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1.
Elife ; 102021 07 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1513065

ABSTRACT

Immature neutrophils and HLA-DRneg/low monocytes expand in cancer, autoimmune diseases and viral infections, but their appearance and immunoregulatory effects on T-cells after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) remain underexplored. We found an expansion of circulating immature CD16+CD66b+CD10neg neutrophils and CD14+HLA-DRneg/low monocytes in AMI patients, correlating with cardiac damage, function and levels of immune-inflammation markers. Immature CD10neg neutrophils expressed high amounts of MMP-9 and S100A9, and displayed resistance to apoptosis. Moreover, we found that increased frequency of CD10neg neutrophils and elevated circulating IFN-γ levels were linked, mainly in patients with expanded CD4+CD28null T-cells. Notably, the expansion of circulating CD4+CD28null T-cells was associated with cytomegalovirus (CMV) seropositivity. Using bioinformatic tools, we identified a tight relationship among the peripheral expansion of immature CD10neg neutrophils, CMV IgG titers, and circulating levels of IFN-γ and IL-12 in patients with AMI. At a mechanistic level, CD10neg neutrophils enhanced IFN-γ production by CD4+ T-cells through a contact-independent mechanism involving IL-12. In vitro experiments also highlighted that HLA-DRneg/low monocytes do not suppress T-cell proliferation but secrete high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines after differentiation to macrophages and IFN-γ stimulation. Lastly, using a mouse model of AMI, we showed that immature neutrophils (CD11bposLy6GposCD101neg cells) are recruited to the injured myocardium and migrate to mediastinal lymph nodes shortly after reperfusion. In conclusion, immunoregulatory functions of CD10neg neutrophils play a dynamic role in mechanisms linking myeloid cell compartment dysregulation, Th1-type immune responses and inflammation after AMI.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , HLA-DR Antigens/immunology , Monocytes/immunology , Myocardial Infarction/immunology , Neprilysin/immunology , Neutrophils/immunology , Aged , Animals , Biomarkers , Cell Differentiation , Cell Proliferation , Cytokines , Female , Humans , Inflammation , Lymphocyte Activation , Male , Mice , Middle Aged , Myocardial Infarction/pathology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
3.
Front Immunol ; 12: 735125, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1441109

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
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
4.
Front Immunol ; 12: 720109, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1348492

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is a contagious viral disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 that led to an ongoing pandemic with massive global health and socioeconomic consequences. The disease is characterized primarily, but not exclusively, by respiratory clinical manifestations ranging from mild common cold symptoms, including cough and fever, to severe respiratory distress and multi-organ failure. Macrophages, a heterogeneous group of yolk-sac derived, tissue-resident mononuclear phagocytes of complex ontogeny present in all mammalian organs, play critical roles in developmental, homeostatic and host defense processes with tissue-dependent plasticity. In case of infection, they are responsible for early pathogen recognition, initiation and resolution of inflammation, as well as repair of tissue damage. Monocytes, bone-marrow derived blood-resident phagocytes, are recruited under pathological conditions such as viral infections to the affected tissue to defend the organism against invading pathogens and to aid in efficient resolution of inflammation. Given their pivotal function in host defense and the potential danger posed by their dysregulated hyperinflammation, understanding monocyte and macrophage phenotypes in COVID-19 is key for tackling the disease's pathological mechanisms. Here, we outline current knowledge on monocytes and macrophages in homeostasis and viral infections and summarize concepts and key findings on their role in COVID-19. While monocytes in the blood of patients with moderate COVID-19 present with an inflammatory, interferon-stimulated gene (ISG)-driven phenotype, cellular dysfunction epitomized by loss of HLA-DR expression and induction of S100 alarmin expression is their dominant feature in severe disease. Pulmonary macrophages in COVID-19 derived from infiltrating inflammatory monocytes are in a hyperactivated state resulting in a detrimental loop of pro-inflammatory cytokine release and recruitment of cytotoxic effector cells thereby exacerbating tissue damage at the site of infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , HLA-DR Antigens/immunology , Macrophages/immunology , Monocytes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Humans , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/pathology , Macrophages/pathology , Monocytes/pathology , Severity of Illness Index
5.
Sci Immunol ; 6(59)2021 05 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1337429

ABSTRACT

Multiple Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) is a delayed and severe complication of SARS-CoV-2 infection that strikes previously healthy children. As MIS-C combines clinical features of Kawasaki disease and Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), we aimed to compare the immunological profile of pediatric patients with these different conditions. We analyzed blood cytokine expression, and the T cell repertoire and phenotype in 36 MIS-C cases, which were compared to 16 KD, 58 TSS, and 42 COVID-19 cases. We observed an increase of serum inflammatory cytokines (IL-6, IL-10, IL-18, TNF-α, IFNγ, CD25s, MCP1, IL-1RA) in MIS-C, TSS and KD, contrasting with low expression of HLA-DR in monocytes. We detected a specific expansion of activated T cells expressing the Vß21.3 T cell receptor ß chain variable region in both CD4 and CD8 subsets in 75% of MIS-C patients and not in any patient with TSS, KD, or acute COVID-19; this correlated with the cytokine storm detected. The T cell repertoire returned to baseline within weeks after MIS-C resolution. Vß21.3+ T cells from MIS-C patients expressed high levels of HLA-DR, CD38 and CX3CR1 but had weak responses to SARS-CoV-2 peptides in vitro. Consistently, the T cell expansion was not associated with specific classical HLA alleles. Thus, our data suggested that MIS-C is characterized by a polyclonal Vß21.3 T cell expansion not directed against SARS-CoV-2 antigenic peptides, which is not seen in KD, TSS and acute COVID-19.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/immunology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/immunology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/pathology , Adult , Child , Child, Preschool , Cytokines/blood , HLA-DR Antigens/immunology , Humans , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
6.
J Intern Med ; 290(3): 677-692, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1255442

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Prognostic markers for disease severity and identification of therapeutic targets in COVID-19 are urgently needed. We have studied innate and adaptive immunity on protein and transcriptomic level in COVID-19 patients with different disease severity at admission and longitudinally during hospitalization. METHODS: Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were collected at three time points from 31 patients included in the Norwegian SARS-CoV-2 cohort study and analysed by flow cytometry and RNA sequencing. Patients were grouped as either mild/moderate (n = 14), severe (n = 11) or critical (n = 6) disease in accordance with WHO guidelines and compared with patients with SARS-CoV-2-negative bacterial sepsis (n = 5) and healthy controls (n = 10). RESULTS: COVID-19 severity was characterized by decreased interleukin 7 receptor alpha chain (CD127) expression in naïve CD4 and CD8 T cells. Activation (CD25 and HLA-DR) and exhaustion (PD-1) markers on T cells were increased compared with controls, but comparable between COVID-19 severity groups. Non-classical monocytes and monocytic HLA-DR expression decreased whereas monocytic PD-L1 and CD142 expression increased with COVID-19 severity. RNA sequencing exhibited increased plasma B-cell activity in critical COVID-19 and yet predominantly reduced transcripts related to immune response pathways compared with milder disease. CONCLUSION: Critical COVID-19 seems to be characterized by an immune profile of activated and exhausted T cells and monocytes. This immune phenotype may influence the capacity to mount an efficient T-cell immune response. Plasma B-cell activity and calprotectin were higher in critical COVID-19 while most transcripts related to immune functions were reduced, in particular affecting B cells. The potential of these cells as therapeutic targets in COVID-19 should be further explored.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/immunology , Transcriptome , Adaptive Immunity , Adult , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Female , HLA-DR Antigens/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit/immunology , Interleukin-7/immunology , Leukocyte L1 Antigen Complex/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/immunology , Phenotype , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory/immunology , Thromboplastin/immunology , Thromboplastin/metabolism
7.
Science ; 372(6548): 1336-1341, 2021 06 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1234278

ABSTRACT

The identification of CD4+ T cell epitopes is instrumental for the design of subunit vaccines for broad protection against coronaviruses. Here, we demonstrate in COVID-19-recovered individuals a robust CD4+ T cell response to naturally processed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike (S) protein and nucleoprotein (N), including effector, helper, and memory T cells. By characterizing 2943 S-reactive T cell clones from 34 individuals, we found that the receptor-binding domain (RBD) is highly immunogenic and that 33% of RBD-reactive clones and 94% of individuals recognized a conserved immunodominant S346-S365 region comprising nested human leukocyte antigen DR (HLA-DR)- and HLA-DP-restricted epitopes. Using pre- and post-COVID-19 samples and S proteins from endemic coronaviruses, we identified cross-reactive T cells targeting multiple S protein sites. The immunodominant and cross-reactive epitopes identified can inform vaccination strategies to counteract emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunodominant Epitopes , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus/immunology , Cross Reactions , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Genes, T-Cell Receptor beta , HLA-DP Antigens/immunology , HLA-DR Antigens/immunology , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Protein Domains , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , T Follicular Helper Cells/immunology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology
8.
Front Immunol ; 12: 645124, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201169

ABSTRACT

Background: The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II characterized by monocytes CD14+ expression of human leukocyte antigen receptors (HLA-DR), is essential for the synapse between innate and adaptive immune response in infectious disease. Its reduced expression is associated with a high risk of secondary infections in septic patients and can be safely corrected by Interferon-y (IFNy) injection. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) induces an alteration of Interferon (IFN) genes expression potentially responsible for the observed low HLA-DR expression in circulating monocytes (mHLA-DR). Methods: We report a case of one-time INFy injection (100 mcg s.c.) in a superinfected 61-year-old man with COVID-19-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), with monitoring of mHLA-DR expression and clinical tolerance. Observations: Low mHLA-DR pretreatment expression (26.7%) was observed. IFNy therapy leading to a rapid increase in mHLA-DR expression (83.1%). Conclusions: Severe ARDS in a COVID-19 patient has a deep reduction in mHLA-DR expression concomitantly with secondary infections. The unique IFNy injection was safe and led to a sharp increase in the expression of mHLA-DR. Based on immune and infection monitoring, more cases of severe COVID-19 patients with low mHLA-DR should be treated by IFNy to test the clinical effectiveness.


Subject(s)
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome , COVID-19 , HLA-DR Antigens/immunology , Interferon-gamma/administration & dosage , Monocytes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/drug therapy , Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/immunology , Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/pathology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/pathology
9.
J Med Virol ; 93(2): 760-765, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196398

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 emerged in China in December 2019 and then rapidly spread worldwide. Why COVID-19 patients with the same clinical condition have different outcomes remains unclear. This study aimed to examine the differences in the phenotype and functions of major populations of immune cells between COVID-19 patients with same severity but different outcomes. Four common type adult inpatients with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 from Beijing YouAn Hospital, Capital Medical University were included in this study. The patients were divided into two groups based on whether or not COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-negative conversion occurred within 3 weeks. Peripheral blood samples were collected to compare the differences in the phenotype and functions of major populations of immune cells between the two groups of patients. The result shows that the proportions of CD3+ CD8+ CD38+ HLA-DR+ CD27- effector T killer cells generally declined, whereas that of CD3+ CD4+ CD8+ double-positive T cells (DPTs) increased in the persistently PCR-positive patients. In summary, considering the imbalance between effector T killer cells/CD3+CD4+CD8+ DPTs was a possible key factor for PCR-negative conversion in patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Biological Variation, Individual , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Natural Killer T-Cells/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adult , Aged , Antigens, CD/genetics , Antigens, CD/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Testing , Female , Gene Expression , HLA-DR Antigens/genetics , HLA-DR Antigens/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Immunophenotyping , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Natural Killer T-Cells/virology , Phenotype , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Severity of Illness Index
10.
Aging (Albany NY) ; 13(5): 6236-6246, 2021 02 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154948

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The immune responses, hyper-inflammation or immunosuppression, may be closely related to COVID-19 progression. We aimed to evaluate the changes of frequency of CD14+HLA-DRlo/neg MDSCs, a population of cells with potent immunosuppressive capacity, in COVID-19 patients. METHODS: The levels of CD14+HLA-DRlo/neg MDSCs were determined by flow cytometry in 27 COVID-19 patients, and their association with clinical characteristics and laboratory data were analyzed. RESULTS: The frequency of CD14+HLA-DRlo/neg MDSCs was elevated in COVID-19 patients, particularly severe patients. A follow-up comparison revealed a decline of CD14+HLA-DRlo/neg MDSCs percentages in most patients 1 day after testing negative for SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid, but the levels of CD14+HLA-DRlo/neg MDSCs were still greater than 50.0% in 3 ICU patients 4-10 days after negative SARS-CoV-2 results. Elevated frequency of CD14+HLA-DRlo/neg MDSCs was positively correlated with oropharyngeal viral loads and length of hospital stay, while negatively correlated with lymphocyte counts and serum albumin. Moreover, strong correlations were observed between the frequency of CD14+HLA-DRlo/neg MDSCs and T cell subsets, NK cell counts, and B cell percentages. The frequency of CD14+HLA-DRlo/neg MDSCs could be used as a predictor of COVID-19 severity. CONCLUSIONS: A high frequency of CD14+HLA-DRlo/neg MDSCs, especially in severe patients, may indicate an immunoparalysis status and could be a predictor of disease severity and prognosis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , HLA-DR Antigens/immunology , Lipopolysaccharide Receptors/immunology , Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/pathology , Female , HLA-DR Antigens/analysis , Humans , Immune Tolerance , Lipopolysaccharide Receptors/analysis , Male , Middle Aged , Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells/immunology , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
11.
Aging (Albany NY) ; 13(5): 6236-6246, 2021 02 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1112910

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The immune responses, hyper-inflammation or immunosuppression, may be closely related to COVID-19 progression. We aimed to evaluate the changes of frequency of CD14+HLA-DRlo/neg MDSCs, a population of cells with potent immunosuppressive capacity, in COVID-19 patients. METHODS: The levels of CD14+HLA-DRlo/neg MDSCs were determined by flow cytometry in 27 COVID-19 patients, and their association with clinical characteristics and laboratory data were analyzed. RESULTS: The frequency of CD14+HLA-DRlo/neg MDSCs was elevated in COVID-19 patients, particularly severe patients. A follow-up comparison revealed a decline of CD14+HLA-DRlo/neg MDSCs percentages in most patients 1 day after testing negative for SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid, but the levels of CD14+HLA-DRlo/neg MDSCs were still greater than 50.0% in 3 ICU patients 4-10 days after negative SARS-CoV-2 results. Elevated frequency of CD14+HLA-DRlo/neg MDSCs was positively correlated with oropharyngeal viral loads and length of hospital stay, while negatively correlated with lymphocyte counts and serum albumin. Moreover, strong correlations were observed between the frequency of CD14+HLA-DRlo/neg MDSCs and T cell subsets, NK cell counts, and B cell percentages. The frequency of CD14+HLA-DRlo/neg MDSCs could be used as a predictor of COVID-19 severity. CONCLUSIONS: A high frequency of CD14+HLA-DRlo/neg MDSCs, especially in severe patients, may indicate an immunoparalysis status and could be a predictor of disease severity and prognosis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , HLA-DR Antigens/immunology , Lipopolysaccharide Receptors/immunology , Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/pathology , Female , HLA-DR Antigens/analysis , Humans , Immune Tolerance , Lipopolysaccharide Receptors/analysis , Male , Middle Aged , Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells/immunology , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
12.
Nat Immunol ; 22(1): 74-85, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065902

ABSTRACT

T cell immunity is central for the control of viral infections. To characterize T cell immunity, but also for the development of vaccines, identification of exact viral T cell epitopes is fundamental. Here we identify and characterize multiple dominant and subdominant SARS-CoV-2 HLA class I and HLA-DR peptides as potential T cell epitopes in COVID-19 convalescent and unexposed individuals. SARS-CoV-2-specific peptides enabled detection of post-infectious T cell immunity, even in seronegative convalescent individuals. Cross-reactive SARS-CoV-2 peptides revealed pre-existing T cell responses in 81% of unexposed individuals and validated similarity with common cold coronaviruses, providing a functional basis for heterologous immunity in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Diversity of SARS-CoV-2 T cell responses was associated with mild symptoms of COVID-19, providing evidence that immunity requires recognition of multiple epitopes. Together, the proposed SARS-CoV-2 T cell epitopes enable identification of heterologous and post-infectious T cell immunity and facilitate development of diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic measures for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Peptides/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Cross Reactions/immunology , HLA-DR Antigens/immunology , HLA-DR Antigens/metabolism , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/immunology , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/metabolism , Humans , Immunologic Memory/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage
13.
Hum Immunol ; 82(3): 170-176, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065106

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is affecting the whole world and threatening human health. We aim to investigate the immunological characteristics of monocytes in critical patients with COVID-19. METHODS: The number and immune status of monocytes were detected by flow cytometry in 32 COVID-19 patients and 18 healthy individuals. RESULTS: In critical patients with COVID-19, the absolute number of total monocytes and CD16- monocytes was significantly decreased but CD16+ pro-inflammatory monocytes was increased compared to healthy controls. Antigen presentation potential of monocytes, as measured by HLA-DR expression, was suppressed, while their inflammatory phenotype (CD38 expression) was enhanced. Cytokine levels showed sustained increases in critical patients. And the levels of IL-6 were positively correlated with CD16+ monocytes number. IL-6 and IL-10 levels were negatively correlated with HLA-DR expression of monocytes. During the recovery of COVID-19 patients, the count and immune status of monocyte subsets were restored by degrees. HLA-DR+ monocytes possessed good sensitivity and specificity for predicting the incidence of critical patients with COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: In critical patients with COVID-19, decline in number and HLA-DR expression of monocytes might lead to decreased antigen presentation potential and thus immunosuppression, while increased CD16+ pro-inflammatory monocytes might mediate hyperinflammation. HLA-DR+ monocytes might be a meaningful assisted indicator to predict the incidence of critical patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Monocytes/immunology , ADP-ribosyl Cyclase 1/immunology , Aged , Antigen Presentation , COVID-19/blood , Case-Control Studies , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Flow Cytometry , HLA-DR Antigens/immunology , Humans , Inflammation/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Phenotype , Receptors, IgG/immunology
14.
PLoS One ; 15(12): e0241097, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1004424

ABSTRACT

Clinical manifestations of SARS-CoV-2 infection range from mild to critically severe. The aim of the study was to highlight the immunological events associated with the severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection, with an emphasis on cells of innate immunity. Thirty COVID-19 patients with mild/moderate symptoms and 27 patients with severe/critically severe symptoms were recruited from the Clinical Center of Kragujevac during April 2020. Flow cytometric analysis was performed to reveal phenotypic and functional alterations of peripheral blood cells and to correlate them with the severity of the disease. In severe cases, the number of T and B lymphocytes, dendritic cells, NK cells, and HLA-DR-expressing cells was drastically decreased. In the monocyte population proportion between certain subsets was disturbed and cells coexpressing markers of M1 and M2 monocytes were found in intermediate and non-classical subsets. In mild cases decline in lymphocyte number was less pronounced and innate immunity was preserved as indicated by an increased number of myeloid and activated dendritic cells, NK cells that expressed activation marker at the same level as in control and by low expression of M2 marker in monocyte population. In patients with severe disease, both innate and adoptive immunity are devastated, while in patients with mild symptoms decline in lymphocyte number is lesser, and the innate immunity is preserved.


Subject(s)
Adaptive Immunity , COVID-19/immunology , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Immunity, Innate , Monocytes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antigens, Differentiation/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Dendritic Cells/pathology , Female , Flow Cytometry , HLA-DR Antigens/immunology , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/pathology
15.
Front Immunol ; 11: 596553, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-979020

ABSTRACT

The severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection has been related to uncontrolled inflammatory innate responses and impaired adaptive immune responses mostly due to exhausted T lymphocytes and lymphopenia. In this work we have characterized the nature of the lymphopenia and demonstrate a set of factors that hinder the effective control of virus infection and the activation and arming of effector cytotoxic T CD8 cells and showing signatures defining a high-risk population. We performed immune profiling of the T helper (Th) CD4+ and T CD8+ cell compartments in peripheral blood of 144 COVID-19 patients using multiparametric flow cytometry analysis. On the one hand, there was a consistent lymphopenia with an overrepresentation of non-functional T cells, with an increased percentage of naive Th cells (CD45RA+, CXCR3-, CCR4-, CCR6-, CCR10-) and persistently low frequency of markers associated with Th1, Th17, and Th1/Th17 memory-effector T cells compared to healthy donors. On the other hand, the most profound alteration affected the Th1 subset, which may explain the poor T cells responses and the persistent blood virus load. Finally, the decrease in Th1 cells may also explain the low frequency of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells that express the HLA-DR and CD38 activation markers observed in numerous patients who showed minimal or no lymphocyte activation response. We also identified the percentage of HLA-DR+CD4+ T cells, PD-1+CD+4/CD8+ T cells in blood, and the neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio as useful factors for predicting critical illness and fatal outcome in patients with confirmed COVID-19.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer/immunology , Th1 Cells/immunology , ADP-ribosyl Cyclase 1/immunology , ADP-ribosyl Cyclase 1/metabolism , Aged , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cell Differentiation/immunology , Female , HLA-DR Antigens/immunology , HLA-DR Antigens/metabolism , Humans , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer/metabolism , Th1 Cells/metabolism , Th17 Cells/immunology , Th17 Cells/metabolism
16.
Front Immunol ; 11: 580250, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-918140

ABSTRACT

Little is known about the time-dependent immune responses in severe COVID-19. Data of 15 consecutive patients were sequentially recorded from intensive care unit admission. Lymphocyte subsets and total monocyte and subsets counts were monitored as well as the expression of HLA-DR. For 5 patients, SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell polyfunctionality was assessed against Spike and Nucleoprotein SARS-CoV-2 peptides. Non-specific inflammation markers were increased in all patients. Median monocyte HLA-DR expression was below the 8,000 AB/C threshold defining acquired immunodepression. A "V" trend curve for lymphopenia, monocyte numbers, and HLA-DR expression was observed with a nadir between days 11 and 14 after symptoms' onset. Intermediate CD14++CD16+ monocytes increased early with a reduction in classic CD14++CD16- monocytes. Polyfunctional SARS-Cov-2-specific CD4 T-cells were present and functional, whereas virus-specific CD8 T-cells were less frequent and not efficient. We report a temporal variation of both innate and adaptive immunity in severe COVID-19 patients, helpful in guiding therapeutic decisions (e.g. anti-inflammatory vs. immunostimulatory ones). We describe a defect in virus-specific CD8 T-cells, a potential biomarker of clinical severity. These combined data also provide helpful knowledge for vaccine design. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: https://clinicaltrials.gov/, identifier NCT04386395.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Monocytes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Aged , Biomarkers , COVID-19/virology , Female , GPI-Linked Proteins/metabolism , HLA-DR Antigens/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Lipopolysaccharide Receptors/metabolism , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Receptors, IgG/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
17.
Cytometry A ; 97(12): 1217-1221, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-893217

ABSTRACT

Several months after the sudden emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, the understanding of the appropriate host immune response to a virus totally unknown of human immune surveillance is still of major importance. By international definition, COVID-19 falls in the scope of septic syndromes (organ dysfunction due to dysregulated host response to an infection) in which immunosuppression is a significant driver of mortality. Sepsis-induced immunosuppression is mostly defined and monitored by the measurement of decreased expression of HLA-DR molecules on circulating monocytes (mHLA-DR). In this interim review, we summarize the first mHLA-DR results in COVID-19 patients. In critically ill patients, results homogenously indicate a decreased mHLA-DR expression, which, along with profound lymphopenia and other functional alterations, is indicative of a status of immunosuppression. © 2020 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , HLA-DR Antigens/immunology , Monocytes/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Flow Cytometry , HLA-DR Antigens/genetics , Humans , Immune Tolerance/genetics , Male , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
18.
Anesth Analg ; 131(4): 993-999, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-760675

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The cellular immune system is of pivotal importance with regard to the response to severe infections. Monocytes/macrophages are considered key immune cells in infections and downregulation of the surface expression of monocytic human leukocyte antigen-DR (mHLA-DR) within the major histocompatibility complex class II reflects a state of immunosuppression, also referred to as injury-associated immunosuppression. As the role of immunosuppression in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is currently unclear, we seek to explore the level of mHLA-DR expression in COVID-19 patients. METHODS: In a preliminary prospective monocentric observational study, 16 COVID-19-positive patients (75% male, median age: 68 [interquartile range 59-75]) requiring hospitalization were included. The median Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation-II (APACHE-II) score in 9 intensive care unit (ICU) patients with acute respiratory failure was 30 (interquartile range 25-32). Standardized quantitative assessment of HLA-DR on monocytes (cluster of differentiation 14+ cells) was performed using calibrated flow cytometry at baseline (ICU/hospital admission) and at days 3 and 5 after ICU admission. Baseline data were compared to hospitalized noncritically ill COVID-19 patients. RESULTS: While normal mHLA-DR expression was observed in all hospitalized noncritically ill patients (n = 7), 89% (8 of 9) critically ill patients with COVID-19-induced acute respiratory failure showed signs of downregulation of mHLA-DR at ICU admission. mHLA-DR expression at admission was significantly lower in critically ill patients (median, [quartiles]: 9280 antibodies/cell [6114, 16,567]) as compared to the noncritically ill patients (30,900 antibodies/cell [26,777, 52,251]), with a median difference of 21,508 antibodies/cell (95% confidence interval [CI], 14,118-42,971), P = .002. Reduced mHLA-DR expression was observed to persist until day 5 after ICU admission. CONCLUSIONS: When compared to noncritically ill hospitalized COVID-19 patients, ICU patients with severe COVID-19 disease showed reduced mHLA-DR expression on circulating CD14+ monocytes at ICU admission, indicating a dysfunctional immune response. This immunosuppressive (monocytic) phenotype remained unchanged over the ensuing days after ICU admission. Strategies aiming for immunomodulation in this population of critically ill patients should be guided by an immune-monitoring program in an effort to determine who might benefit best from a given immunological intervention.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Critical Illness , HLA-DR Antigens/biosynthesis , HLA-DR Antigens/immunology , Immune Tolerance/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , APACHE , Aged , Antibodies/analysis , Antibodies/immunology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Critical Care , Down-Regulation/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunotherapy , Lipopolysaccharide Receptors/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/immunology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Prospective Studies , Respiratory Insufficiency/immunology , Respiratory Insufficiency/physiopathology
19.
Cell Host Microbe ; 27(6): 992-1000.e3, 2020 06 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-735030

ABSTRACT

Proper management of COVID-19 mandates better understanding of disease pathogenesis. The sudden clinical deterioration 7-8 days after initial symptom onset suggests that severe respiratory failure (SRF) in COVID-19 is driven by a unique pattern of immune dysfunction. We studied immune responses of 54 COVID-19 patients, 28 of whom had SRF. All patients with SRF displayed either macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) or very low human leukocyte antigen D related (HLA-DR) expression accompanied by profound depletion of CD4 lymphocytes, CD19 lymphocytes, and natural killer (NK) cells. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) production by circulating monocytes was sustained, a pattern distinct from bacterial sepsis or influenza. SARS-CoV-2 patient plasma inhibited HLA-DR expression, and this was partially restored by the IL-6 blocker Tocilizumab; off-label Tocilizumab treatment of patients was accompanied by increase in circulating lymphocytes. Thus, the unique pattern of immune dysregulation in severe COVID-19 is characterized by IL-6-mediated low HLA-DR expression and lymphopenia, associated with sustained cytokine production and hyper-inflammation.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Respiratory Insufficiency/immunology , Aged , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/administration & dosage , COVID-19 , Female , HLA-DR Antigens/immunology , Humans , Inflammation/pathology , Interleukin-6/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/pathology , Lymphopenia/pathology , Macrophage Activation , Male , Monocytes/pathology , Pandemics
20.
Front Immunol ; 11: 1784, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-719731

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has recently become the most serious threat to public health, and its prevalence has been increasing at an alarming rate. The incubation period for the virus is ~1-14 days and all age groups may be susceptible to a fatality rate of about 5.9%. COVID-19 is caused by a novel single-stranded, positive (+) sense RNA beta coronavirus. The development of a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 is an urgent need worldwide. Immunoinformatics approaches are both cost-effective and convenient, as in silico predictions can reduce the number of experiments needed. In this study, with the aid of immunoinformatics tools, we tried to design a multi-epitope vaccine that can be used for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. The epitopes were computed by using B cells, cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL), and helper T lymphocytes (HTL) base on the proteins of SARS-CoV-2. A vaccine was devised by fusing together the B cell, HTL, and CTL epitopes with linkers. To enhance the immunogenicity, the ß-defensin (45 mer) amino acid sequence, and pan-HLA DR binding epitopes (13aa) were adjoined to the N-terminal of the vaccine with the help of the EAAAK linker. To enable the intracellular delivery of the modeled vaccine, a TAT sequence (11aa) was appended to C-terminal. Linkers play vital roles in producing an extended conformation (flexibility), protein folding, and separation of functional domains, and therefore, make the protein structure more stable. The secondary and three-dimensional (3D) structure of the final vaccine was then predicted. Furthermore, the complex between the final vaccine and immune receptors (toll-like receptor-3 (TLR-3), major histocompatibility complex (MHC-I), and MHC-II) were evaluated by molecular docking. Lastly, to confirm the expression of the designed vaccine, the mRNA of the vaccine was enhanced with the aid of the Java Codon Adaptation Tool, and the secondary structure was generated from Mfold. Then we performed in silico cloning. The final vaccine requires experimental validation to determine its safety and efficacy in controlling SARS-CoV-2 infections.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Computational Biology/methods , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Viral Proteins/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , HLA-DR Antigens/immunology , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Molecular Docking Simulation , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protein Folding , Protein Structure, Tertiary , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , beta-Defensins/immunology
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