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Immunometabolism and SARS-CoV-2: The central role of fat body mass and physical fitness during the COVID-19 pandemic

Grant number: 21/11932-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2022
Effective date (End): October 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Metabolism and Bioenergetics
Principal Investigator:Fábio Santos de Lira
Grantee:Bruna Spolador de Alencar Silva
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (FCT). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Presidente Prudente. Presidente Prudente , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Preliminary studies indicate that physically active individuals have a better response to the SARS-CoV-2 compared to sedentary ones, although the long-term effects of virus on the inflammatory, metabolic, cardiovascular and mental health profile are lacking in better and complete knowledge. Additionally, overweight and obesity are consistently associated with more severe forms of manifestation of the effects of COVID-19. In this sense, the current proposal aims to evaluate if fat body mass and physical fitness are determining factors for systemic inflammatory response, cardiovascular and pulmonary function, functional state and mental health in SARS-CoV-2 patients, before and after specific vaccination, through a cohort prospective observational study. Also, explore the molecular mechanisms in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from well-trained subjects and age-matched non-trained, using homologous serum (collected in the observational study) and coronavirus (inactive virus). We will conduct a prospective observational cohort study including adult patients previously infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (mild to moderate COVID-19). Procedures will be conducted at baseline, six weeks after vaccination, and again at 12 months. An immune phenotypic characterization, biochemistry assays (inflammatory and metabolic parameters), body composition, physical activity level, cardiovascular and pulmonary function, peripheral and respiratory muscle strength, functional exercise capacity and mental health will be evaluated. Participants will be grouped based on physical activity levels, body composition and SARS-CoV-2 status. An in-vitro assay (exposure to homologous serum and/or recombinant coronavirus) will provide modulatory effects of physical activity on immune responses to the virus. The data generated will help us answer: 1) do the innate immune systems of physically active individuals respond better to viral infections compared with those of sedentary people, 2) Which functional and metabolic mechanisms explain the differences in responses in participants with different physical fitness levels, and 3) Do these mechanisms have long-term positive modulatory effects on mental and cardiovascular health.

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