Repurposing low-dose naltrexone (LDN) for the prevention and treatment of immunothrombosis in COVID-19
DocWire News Featured Reading
18 February 2022
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is characterized by striking dysregulation of the immune system, with evidence of hyperinflammation, an impaired induction of interferons, and delayed adaptive immune responses. In addition to dysfunctional immune responses, thrombosis is a hallmark of severe COVID-19. Because traditional anticoagulation strategies are associated with increased bleeding, novel strategies that address both the immune and thrombotic dysfunction associated with COVID-19 would be of tremendous benefit. In this commentary, we discuss the unique properties of low dose naltrexone (LDN) which could be leveraged to reduce the immune-mediated thrombotic complications in COVID-19. Mechanistically, LDN can blunt innate immune responses and Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling, reducing interleukin1 (IL-1), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), and interferon (IFN) levels. Because of the immune-mediated thrombotic mechanisms that underlie COVID-19, we hypothesize that the immune-modulating and known pharmacologic properties of LDN could be leveraged as a novel therapeutic strategy in COVID-19.