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Front Immunol ; 13: 834988, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1817941


Patients with COVID-19 present with a wide variety of clinical manifestations. Thromboembolic events constitute a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. Severe COVID-19 has been associated with hyperinflammation and pre-existing cardiovascular disease. Platelets are important mediators and sensors of inflammation and are directly affected by cardiovascular stressors. In this report, we found that platelets from severely ill, hospitalized COVID-19 patients exhibited higher basal levels of activation measured by P-selectin surface expression and had poor functional reserve upon in vitro stimulation. To investigate this question in more detail, we developed an assay to assess the capacity of plasma from COVID-19 patients to activate platelets from healthy donors. Platelet activation was a common feature of plasma from COVID-19 patients and correlated with key measures of clinical outcome including kidney and liver injury, and APACHEIII scores. Further, we identified ferritin as a pivotal clinical marker associated with platelet hyperactivation. The COVID-19 plasma-mediated effect on control platelets was highest for patients that subsequently developed inpatient thrombotic events. Proteomic analysis of plasma from COVID-19 patients identified key mediators of inflammation and cardiovascular disease that positively correlated with in vitro platelet activation. Mechanistically, blocking the signaling of the FcγRIIa-Syk and C5a-C5aR pathways on platelets, using antibody-mediated neutralization, IgG depletion or the Syk inhibitor fostamatinib, reversed this hyperactivity driven by COVID-19 plasma and prevented platelet aggregation in endothelial microfluidic chamber conditions. These data identified these potentially actionable pathways as central for platelet activation and/or vascular complications and clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients. In conclusion, we reveal a key role of platelet-mediated immunothrombosis in COVID-19 and identify distinct, clinically relevant, targetable signaling pathways that mediate this effect.

Blood Platelets/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Complement C5a/metabolism , Receptor, Anaphylatoxin C5a/metabolism , Receptors, IgG/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Thromboembolism/immunology , Adult , Aminopyridines/pharmacology , Cells, Cultured , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Morpholines/pharmacology , Platelet Activation , Pyrimidines/pharmacology , Severity of Illness Index , Signal Transduction , Syk Kinase/antagonists & inhibitors
JCI Insight ; 6(16)2021 08 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1369459


Some studies suggest that recent common coronavirus (CCV) infections are associated with reduced COVID-19 severity upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. We completed serological assays using samples collected from health care workers to identify antibody types associated with SARS-CoV-2 protection and COVID-19 symptom duration. Rare SARS-CoV-2 cross-reactive antibodies elicited by past CCV infections were not associated with protection; however, the duration of symptoms following SARS-CoV-2 infections was significantly reduced in individuals with higher common betacoronavirus (ßCoV) antibody titers. Since antibody titers decline over time after CCV infections, individuals in our cohort with higher ßCoV antibody titers were more likely recently infected with common ßCoVs compared with individuals with lower antibody titers. Therefore, our data suggest that recent ßCoV infections potentially limit the duration of symptoms following SARS-CoV-2 infections through mechanisms that do not involve cross-reactive antibodies. Our data are consistent with the emerging hypothesis that cellular immune responses elicited by recent common ßCoV infections transiently reduce symptom duration following SARS-CoV-2 infections.

Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Health Personnel , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Cross Reactions , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Time Factors