| hindawi - Journal of Immunology Research | Sep 25, 2020
Chloroquine (CQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) are derivatives of 4-aminoquinoline compounds with over 60 years of safe clinical usage. CQ and HCQ are able to inhibit the production of cytokines such as interleukin- (IL-) 1, IL-2, IL-6, IL-17, and IL-22. Also, CQ and HCQ inhibit the production of interferon- (IFN-) α and IFN-γ and/or tumor necrotizing factor- (TNF-) α. Furthermore, CQ blocks the production of prostaglandins (PGs) in the intact cell by inhibiting substrate accessibility of arachidonic acid necessary for the production of PGs. Moreover, CQ affects the stability between T-helper cell (Th) 1 and Th2 cytokine secretion by augmenting IL-10 production in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Additionally, CQ is capable of blocking lipopolysaccharide- (LPS-) triggered stimulation of extracellular signal-modulated extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 in human PBMCs. HCQ at clinical levels effectively blocks CpG-triggered class-switched memory B-cells from differentiating into plasmablasts as well as producing IgG. Also, HCQ inhibits cytokine generation from all the B-cell subsets. IgM memory B-cells exhibits the utmost cytokine production. Nevertheless, CQ triggers the production of reactive oxygen species. A rare, but serious, side effect of CQ or HCQ in nondiabetic patients is hypoglycaemia. Thus, in critically ill patients, CQ and HCQ are most likely to deplete all the energy stores of the body leaving the patient very weak and sicker. We advocate that, during clinical usage of CQ and HCQ in critically ill patients, it is very essential to strengthen the CQ or HCQ with glucose infusion. CQ and HCQ are thus potential inhibitors of the COVID-19 cytokine storm.