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J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 150(2): 312-324, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1983272


BACKGROUND: Comorbidities are risk factors for development of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, the extent to which an underlying comorbidity influences the immune response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 remains unknown. OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to investigate the complex interrelations of comorbidities, the immune response, and patient outcome in COVID-19. METHODS: We used high-throughput, high-dimensional, single-cell mapping of peripheral blood leukocytes and algorithm-guided analysis. RESULTS: We discovered characteristic immune signatures associated not only with severe COVID-19 but also with the underlying medical condition. Different factors of the metabolic syndrome (obesity, hypertension, and diabetes) affected distinct immune populations, thereby additively increasing the immunodysregulatory effect when present in a single patient. Patients with disorders affecting the lung or heart, together with factors of metabolic syndrome, were clustered together, whereas immune disorder and chronic kidney disease displayed a distinct immune profile in COVID-19. In particular, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2-infected patients with preexisting chronic kidney disease were characterized by the highest number of altered immune signatures of both lymphoid and myeloid immune branches. This overall major immune dysregulation could be the underlying mechanism for the estimated odds ratio of 16.3 for development of severe COVID-19 in this burdened cohort. CONCLUSION: The combinatorial systematic analysis of the immune signatures, comorbidities, and outcomes of patients with COVID-19 has provided the mechanistic immunologic underpinnings of comorbidity-driven patient risk and uncovered comorbidity-driven immune signatures.

COVID-19 , Metabolic Syndrome , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic , Comorbidity , Humans , Immunity , Metabolic Syndrome/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
Front Pharmacol ; 13: 910332, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1883944
Front Immunol ; 12: 735125, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1441109


Background: The global outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has turned into a worldwide public health crisis and caused more than 100,000,000 severe cases. Progressive lymphopenia, especially in T cells, was a prominent clinical feature of severe COVID-19. Activated HLA-DR+CD38+ CD8+ T cells were enriched over a prolonged period from the lymphopenia patients who died from Ebola and influenza infection and in severe patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. However, the CD38+HLA-DR+ CD8+ T population was reported to play contradictory roles in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Methods: A total of 42 COVID-19 patients, including 32 mild or moderate and 10 severe or critical cases, who received care at Beijing Ditan Hospital were recruited into this retrospective study. Blood samples were first collected within 3 days of the hospital admission and once every 3-7 days during hospitalization. The longitudinal flow cytometric data were examined during hospitalization. Moreover, we evaluated serum levels of 45 cytokines/chemokines/growth factors and 14 soluble checkpoints using Luminex multiplex assay longitudinally. Results: We revealed that the HLA-DR+CD38+ CD8+ T population was heterogeneous, and could be divided into two subsets with distinct characteristics: HLA-DR+CD38dim and HLA-DR+CD38hi. We observed a persistent accumulation of HLA-DR+CD38hi CD8+ T cells in severe COVID-19 patients. These HLA-DR+CD38hi CD8+ T cells were in a state of overactivation and consequent dysregulation manifested by expression of multiple inhibitory and stimulatory checkpoints, higher apoptotic sensitivity, impaired killing potential, and more exhausted transcriptional regulation compared to HLA-DR+CD38dim CD8+ T cells. Moreover, the clinical and laboratory data supported that only HLA-DR+CD38hi CD8+ T cells were associated with systemic inflammation, tissue injury, and immune disorders of severe COVID-19 patients. Conclusions: Our findings indicated that HLA-DR+CD38hi CD8+ T cells were correlated with disease severity of COVID-19 rather than HLA-DR+CD38dim population.

CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immune System Diseases/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , CD8 Antigens/immunology , Cytokines/immunology , Female , HLA-DR Antigens/immunology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index , Young Adult
Natl Sci Rev ; 7(12): 1868-1878, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1087785


Systematic autopsy and comprehensive pathological analyses of COVID-19 decedents should provide insights into the disease characteristics and facilitate the development of novel therapeutics. In this study, we report the autopsy findings from the lungs and lymphatic organs of 12 COVID-19 decedents-findings that evaluated histopathological changes, immune cell signature and inflammatory factor expression in the lungs, spleen and lymph nodes. Here we show that the major pulmonary alterations included diffuse alveolar damage, interstitial fibrosis and exudative inflammation featured with extensive serous and fibrin exudates, macrophage infiltration and abundant production of inflammatory factors (IL-6, IP-10, TNFα and IL-1ß). The spleen and hilar lymph nodes contained lesions with tissue structure disruption and immune cell dysregulation, including lymphopenia and macrophage accumulation. These findings provide pathological evidence that links injuries of the lungs and lymphatic organs with the fatal systematic respiratory and immune malfunction in critically ill COVID-19 patients.