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J Leukoc Biol ; 109(1): 13-22, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1095316


Excessive monocyte/macrophage activation with the development of a cytokine storm and subsequent acute lung injury, leading to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), is a feared consequence of infection with COVID-19. The ability to recognize and potentially intervene early in those patients at greatest risk of developing this complication could be of great clinical utility. In this study, we performed flow cytometric analysis of peripheral blood samples from 34 COVID-19 patients in early 2020 in an attempt to identify factors that could help predict the severity of disease and patient outcome. Although we did not detect significant differences in the number of monocytes between patients with COVID-19 and normal healthy individuals, we did identify significant morphologic and functional differences, which are more pronounced in patients requiring prolonged hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) admission. Patients with COVID-19 have larger than normal monocytes, easily identified on forward scatter (FSC), side scatter analysis by routine flow cytometry, with the presence of a distinct population of monocytes with high FSC (FSC-high). On more detailed analysis, these CD14+ CD16+ , FSC-high monocytes show features of mixed M1/M2 macrophage polarization with higher expression of CD80+ and CD206+ compared with the residual FSC-low monocytes and secretion of higher levels of IL-6, IL-10, and TNF-α, when compared with the normal controls. In conclusion, the detection and serial monitoring of this subset of inflammatory monocytes using flow cytometry could be of great help in guiding the prognostication and treatment of patients with COVID-19 and merits further evaluation.

COVID-19 , Macrophages , Monocytes , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Adult , Antigens, CD/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/pathology , Cytokines/blood , Female , Flow Cytometry , Humans , Inflammation/blood , Inflammation/pathology , Macrophages/metabolism , Macrophages/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/metabolism , Monocytes/pathology , Young Adult
J Cell Mol Med ; 24(19): 11603-11606, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-884888


A novel pneumonia-associated respiratory syndrome named coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), which was caused by SARS-CoV-2,broke out in Wuhan, China, in the end of 2019. Unfortunately, there is no specific antiviral agent or vaccine available to treat SARS-CoV-2 infections. The information regarding the immunological characteristics in COVID-19 patients remains limited. Here, we collected the blood samples from 18 healthy donors (HD) and 38 COVID-19 patients to analyze changes on γδ T cell population. In comparison with HD, the γδ T cell percentage decreased, while the activation marker CD25 expression increased in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Interestingly, the CD4 expression was upregulated in γδ T cells reflecting the occurrence of a specific effector cell population, which may serve as a biomarker for the assessment of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , Adult , Betacoronavirus/physiology , Biomarkers , CD4 Antigens/metabolism , COVID-19 , China , Flow Cytometry , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit/metabolism , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/cytology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/metabolism
J Cell Mol Med ; 24(21): 12457-12463, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-796054


Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has rapidly spread worldwide, threatening the health and lives of many people. Unfortunately, information regarding the immunological characteristics of COVID-19 patients remains limited. Herein, we collected blood samples from 18 healthy donors (HDs) and 38 COVID-19 patients to analyse changes in the adaptive immune cell populations and their phenotypes. We observed that the lymphocyte percentage moderately decreased, CD4 and CD8 T cell percentage among lymphocytes were similar, and B cell percentage was increased in COVID-19 patients in comparison to that in HDs. T cells, especially CD8 T cells, showed an enhanced expression of late activation marker CD25 and exhaustion marker PD-1. Importantly, SARS-CoV-2 infection increased the percentage of T follicular helper- and germinal centre B-like cells in the blood. The parameters in COVID-19 patients remained unchanged across various age groups. Therefore, we demonstrated that the T and B cells are activated naturally and are functional during SARS-CoV-2 infection. These data provide evidence that the adaptive immunity in most patients could be primed to induce a significant immune response against SARS-CoV-2 infection upon receiving standard medical care.

Adaptive Immunity , COVID-19/immunology , Adult , Antigens, CD/metabolism , B-Lymphocytes/virology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/blood , Female , Humans , Immunophenotyping , Male , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/metabolism , Receptors, CXCR5/metabolism