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biorxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.10.29.360479


Dysfunctional immune response in the COVID-19 patients is a recurrent theme impacting symptoms and mortality, yet the detailed understanding of pertinent immune cells is not complete. We applied single-cell RNA sequencing to 284 samples from 205 COVID-19 patients and controls to create a comprehensive immune landscape. Lymphopenia and active T and B cell responses were found to coexist and associated with age, sex and their interactions with COVID-19. Diverse epithelial and immune cell types were observed to be virus-positive and showed dramatic transcriptomic changes. Elevation of ANXA1 and S100A9 in virus-positive squamous epithelial cells may enable the initiation of neutrophil and macrophage responses via the ANXA1-FPR1 and S100A8/9-TLR4 axes. Systemic up-regulation of S100A8/A9, mainly by megakaryocytes and monocytes in the peripheral blood, may contribute to the cytokine storms frequently observed in severe patients. Our data provide a rich resource for understanding the pathogenesis and designing effective therapeutic strategies for COVID-19.

Carcinoma, Squamous Cell , Lymphopenia , COVID-19
medrxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.05.24.20101238


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused over 220,000 deaths so far and is still an ongoing global health problem. However, the immunopathological changes of key types of immune cells during and after virus infection remain unclear. Here, we enriched CD3+ and CD19+ lymphocytes from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of COVID-19 patients (severe patients and recovered patients at early or late stages) and healthy people (SARS-CoV-2 negative) and revealed transcriptional profiles and changes in these lymphocytes by comprehensive single-cell transcriptome and V(D)J recombination analyses. We found that although the T lymphocytes were decreased in the blood of patients with virus infection, the remaining T cells still highly expressed inflammatory genes and persisted for a while after recovery in patients. We also observed the potential transition from effector CD8 T cells to central memory T cells in recovered patients at the late stage. Among B lymphocytes, we analyzed the expansion trajectory of a subtype of plasma cells in severe COVID-19 patients and traced the source as atypical memory B cells (AMBCs). Additional BCR and TCR analyses revealed a high level of clonal expansion in patients with severe COVID-19, especially of B lymphocytes, and the clonally expanded B cells highly expressed genes related to inflammatory responses and lymphocyte activation. V-J gene usage and clonal types of higher frequency in COVID-19 patients were also summarized. Taken together, our results provide crucial insights into the immune response against patients with severe COVID-19 and recovered patients and valuable information for the development of vaccines and therapeutic strategies.

COVID-19 , Tumor Virus Infections