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Nat Commun ; 14(1): 791, 2023 02 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2243508


Prolonged lung pathology has been associated with COVID-19, yet the cellular and molecular mechanisms behind this chronic inflammatory disease are poorly understood. In this study, we combine advanced imaging and spatial transcriptomics to shed light on the local immune response in severe COVID-19. We show that activated adventitial niches are crucial microenvironments contributing to the orchestration of prolonged lung immunopathology. Up-regulation of the chemokines CCL21 and CCL18 associates to endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition and tissue fibrosis within these niches. CCL21 over-expression additionally links to the local accumulation of T cells expressing the cognate receptor CCR7. These T cells are imprinted with an exhausted phenotype and form lymphoid aggregates that can organize in ectopic lymphoid structures. Our work proposes immune-stromal interaction mechanisms promoting a self-sustained and non-resolving local immune response that extends beyond active viral infection and perpetuates tissue remodeling.

COVID-19 , Chemokine CCL21 , Chemokines, CC , Humans , COVID-19/immunology , Fibrosis , Lung , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 2460, 2022 05 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1825071


Infection or vaccination leads to the development of germinal centers (GC) where B cells evolve high affinity antigen receptors, eventually producing antibody-forming plasma cells or memory B cells. Here we follow the migratory pathways of B cells emerging from germinal centers (BEM) and find that many BEM cells migrate into the lymph node subcapsular sinus (SCS) guided by sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P). From the SCS, BEM cells may exit the lymph node to enter distant tissues, while some BEM cells interact with and take up antigen from SCS macrophages, followed by CCL21-guided return towards the GC. Disruption of local CCL21 gradients inhibits the recycling of BEM cells and results in less efficient adaption to antigenic variation. Our findings thus suggest that the recycling of antigen variant-specific BEM cells and transport of antigen back to GC may support affinity maturation to antigenic drift.

Antigenic Drift and Shift , Memory B Cells , B-Lymphocytes , Germinal Center , Lymph Nodes