yet treatment methods for PCM are still rather limited. Although the mechanism of PCM remains unclear, mounting evidences suggest that the dysregulation of immune system is closely associated with the pathogenesis of PCM. Drug combinations or combination therapy could exert improved efficacy and reduced toxicity through hitting multiple discrete cellular targets.
Methods: We have developed a knowledge graph architecture towards immunotherapy and systematic immunity that consists of herbal drug-target interactions with a novel scoring system to select drug combinations based on target-hitting rates and phenotype relativeness. To this end, we employed this knowledge graph to identify an herbal drug combination for PCM and we subsequently evaluated the efficacy of the herbal drug combination in clinical trial.
Results: Our clinical data suggests that the herbal drug combination could significantly reduce the serum level of various inflammatory cytokines, downregulate serum IgA and IgG level, reduce the recurrence rate and reverse the clinical symptoms of PCM patients with improvements of general health status.
Conclusions: In summary, we reported that an herbal drug combination identified by knowledge graph can alleviate the clinical symptoms of plasma cell mastitis patients. We demonstrated that the herbal drug combination holds great promise as an effective remedy for PCM, acting through the regulation of immunoinflammatory pathways and improvement of systematic immune level. In particular, the herbal drug combination could significantly reduce the recurrence rate of PCM, a major obstacle for PCM treatment. Our data suggests that the herbal drug combination is expected to feature prominently in future PCM treatment.
Funding: Liu's lab was supported by grants from the Public Health Science and Technology Project of Shenyang (Grant: 22-321-32-18), Y. Yang's laboratory was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant: 81874301); the Fundamental Research Funds for Central University (Grant: DUT22YG122) and the Key Research project of 'be Recruited and be in Command' in Liaoning Province (2021JH1/10400050).
Clinical trial number: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT05530226.
Figure 1-3 are computational study and therefore no data have been generated for the manuscript. In addition, Figure 4 - Source Data, Figure 5 - Source Data, Figure 6 - Source Data 1, Figure 6 - Source Data 2 and Figure 6 - Source Data 3 contain the numerical data used to generate the figures have been included in the manuscript.
- Yongliang Yang
- Caigang Liu
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Human subjects: The protocol was approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the China Medical University (approval number: 2021PS024T). This study was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT05530226. All patients provided written informed consent.
- Jameel Iqbal, DaVita Labs, United States
© 2023, Liu et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Although there are several efficacious vaccines against COVID-19, vaccination rates in many regions around the world remain insufficient to prevent continued high disease burden and emergence of viral variants. Repurposing of existing therapeutics that prevent or mitigate severe COVID-19 could help to address these challenges. The objective of this study was to determine whether prior use of bisphosphonates is associated with reduced incidence and/or severity of COVID-19.
A retrospective cohort study utilizing payer-complete health insurance claims data from 8,239,790 patients with continuous medical and prescription insurance January 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 was performed. The primary exposure of interest was use of any bisphosphonate from January 1, 2019 to February 29, 2020. Bisphosphonate users were identified as patients having at least one bisphosphonate claim during this period, who were then 1:1 propensity score-matched to bisphosphonate non-users by age, gender, insurance type, primary-care-provider visit in 2019, and comorbidity burden. Main outcomes of interest included: (a) any testing for SARS-CoV-2 infection; (b) COVID-19 diagnosis; and (c) hospitalization with a COVID-19 diagnosis between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020. Multiple sensitivity analyses were also performed to assess core study outcomes amongst more restrictive matches between BP users/non-users, as well as assessing the relationship between BP-use and other respiratory infections (pneumonia, acute bronchitis) both during the same study period as well as before the COVID outbreak.
A total of 7,906,603 patients for whom continuous medical and prescription insurance information was available were selected. A total of 450,366 bisphosphonate users were identified and 1:1 propensity score-matched to bisphosphonate non-users. Bisphosphonate users had lower odds ratios (OR) of testing for SARS-CoV-2 infection (OR = 0.22; 95%CI:0.21–0.23; p<0.001), COVID-19 diagnosis (OR = 0.23; 95%CI:0.22–0.24; p<0.001), and COVID-19-related hospitalization (OR = 0.26; 95%CI:0.24–0.29; p<0.001). Sensitivity analyses yielded results consistent with the primary analysis. Bisphosphonate-use was also associated with decreased odds of acute bronchitis (OR = 0.23; 95%CI:0.22–0.23; p<0.001) or pneumonia (OR = 0.32; 95%CI:0.31–0.34; p<0.001) in 2019, suggesting that bisphosphonates may protect against respiratory infections by a variety of pathogens, including but not limited to SARS-CoV-2.
Prior bisphosphonate-use was associated with dramatically reduced odds of SARS-CoV-2 testing, COVID-19 diagnosis, and COVID-19-related hospitalizations. Prospective clinical trials will be required to establish a causal role for bisphosphonate-use in COVID-19-related outcomes.
This study was supported by NIH grants, AR068383 and AI155865, a grant from MassCPR (to UHvA) and a CRI Irvington postdoctoral fellowship, CRI2453 (to PH).
To systematically identify cell types in the human ligament, investigate how ligamental cell identities, functions, and interactions participated in the process of ligamental degeneration, and explore the changes of ligamental microenvironment homeostasis in the disease progression.
Using single-cell RNA sequencing and spatial RNA sequencing of approximately 49,356 cells, we created a comprehensive cell atlas of healthy and degenerated human anterior cruciate ligaments. We explored the variations of the cell subtypes’ spatial distributions and the different processes involved in the disease progression, linked them with the ligamental degeneration process using computational analysis, and verified findings with immunohistochemical and immunofluorescent staining.
We identified new fibroblast subgroups that contributed to the disease, mapped out their spatial distribution in the tissue and revealed two dynamic trajectories in the process of the degenerative process. We compared the cellular interactions between different tissue states and identified important signaling pathways that may contribute to the disease.
This cell atlas provides the molecular foundation for investigating how ligamental cell identities, biochemical functions, and interactions contributed to the ligamental degeneration process. The discoveries revealed the pathogenesis of ligamental degeneration at the single-cell and spatial level, which is characterized by extracellular matrix remodeling. Our results provide new insights into the control of ligamental degeneration and potential clues to developing novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.
This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81972123, 82172508, 82372490) and 1.3.5 Project for Disciplines of Excellence of West China Hospital Sichuan University (ZYJC21030, ZY2017301).