Evaluation of amphiregulin as a prognostic biomarker of severity and its participation in the pathophysiology of COVID-19

  • Funded by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo [São Paulo Research Foundation] (FAPESP)
  • Total publications:0 publications

Grant number: 2020/05211-3

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Key facts

  • Disease

  • Start & end year

  • Known Financial Commitments (USD)

  • Funder

    Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo [São Paulo Research Foundation] (FAPESP)
  • Principle Investigator

  • Research Location

    Brazil, Americas
  • Lead Research Institution

    Universidade de São Paulo
  • Research Category

    Pathogen: natural history, transmission and diagnostics

  • Research Subcategory

    Pathogen morphology, shedding & natural history

  • Special Interest Tags


  • Study Subject


  • Clinical Trial Details


  • Broad Policy Alignment


  • Age Group


  • Vulnerable Population


  • Occupations of Interest



The latest threat to global health is the ongoing outbreak of the respiratory disease that has been named Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is caused by the virus called SARS-CoV-2. Although scientists in basic and clinical areas worldwide are making great efforts to understand the pathophysiology and investigating the effect of drugs with antiviral action and the repositioning of drugs that have anti-inflammatory action, there is still no specific drug or effective clinical treatment. for COVID-19. However, it is known that progressive respiratory failure caused by massive damage to alveolar cells, resulting from viral replication and excessive local inflammation, is one of the major obstacles to the recovery of critically ill patients with COVID-19. In this sense, the host's defense against infections depends not only on the mechanisms of immune resistance, but also on the body's ability to tolerate the damage that a given pathogen promotes. Amphiregulin (AREG) is a central factor that promotes repair and restoration of tissue integrity after tissue damage associated with inflammation. AREG-deficient animals have a substantial impairment of the ability to restore lung function in infection models. In addition, the administration of recombinant AREG enhances the tissue repair process after tissue injury resulting from excessive inflation. Our working hypothesis is that AREG plays a key role in repairing and restoring the integrity of lung tissue during COVID-19 and that treatment with recombinant AREG shortens patients' recovery period. In addition, we work with the hypothesis that the determination of AREG levels in patients still in moderate form can be an important prognostic biomarker of severity in patients. Thus, we propose in the present project to conduct a translational study to investigate the participation of AREG in the pathophysiology of COVID-19, using animal models of experimental SARS-CoV-2 infection and samples from patients diagnosed with COVID-19. In addition, we intend to assess the potential of AREG as a prognostic biomarker of severity in patients with COVID-19.