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Proteomic and Metabolomic Investigation of COVID-19 Patients with Elevated Serum Lactate Dehydrogenase

By Haixi Yan, Xiao Liang, Juping Du, Zebao He, Yu Wang, Mengge Lyu, Liang Yue, Fangfei Zhang, Zhangzhi Xue, Luang Xu, Guan Ruan, Jun Li, Hongguo Zhu, Jiaqin Xu, Shiyong Chen, Chao Zhang, Dongqing Lv, Zongmei Lin, Bo Shen, Yi Zhu, Biyun Qian, Haixiao Chen, Tiannan Guo

Posted 11 Jan 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.01.10.21249333

Serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) has been established as a prognostic indicator given its differential expression in COVID-19 patients. However, the molecular mechanisms underneath remain poorly understood. In this study, 144 COVID-19 patients were enrolled to monitor the clinical and laboratory parameters over three weeks. Serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) was shown elevated in the COVID-19 patients on admission and declined during the convalescence period, and its ability to classify patient severity outperformed other clinical indicators. A threshold of 247 U/L serum LDH on admission was determined for severity prognosis. Next, we classified a subset of 14 patients into high- and low-risk groups based on serum LDH expression and compared their quantitative serum proteomic and metabolomic differences. The results found COVID-19 patients with high serum LDH exhibited differentially expressed blood coagulation and immune responses including acute inflammatory responses, platelet degranulation, complement cascade, as well as multiple different metabolic responses including lipid metabolism, protein ubiquitination and pyruvate fermentation. Specifically, activation of hypoxia responses was highlighted in patients with high LDH expressions. Taken together, our data showed that serum LDH levels is associated COVID-19 severity, and that elevated serum LDH might be consequences of hypoxia and tissue injuries induced by inflammation.

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