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Int J Infect Dis ; 129: 207-215, 2023 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2229333


OBJECTIVES: The X-chromosome contains the largest number of immune-related genes, which play a major role in COVID-19 symptomatology and susceptibility. Here, we had a unique opportunity to investigate, for the first time, COVID-19 outcomes in six unvaccinated young Brazilian patients with Turner syndrome (TS; 45, X0), including one case of critical illness in a child aged 10 years, to evaluate their immune response according to their genetic profile. METHODS: A serological analysis of humoral immune response against SARS-CoV-2, phenotypic characterization of antiviral responses in peripheral blood mononuclear cells after stimuli, and the production of cytotoxic cytokines of T lymphocytes and natural killer cells were performed in blood samples collected from the patients with TS during the convalescence period. Whole exome sequencing was also performed. RESULTS: Our volunteers with TS showed a delayed or insufficient humoral immune response to SARS-CoV-2 (particularly immunoglobulin G) and a decrease in interferon-γ production by cluster of differentiation (CD)4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes after stimulation with toll-like receptors 7/8 agonists. In contrast, we observed a higher cytotoxic activity in the volunteers with TS than the volunteers without TS after phorbol myristate acetate/ionomycin stimulation, particularly granzyme B and perforin by CD8+ and natural killer cells. Interestingly, two volunteers with TS carry rare genetic variants in genes that regulate type I and III interferon immunity. CONCLUSION: Following previous reports in the literature for other conditions, our data showed that patients with TS may have an impaired immune response against SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, other medical conditions associated with TS could make them more vulnerable to COVID-19.

COVID-19 , Turner Syndrome , Child , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Turner Syndrome/complications , Turner Syndrome/genetics , Leukocytes, Mononuclear , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Antibodies, Viral
Stem Cell Reports ; 18(2): 489-502, 2023 02 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2183557


Sex differences exist for many lung pathologies, including COVID-19 and pulmonary fibrosis, but the mechanistic basis for this remains unclear. Alveolar type 2 cells (AT2s), which play a key role in alveolar lung regeneration, express the X-linked Ace2 gene that has roles in lung repair and SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis, suggesting that X chromosome inactivation (XCI) in AT2s might impact sex-biased lung pathology. Here we investigate XCI maintenance and sex-specific gene expression profiles using male and female AT2s. Remarkably, the inactive X chromosome (Xi) lacks robust canonical Xist RNA "clouds" and less enrichment of heterochromatic modifications in human and mouse AT2s. We demonstrate that about 68% of expressed X-linked genes in mouse AT2s, including Ace2, escape XCI. There are genome-wide expression differences between male and female AT2s, likely influencing both lung physiology and pathophysiologic responses. These studies support a renewed focus on AT2s as a potential contributor to sex-biased differences in lung disease.

COVID-19 , RNA, Long Noncoding , Female , Male , Humans , Mice , Animals , X Chromosome Inactivation/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Genes, X-Linked , COVID-19/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , RNA, Long Noncoding/genetics , RNA, Long Noncoding/metabolism , Transcriptome
Frontiers in Endocrinology ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2065497
Trends in Immunology ; 43(8):640-656, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1972143
American Journal of Reproductive Immunology ; 87(SUPPL 1):57, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1927547
Journal of Sexual Medicine ; 19(5):S220-S221, 2022.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-1839108
American Journal of Clinical Pathology ; 157(5):799-799, 2022.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-1830963
Cell Stem Cell ; 29(5):810-825.e8, 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1819607
Letters in Drug Design and Discovery ; 18(9):872-883, 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1662488
International Journal of the Cardiovascular Academy ; 6(4):143-146, 2020.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1623757
Front Immunol ; 11: 601170, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1045522


Vaccines are one of the greatest public health achievements and have saved millions of lives. They represent a key countermeasure to limit epidemics caused by emerging infectious diseases. The Ebola virus disease crisis in West Africa dramatically revealed the need for a rapid and strategic development of vaccines to effectively control outbreaks. Seven years later, in light of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, this need has never been as urgent as it is today. Vaccine development and implementation of clinical trials have been greatly accelerated, but still lack strategic design and evaluation. Responses to vaccination can vary widely across individuals based on factors like age, microbiome, co-morbidities and sex. The latter aspect has received more and more attention in recent years and a growing body of data provide evidence that sex-specific effects may lead to different outcomes of vaccine safety and efficacy. As these differences might have a significant impact on the resulting optimal vaccine regimen, sex-based differences should already be considered and investigated in pre-clinical and clinical trials. In this Review, we will highlight the clinical observations of sex-specific differences in response to vaccination, delineate sex differences in immune mechanisms, and will discuss the possible resulting implications for development of vaccine candidates against emerging infections. As multiple vaccine candidates against COVID-19 that target the same antigen are tested, vaccine development may undergo a decisive change, since we now have the opportunity to better understand mechanisms that influence vaccine-induced reactogenicity and effectiveness of different vaccines.

Immunity/immunology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Sex Characteristics , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/immunology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination/methods