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Immunomodulation and endothelial barrier protection mediate the association between oral imatinib and mortality in hospi
PDPI Lampung & Bengkulu, 02 Ags 2022 07:28:34


Introduction Imatinib reduced 90-day mortality in hospitalised COVID-19 patients in a recent clinical trial, but the biological effects that cause improved clinical outcomes are unknown. We aimed to determine the biological changes elicited by imatinib in patients with COVID-19, and what baseline biological profile moderates the effect of imatinib.

Methods Secondary analysis of a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral imatinib in hospitalised, hypoxemic COVID-19 patients. Mediating effects of changes in plasma concentration of 25 plasma host response biomarkers on the association between randomisation group and 90-day mortality were studied by combining linear mixed-effect modelling and joint modelling. Moderation of baseline biomarker concentrations was evaluated by Cox regression modelling. We identified subphenotypes using Ward's method clustering and evaluated moderation of these subphenotypes using the above-described method.

Results 332 out of 385 participants had plasma samples available. Imatinib increased the concentration of surfactant protein D (SP-D), and decreased the concentration of interleukin-6, procalcitonin, angiopoietin 2 to 1 ratio, E-selectin, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)α, and TNF receptor I. The effect of imatinib on 90-day mortality was fully mediated by changes in these biomarkers.

Cluster analysis revealed three host response subphenotypes. Mortality benefit of imatinib was only present in the subphenotype characterised by alveolar epithelial injury indicated by increased SP-D levels in the context of systemic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction (HR 0.29, 95%-CI: 0.10–0.92).

Conclusions The effect of imatinib on mortality in hospitalised COVID-19 patients is mediated through modulation of innate immune responses and reversal of endothelial dysfunction, and possibly moderated by biological subphenotypes.

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