BET Inhibition Blocks Inflammation-Induced Cardiac Dysfunction and SARS-CoV-2 Infection

Cardiac injury and dysfunction occur in COVID-19 patients and increase the risk of mortality. Causes are ill defined, but could be direct cardiac infection and/or inflammation-induced dysfunction. Bromodomain and extraterminal family inhibitors (BETi) recover dysfunction in hCO and completely prevent cardiac dysfunction and death in a mouse cytokine-storm model. Additionally, BETi decreases transcription of genes in the viral response, decreases ACE2 expression and reduces SARS-CoV-2 infection of cardiomyocytes. Together, BETi, including the FDA breakthrough designated drug apabetalone, are promising candidates to prevent COVID-19 mediated cardiac damage.