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1.
Cell ; 184(26): 6243-6261.e27, 2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1536467

ABSTRACT

COVID-19-induced "acute respiratory distress syndrome" (ARDS) is associated with prolonged respiratory failure and high mortality, but the mechanistic basis of lung injury remains incompletely understood. Here, we analyze pulmonary immune responses and lung pathology in two cohorts of patients with COVID-19 ARDS using functional single-cell genomics, immunohistology, and electron microscopy. We describe an accumulation of CD163-expressing monocyte-derived macrophages that acquired a profibrotic transcriptional phenotype during COVID-19 ARDS. Gene set enrichment and computational data integration revealed a significant similarity between COVID-19-associated macrophages and profibrotic macrophage populations identified in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. COVID-19 ARDS was associated with clinical, radiographic, histopathological, and ultrastructural hallmarks of pulmonary fibrosis. Exposure of human monocytes to SARS-CoV-2, but not influenza A virus or viral RNA analogs, was sufficient to induce a similar profibrotic phenotype in vitro. In conclusion, we demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 triggers profibrotic macrophage responses and pronounced fibroproliferative ARDS.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/virology , Macrophages/pathology , Macrophages/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Antigens, CD/metabolism , Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic/metabolism , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Cell Communication , Cohort Studies , Fibroblasts/pathology , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/diagnostic imaging , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/genetics , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/pathology , Phenotype , Proteome/metabolism , Receptors, Cell Surface/metabolism , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/diagnostic imaging , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/pathology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Transcription, Genetic
2.
ChemistryOpen ; 10(11): 1133-1141, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1520270

ABSTRACT

We present in this work a first X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy study of the interactions of Zn with human BST2/tetherin and SARS-CoV-2 orf7a proteins as well as with some of their complexes. The analysis of the XANES region of the measured spectra shows that Zn binds to BST2, as well as to orf7a, thus resulting in the formation of BST2-orf7a complexes. This structural information confirms the the conjecture, recently put forward by some of the present Authors, according to which the accessory orf7a (and possibly also orf8) viral protein are capable of interfering with the BST2 antiviral activity. Our explanation for this behavior is that, when BST2 gets in contact with Zn bound to the orf7a Cys15 ligand, it has the ability of displacing the metal owing to the creation of a new disulfide bridge across the two proteins. The formation of this BST2-orf7a complex destabilizes BST2 dimerization, thus impairing the antiviral activity of the latter.


Subject(s)
Antigens, CD/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Zinc/metabolism , Cysteine/chemistry , GPI-Linked Proteins/metabolism , Histidine/chemistry , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Binding , X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy
3.
Biol Pharm Bull ; 44(10): 1371-1379, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1445700

ABSTRACT

The vascular permeability of the endothelium is finely controlled by vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin-mediated endothelial cell-cell junctions. In the majority of normal adult tissues, endothelial cells in blood vessels maintain vascular permeability at a relatively low level, while in response to inflammation, they limit vascular barrier function to induce plasma leakage and extravasation of immune cells as a defense mechanism. Thus, the dynamic but also simultaneously tight regulation of vascular permeability by endothelial cells is responsible for maintaining homeostasis and, as such, impairments of its underlying mechanisms result in hyperpermeability, leading to the development and progression of various diseases including coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a newly emerging infectious disease. Recently, increasing numbers of studies have been unveiling the important role of Rap1, a small guanosine 5'-triphosphatase (GTPase) belonging to the Ras superfamily, in the regulation of vascular permeability. Rap1 enhances VE-cadherin-mediated endothelial cell-cell junctions to potentiate vascular barrier functions via dynamic reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton. Importantly, Rap1 signaling activation reportedly improves vascular barrier function in animal models of various diseases associated with vascular hyperpermeability, suggesting that Rap1 might be an ideal target for drugs intended to prevent vascular barrier dysfunction. Here, we describe recent progress in understanding the mechanisms by which Rap1 potentiates VE-cadherin-mediated endothelial cell-cell adhesions and vascular barrier function. We also discuss how alterations in Rap1 signaling are related to vascular barrier dysfunction in diseases such as acute pulmonary injury and malignancies. In addition, we examine the possibility of Rap1 signaling as a target of drugs for treating diseases associated with vascular hyperpermeability.


Subject(s)
Antigens, CD/metabolism , Cadherins/metabolism , Capillary Permeability , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Intercellular Junctions/metabolism , rap1 GTP-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Animals , Humans
4.
Immunity ; 54(9): 2133-2142.e3, 2021 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433401

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines have shown remarkable clinical efficacy, but questions remain about the nature and kinetics of T cell priming. We performed longitudinal antigen-specific T cell analyses on healthy SARS-CoV-2-naive and recovered individuals prior to and following mRNA prime and boost vaccination. Vaccination induced rapid antigen-specific CD4+ T cell responses in naive subjects after the first dose, whereas CD8+ T cell responses developed gradually and were variable in magnitude. Vaccine-induced Th1 and Tfh cell responses following the first dose correlated with post-boost CD8+ T cells and neutralizing antibodies, respectively. Integrated analysis revealed coordinated immune responses with distinct trajectories in SARS-CoV-2-naive and recovered individuals. Last, whereas booster vaccination improved T cell responses in SARS-CoV-2-naive subjects, the second dose had little effect in SARS-CoV-2-recovered individuals. These findings highlight the role of rapidly primed CD4+ T cells in coordinating responses to the second vaccine dose in SARS-CoV-2-naive individuals.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antigens, CD/metabolism , Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte/metabolism , Female , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Immunization, Secondary , Immunologic Memory , Lectins, C-Type/metabolism , Lymphocyte Activation , Male , Middle Aged , Peptides/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination , Young Adult
6.
Cells ; 10(9)2021 08 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1379972

ABSTRACT

There is increasing evidence for a link between inflammation and thrombosis. Following tissue injury, vascular endothelium becomes activated, losing its antithrombotic properties whereas inflammatory mediators build up a prothrombotic environment. Platelets are the first elements to be activated following endothelial damage; they participate in physiological haemostasis, but also in inflammatory and thrombotic events occurring in an injured tissue. While physiological haemostasis develops rapidly to prevent excessive blood loss in the endothelium activated by inflammation, hypoxia or by altered blood flow, thrombosis develops slowly. Activated platelets release the content of their granules, including ATP and ADP released from their dense granules. Ectonucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase-1 (NTPDase1)/CD39 dephosphorylates ATP to ADP and to AMP, which in turn, is hydrolysed to adenosine by ecto-5'-nucleotidase (CD73). NTPDase1/CD39 has emerged has an important molecule in the vasculature and on platelet surfaces; it limits thrombotic events and contributes to maintain the antithrombotic properties of endothelium. The aim of the present review is to provide an overview of platelets as cellular elements interfacing haemostasis and inflammation, with a particular focus on the emerging role of NTPDase1/CD39 in controlling both processes.


Subject(s)
Antigens, CD/metabolism , Apyrase/metabolism , Inflammation/complications , Thrombosis/complications , Animals , Humans , Inflammation/blood , Nucleotides/metabolism , Platelet Activation , Signal Transduction , Thrombosis/blood
7.
Cell Metab ; 33(8): 1565-1576.e5, 2021 08 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1343160

ABSTRACT

Emerging evidence points toward an intricate relationship between the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and diabetes. While preexisting diabetes is associated with severe COVID-19, it is unclear whether COVID-19 severity is a cause or consequence of diabetes. To mechanistically link COVID-19 to diabetes, we tested whether insulin-producing pancreatic ß cells can be infected by SARS-CoV-2 and cause ß cell depletion. We found that the SARS-CoV-2 receptor, ACE2, and related entry factors (TMPRSS2, NRP1, and TRFC) are expressed in ß cells, with selectively high expression of NRP1. We discovered that SARS-CoV-2 infects human pancreatic ß cells in patients who succumbed to COVID-19 and selectively infects human islet ß cells in vitro. We demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 infection attenuates pancreatic insulin levels and secretion and induces ß cell apoptosis, each rescued by NRP1 inhibition. Phosphoproteomic pathway analysis of infected islets indicates apoptotic ß cell signaling, similar to that observed in type 1 diabetes (T1D). In summary, our study shows SARS-CoV-2 can directly induce ß cell killing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Diabetes Mellitus/virology , Insulin-Secreting Cells/virology , Neuropilin-1/metabolism , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Virus Internalization , A549 Cells , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antigens, CD/metabolism , Apoptosis , Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , Case-Control Studies , Diabetes Mellitus/diagnosis , Diabetes Mellitus/metabolism , Female , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Insulin/metabolism , Insulin-Secreting Cells/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Receptors, Transferrin/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
8.
Dis Markers ; 2021: 5566826, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1341351

ABSTRACT

An excess formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), previously shown to be strongly associated with cytokine storm and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) with prevalent endothelial dysfunction and thrombosis, has been postulated to be a central factor influencing the pathophysiology and clinical presentation of severe COVID-19. A growing number of serological and morphological evidence has added to this assumption, also in regard to potential treatment options. In this study, we used immunohistochemistry and histochemistry to trace NETs and their molecular markers in autopsy lung tissue from seven COVID-19 patients. Quantification of key immunomorphological features enabled comparison with non-COVID-19 diffuse alveolar damage. Our results strengthen and extend recent findings, confirming that NETs are abundantly present in seriously damaged COVID-19 lung tissue, especially in association with microthrombi of the alveolar capillaries. In addition, we provide evidence that low-density neutrophils (LDNs), which are especially prone to NETosis, contribute substantially to COVID-19-associated lung damage in general and vascular blockages in particular.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Extracellular Traps , Lung Injury/pathology , Neutrophils/pathology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antigens, CD/metabolism , Autopsy , Cell Adhesion Molecules/metabolism , Extracellular Traps/virology , Female , GPI-Linked Proteins/metabolism , Humans , Immunohistochemistry , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Lung Injury/virology , Male , Neutrophils/metabolism , Neutrophils/virology , Peroxidase/metabolism
9.
Front Immunol ; 12: 676828, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1320577

ABSTRACT

In coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), ulcerative lesions have been episodically reported in various segments of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, including the oral cavity, oropharynx, esophagus, stomach and bowel. In this report, we describe an autopsy case of a COVID-19 patient who showed two undiagnosed ulcers at the level of the anterior and posterior walls of the hypopharynx. Molecular testing of viruses involved in pharyngeal ulcers demonstrated the presence of severe acute respiratory syndrome - coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA, together with herpes simplex virus 1 DNA. Histopathologic analysis demonstrated full-thickness lympho-monocytic infiltration (mainly composed of CD68-positive cells), with hemorrhagic foci and necrosis of both the mucosal layer and deep skeletal muscle fibers. Fibrin and platelet microthrombi were also found. Cytological signs of HSV-1 induced damage were not found. Cells expressing SARS-CoV-2 spike subunit 1 were immunohistochemically identified in the inflammatory infiltrations. Immunohistochemistry for HSV1 showed general negativity for inflammatory infiltration, although in the presence of some positive cells. Thus, histopathological, immunohistochemical and molecular findings supported a direct role by SARS-CoV-2 in producing local ulcerative damage, although a possible contributory role by HSV-1 reactivation cannot be excluded. From a clinical perspective, this autopsy report of two undiagnosed lesions put the question if ulcers along the GI tract could be more common (but frequently neglected) in COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Hypopharynx/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Ulcer/pathology , Aged , Antigens, CD/metabolism , Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic/metabolism , Autopsy , Blood Platelets/metabolism , Blood Platelets/pathology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Gastrointestinal Tract/pathology , Herpesvirus 1, Human/genetics , Herpesvirus 1, Human/isolation & purification , Humans , Hypopharynx/virology , Immunohistochemistry , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/metabolism , Inflammation/virology , Lymphocytes/metabolism , Monocytes/metabolism , Mucous Membrane/pathology , Muscle, Skeletal/pathology , Necrosis/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Thrombosis/pathology , Ulcer/virology
10.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(27)2021 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1285962

ABSTRACT

IgA is the second most abundant antibody present in circulation and is enriched at mucosal surfaces. As such, IgA plays a key role in protection against a variety of mucosal pathogens including viruses. In addition to neutralizing viruses directly, IgA can also stimulate Fc-dependent effector functions via engagement of Fc alpha receptors (Fc-αRI) expressed on the surface of certain immune effector cells. Neutrophils are the most abundant leukocyte, express Fc-αRI, and are often the first to respond to sites of injury and infection. Here, we describe a function for IgA-virus immune complexes (ICs) during viral infections. We show that IgA-virus ICs potentiate NETosis-the programmed cell-death pathway through which neutrophils release neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). Mechanistically, IgA-virus ICs potentiated a suicidal NETosis pathway via engagement of Fc-αRI on neutrophils through a toll-like receptor-independent, NADPH oxidase complex-dependent pathway. NETs also were capable of trapping and inactivating viruses, consistent with an antiviral function.


Subject(s)
Extracellular Traps/immunology , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Neutrophils/immunology , Virus Diseases/immunology , Antigen-Antibody Complex/immunology , Antigens, CD/metabolism , Extracellular Traps/virology , Humans , Influenzavirus A/immunology , NADPH Oxidases/metabolism , Neutrophils/pathology , Neutrophils/virology , Receptors, Fc/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Signal Transduction , Virion
11.
Front Immunol ; 12: 700429, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1285298

ABSTRACT

The rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 has induced a global pandemic. Severe forms of COVID-19 are characterized by dysregulated immune response and "cytokine storm". The role of IgG and IgM antibodies in COVID-19 pathology is reasonably well studied, whereas IgA is neglected. To improve clinical outcome of patients, immune modulatory drugs appear to be beneficial. Such drugs include intravenous immunoglobulin preparations, which were successfully tested in severe COVID-19 patients. Here we established a versatile in vitro model to study inflammatory as well as anti-inflammatory processes by therapeutic human immunoglobulins. We dissect the inflammatory activation on neutrophil-like HL60 cells, using an immune complex consisting of latex beads coated with spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 and opsonized with specific immunoglobulins from convalescent plasma. Our data clarifies the role of Fc-receptor-dependent phagocytosis via IgA-FcαRI and IgG-FcγR for COVID-19 disease followed by cytokine release. We show that COVID-19 associated inflammation could be reduced by addition of human immunoglobulin preparations (IVIG and trimodulin), while trimodulin elicits stronger immune modulation by more powerful ITAMi signaling. Besides IgG, the IgA component of trimodulin in particular, is of functional relevance for immune modulation in this assay setup, highlighting the need to study IgA mediated immune response.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacology , Antigens, CD/metabolism , COVID-19/therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/therapy , Immunoglobulins, Intravenous/pharmacology , Neutrophils/immunology , Receptors, Fc/metabolism , Receptors, IgG/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Antigen-Antibody Complex , Cell Line , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Immunomodulation , Phagocytosis , Signal Transduction , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
12.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0253347, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280628

ABSTRACT

The unprecedented global COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a desperate international effort to accelerate the development of anti-viral candidates. For unknown reasons, COVID-19 infections are associated with adverse cardiovascular complications, implicating that vascular endothelial cells are essential in viral propagation. The etiological pathogen, SARS-CoV-2, has a higher reproductive number and infection rate than its predecessors, indicating it possesses novel characteristics that infers enhanced transmissibility. A unique K403R spike protein substitution encodes an Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) motif, introducing a potential role for RGD-binding host integrins. Integrin αVß3 is widely expressed across the host, particularly in the endothelium, which acts as the final barrier before microbial entry into the bloodstream. This mutagenesis creates an additional binding site, which may be sufficient to increase SARS-CoV-2 pathogenicity. Here, we investigate how SARS-CoV-2 passes from the epithelium to endothelium, the effects of αVß3 antagonist, Cilengitide, on viral adhesion, vasculature permeability and leakage, and also report on a simulated interaction between the viral and host protein in-silico.


Subject(s)
Endothelium, Vascular/virology , Integrin alphaVbeta3/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Snake Venoms/pharmacology , Antigens, CD/metabolism , Binding Sites , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/physiopathology , Caco-2 Cells , Cadherins/metabolism , Computer Simulation , Endothelium, Vascular/cytology , Endothelium, Vascular/physiopathology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Humans , Integrin alphaVbeta3/chemistry , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Permeability , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization
13.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(5): e1009576, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1236599

ABSTRACT

The efficient spread of SARS-CoV-2 resulted in a unique pandemic in modern history. Despite early identification of ACE2 as the receptor for viral spike protein, much remains to be understood about the molecular events behind viral dissemination. We evaluated the contribution of C-type lectin receptors (CLRS) of antigen-presenting cells, widely present in respiratory mucosa and lung tissue. DC-SIGN, L-SIGN, Langerin and MGL bind to diverse glycans of the spike using multiple interaction areas. Using pseudovirus and cells derived from monocytes or T-lymphocytes, we demonstrate that while virus capture by the CLRs examined does not allow direct cell infection, DC/L-SIGN, among these receptors, promote virus transfer to permissive ACE2+ Vero E6 cells. A glycomimetic compound designed against DC-SIGN, enable inhibition of this process. These data have been then confirmed using authentic SARS-CoV-2 virus and human respiratory cell lines. Thus, we described a mechanism potentiating viral spreading of infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Lectins, C-Type/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Animals , Antigens, CD/metabolism , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cell Adhesion Molecules/metabolism , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Jurkat Cells , Lung/metabolism , Mannose-Binding Lectins/metabolism , Mannosides/pharmacology , Protein Binding/drug effects , Receptors, Cell Surface/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Vero Cells
14.
Front Immunol ; 12: 650331, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1156125

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection represents a global health crisis. Immune cell activation via pattern recognition receptors has been implicated as a driver of the hyperinflammatory response seen in COVID-19. However, our understanding of the specific immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 remains limited. Mast cells (MCs) and eosinophils are innate immune cells that play pathogenic roles in many inflammatory responses. Here we report MC-derived proteases and eosinophil-associated mediators are elevated in COVID-19 patient sera and lung tissues. Stimulation of viral-sensing toll-like receptors in vitro and administration of synthetic viral RNA in vivo induced features of hyperinflammation, including cytokine elevation, immune cell airway infiltration, and MC-protease production-effects suppressed by an anti-Siglec-8 monoclonal antibody which selectively inhibits MCs and depletes eosinophils. Similarly, anti-Siglec-8 treatment reduced disease severity and airway inflammation in a respiratory viral infection model. These results suggest that MC and eosinophil activation are associated with COVID-19 inflammation and anti-Siglec-8 antibodies are a potential therapeutic approach for attenuating excessive inflammation during viral infections.


Subject(s)
Antigens, CD/immunology , Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Eosinophils/immunology , Lectins/immunology , Mast Cells/immunology , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/immunology , Respiratory Syncytial Viruses/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Toll-Like Receptors/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/pharmacology , Antigens, CD/genetics , Antigens, CD/metabolism , Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte/genetics , Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Cytokines/metabolism , Disease Models, Animal , Eosinophils/drug effects , Eosinophils/metabolism , Eosinophils/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Lectins/antagonists & inhibitors , Lectins/genetics , Lectins/metabolism , Mast Cells/drug effects , Mast Cells/metabolism , Mast Cells/virology , Mice, Transgenic , Peptide Hydrolases/metabolism , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/metabolism , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/prevention & control , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/virology , Toll-Like Receptors/metabolism
15.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(6)2021 Mar 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1136499

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has resulted in significant morbidity and mortality across the world, with no current effective treatments available. Recent studies suggest the possibility of a cytokine storm associated with severe COVID-19, similar to the biochemical profile seen in hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), raising the question of possible benefits that could be derived from targeted immunosuppression in severe COVID-19 patients. We reviewed the literature regarding the diagnosis and features of HLH, particularly secondary HLH, and aimed to identify gaps in the literature to truly clarify the existence of a COVID-19 associated HLH. Diagnostic criteria such as HScore or HLH-2004 may have suboptimal performance in identifying COVID-19 HLH-like presentations, and criteria such as soluble CD163, NK cell activity, or other novel biomarkers may be more useful in identifying this entity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , Lymphohistiocytosis, Hemophagocytic/diagnosis , Lymphohistiocytosis, Hemophagocytic/etiology , Antigens, CD/metabolism , Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic/metabolism , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural/metabolism , Receptors, Cell Surface/metabolism , Receptors, Interleukin-2/metabolism , Sepsis/etiology
16.
Clin Immunol ; 222: 108630, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-921852

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: NK cells seem to be mainly involved in COVID-19 pneumonia. Little is known about NKT cells which represent a bridge between innate and adaptive immunity. METHODS: We characterized peripheral blood T, NK and NKT cells in 45 patients with COVID-19 pneumonia (COVID-19 subjects) and 19 healthy donors (HDs). According to the severity of the disease, we stratified COVID-19 subjects into severe and non-severe groups. RESULTS: Compared to HDs, COVID-19 subjects showed higher percentages of NK CD57+ and CD56dim NK cells and lower percentages of NKT and CD56bright cells. In the severe group we found a significantly lower percentage of NKT cells. In a multiple logistic regression analysis, NKT cell was independently associated with the severity of the disease. CONCLUSIONS: The low percentage of NKT cells in peripheral blood of COVID-19 subjects and the independent association with the severity of the disease suggests a potential role of this subset.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Natural Killer T-Cells/physiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antigens, CD/genetics , Antigens, CD/metabolism , Female , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Natural Killer T-Cells/classification , Natural Killer T-Cells/metabolism
18.
Sci Immunol ; 5(51)2020 09 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-808356

ABSTRACT

Severe COVID-19 is characterized by excessive inflammation of the lower airways. The balance of protective versus pathological immune responses in COVID-19 is incompletely understood. Mucosa-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are antimicrobial T cells that recognize bacterial metabolites, and can also function as innate-like sensors and mediators of antiviral responses. Here, we investigated the MAIT cell compartment in COVID-19 patients with moderate and severe disease, as well as in convalescence. We show profound and preferential decline in MAIT cells in the circulation of patients with active disease paired with strong activation. Furthermore, transcriptomic analyses indicated significant MAIT cell enrichment and pro-inflammatory IL-17A bias in the airways. Unsupervised analysis identified MAIT cell CD69high and CXCR3low immunotypes associated with poor clinical outcome. MAIT cell levels normalized in the convalescent phase, consistent with dynamic recruitment to the tissues and later release back into the circulation when disease is resolved. These findings indicate that MAIT cells are engaged in the immune response against SARS-CoV-2 and suggest their possible involvement in COVID-19 immunopathogenesis.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Mucosal-Associated Invariant T Cells/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Adult , Aged , Antigens, CD/metabolism , Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte/metabolism , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Inflammation/immunology , Interleukin-17/metabolism , Lectins, C-Type/metabolism , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Receptors, CXCR3/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
19.
J Cell Mol Med ; 24(21): 12457-12463, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-796054

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
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
20.
mBio ; 11(5)2020 09 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-781095

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection induces a T cell response that most likely contributes to virus control in COVID-19 patients but may also induce immunopathology. Until now, the cytotoxic T cell response has not been very well characterized in COVID-19 patients. Here, we analyzed the differentiation and cytotoxic profile of T cells in 30 cases of mild COVID-19 during acute infection. SARS-CoV-2 infection induced a cytotoxic response of CD8+ T cells, but not CD4+ T cells, characterized by the simultaneous production of granzyme A and B as well as perforin within different effector CD8+ T cell subsets. PD-1-expressing CD8+ T cells also produced cytotoxic molecules during acute infection, indicating that they were not functionally exhausted. However, in COVID-19 patients over the age of 80 years, the cytotoxic T cell potential was diminished, especially in effector memory and terminally differentiated effector CD8+ cells, showing that elderly patients have impaired cellular immunity against SARS-CoV-2. Our data provide valuable information about T cell responses in COVID-19 patients that may also have important implications for vaccine development.IMPORTANCE Cytotoxic T cells are responsible for the elimination of infected cells and are key players in the control of viruses. CD8+ T cells with an effector phenotype express cytotoxic molecules and are able to perform target cell killing. COVID-19 patients with a mild disease course were analyzed for the differentiation status and cytotoxic profile of CD8+ T cells. SARS-CoV-2 infection induced a vigorous cytotoxic CD8+ T cell response. However, this cytotoxic profile of T cells was not detected in COVID-19 patients over the age of 80 years. Thus, the absence of a cytotoxic response in elderly patients might be a possible reason for the more frequent severity of COVID-19 in this age group than in younger patients.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/pathology , Aged, 80 and over , Antigens, CD/metabolism , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/pathology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 , Cytotoxins/metabolism , Female , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/pathology , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology
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