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1.
J Exp Med ; 219(2)2022 02 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1984990

ABSTRACT

In rare instances, pediatric SARS-CoV-2 infection results in a novel immunodysregulation syndrome termed multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). We compared MIS-C immunopathology with severe COVID-19 in adults. MIS-C does not result in pneumocyte damage but is associated with vascular endotheliitis and gastrointestinal epithelial injury. In MIS-C, the cytokine release syndrome is characterized by IFNγ and not type I interferon. Persistence of patrolling monocytes differentiates MIS-C from severe COVID-19, which is dominated by HLA-DRlo classical monocytes. IFNγ levels correlate with granzyme B production in CD16+ NK cells and TIM3 expression on CD38+/HLA-DR+ T cells. Single-cell TCR profiling reveals a skewed TCRß repertoire enriched for TRBV11-2 and a superantigenic signature in TIM3+/CD38+/HLA-DR+ T cells. Using NicheNet, we confirm IFNγ as a central cytokine in the communication between TIM3+/CD38+/HLA-DR+ T cells, CD16+ NK cells, and patrolling monocytes. Normalization of IFNγ, loss of TIM3, quiescence of CD16+ NK cells, and contraction of patrolling monocytes upon clinical resolution highlight their potential role in MIS-C immunopathogenesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Hepatitis A Virus Cellular Receptor 2/metabolism , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Monocytes/metabolism , Receptors, IgG/metabolism , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adolescent , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/pathology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Blood Vessels/pathology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Cell Proliferation , Child , Cohort Studies , Complement Activation , Cytokines/metabolism , Enterocytes/pathology , Female , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Inflammation/pathology , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Interleukin-15/metabolism , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Male , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Superantigens/metabolism , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/pathology
2.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 50(15): 8700-8718, 2022 08 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1973223

ABSTRACT

FACT (FAcilitates Chromatin Transcription) is a heterodimeric protein complex composed of SUPT16H and SSRP1, and a histone chaperone participating in chromatin remodeling during gene transcription. FACT complex is profoundly regulated, and contributes to both gene activation and suppression. Here we reported that SUPT16H, a subunit of FACT, is acetylated in both epithelial and natural killer (NK) cells. The histone acetyltransferase TIP60 contributes to the acetylation of SUPT16H middle domain (MD) at lysine 674 (K674). Such acetylation of SUPT16H is recognized by bromodomain protein BRD4, which promotes protein stability of SUPT16H in both epithelial and NK cells. We further demonstrated that SUPT16H-BRD4 associates with histone modification enzymes (HDAC1, EZH2), and further regulates their activation status and/or promoter association as well as affects the relevant histone marks (H3ac, H3K9me3 and H3K27me3). BRD4 is known to profoundly regulate interferon (IFN) signaling, while such function of SUPT16H has never been explored. Surprisingly, our results revealed that SUPT16H genetic knockdown via RNAi or pharmacological inhibition by using its inhibitor, curaxin 137 (CBL0137), results in the induction of IFNs and interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs). Through this mechanism, depletion or inhibition of SUPT16H is shown to efficiently inhibit infection of multiple viruses, including Zika, influenza, and SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, we demonstrated that depletion or inhibition of SUPT16H also causes the remarkable activation of IFN signaling in NK cells, which promotes the NK-mediated killing of virus-infected cells in a co-culture system using human primary NK cells. Overall, our studies unraveled the previously un-appreciated role of FACT complex in coordinating with BRD4 and regulating IFN signaling in both epithelial and NK cells, and also proposed the novel application of the FACT inhibitor CBL0137 to treat viral infections.


Subject(s)
Cell Cycle Proteins/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Interferons/metabolism , Killer Cells, Natural/metabolism , Signal Transduction , Transcription Factors/metabolism , COVID-19 , DNA-Binding Proteins/genetics , Epithelial Cells/immunology , High Mobility Group Proteins/genetics , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Nuclear Proteins/genetics , Nuclear Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Transcriptional Elongation Factors/genetics , Zika Virus/metabolism , Zika Virus Infection
3.
Front Immunol ; 13: 812514, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1902973

ABSTRACT

The cell-mediated protective and pathogenic immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection remain largely elusive. Here we identified 76 distinct cell subsets in the PBMC samples that were associated with various clinical presentations of COVID-19 using scRNA-seq technology coupled with a deep and comprehensive analysis of unique cell surface markers and differentially expressed genes. We revealed that (TRAV1-2+CD8+)MAIT cells and (NCAM1hiCD160+)NK cells significantly enriched in the asymptomatic subjects whereas (LAG3+CD160+CD8+)NKT cells increased in the symptomatic patients. We also observed that (CD68-CSF1R-IL1BhiCD14+)classical monocytes were positively correlated with the disease severity. Moreover, (CD33-HLA-DMA-CD14+)classical monocytes and (CLEC10A-S100A9lo)pDC were associated with the viral persistence. The GO and KEGG analyses identified enriched pathways related to immune responses, inflammation, and apoptosis. These findings may enhance our understanding of the immunopathogenesis of COVID-19 and help develop novel strategies against SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Monocytes/immunology , Mucosal-Associated Invariant T Cells/immunology , Natural Killer T-Cells/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Asymptomatic Infections , Female , Flow Cytometry , Humans , Immunophenotyping , Male , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index , Viral Load
4.
Front Immunol ; 13: 798813, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1902970

ABSTRACT

A successful vaccination would represent the most efficient means to control the pandemic of Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19) that led to millions of deaths worldwide. Novel mRNA-based vaccines confer protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2, but whether immunity is immediately effective and how long it will remain in recipients are uncertain. We sought to assess the effectiveness of a two-dose regimen since the boosts are often delayed concerning the recommended intervals. Methods: A longitudinal cohort of healthcare workers (HCW, N = 46; 30.4% men; 69.6% women; mean age 36.05 ± 2.2 years) with no SARS-CoV-2 infection as documented by negative polymerase chain reaction was immunophenotyped in PBMC once a week for 4 weeks from the prime immunization (Pfizer mRNA BNT162b2) and had received 2 doses, to study the kinetic response. Results: We identified three risk groups to develop SARS-CoV-2 infection IgG+-based (late responders, R-; early responders, R+; pauci responders, PR). In all receipts, amplification of B cells and NK cells, including IL4-producing B cells and IL4-producing CD8+ T cells, is early stimulated by the vaccine. After the boost, we observed a growing increase of NK cells but a resistance of T cells, IFNγ-producing CD4+T cells, and IFNγ-producing NK cells. Also, hematologic parameters decline until the boost. The positive association of IFNγ-producing NK with IFNγ-producing CD4+T cells by the multiple mixed-effect model, adjusted for confounders (p = 0.036) as well as the correlation matrix (r = 0.6, p < 0.01), suggests a relationship between these two subsets of lymphocytes. Conclusions: These findings introduce several concerns about policy delay in vaccination: based on immunological protection, B cells and the persistent increase of NK cells during 2 doses of the mRNA-based vaccine could provide further immune protection against the virus, while CD8+ T cells increased slightly only in the R+ and PR groups.


Subject(s)
/immunology , Immunization , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adult , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Interleukin-4/immunology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/immunology , Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , Male , Th1-Th2 Balance
5.
Genome Med ; 14(1): 57, 2022 05 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1862145

ABSTRACT

A recent study highlights the presence of a unique memory-like natural killer (NK) cell subset, which accumulates with aging and appears to associate withdisease severity in COVID-19 patients. While the clinical relevance of memory in NK cells is being debated, the molecular identity of this subset in the form of a single-cell transcriptome is essential to define their origin, longevity, functions, and disease relevance.


Subject(s)
Aging , COVID-19 , Killer Cells, Natural , Transcriptome , Aging/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology
6.
Front Immunol ; 13: 796481, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1765667

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID19) pandemic has left researchers scrambling to identify the humoral immune correlates of protection from COVID-19. To date, the antibody mediated correlates of virus neutralization have been extensively studied. However, the extent that non-neutralizing functions contribute to anti-viral responses are ill defined. In this study, we profiled the anti-spike antibody subtype/subclass responses, along with neutralization and antibody-dependent natural killer cell functions in 83 blood samples collected between 4 and 201 days post-symptoms onset from a cohort of COVID-19 outpatients. We observed heterogeneous humoral responses against the acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein. Overall, anti-spike profiles were characterized by a rapid rise of IgA and sustained IgG titers. In addition, strong antibody-mediated natural killer effector responses correlated with milder disease and being female. While higher neutralization profiles were observed in males along with increased severity. These results give an insight into the underlying function of antibodies beyond neutralization and suggest that antibody-mediated natural killer cell activity is a key function of the humoral response against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Convalescence , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Outpatients , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
7.
Front Immunol ; 13: 851620, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731787

ABSTRACT

Myocarditis and myopericarditis may occur after COVID-19 vaccination with an incidence of two to twenty cases per 100,000 individuals, but underlying mechanisms related to disease onset and progression remain unclear. Here, we report a case of myopericarditis following the first dose of the mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccine in a young man who had a history of mild COVID-19 three months before vaccination. The patient presented with chest pain, elevated troponin I level, and electrocardiogram abnormality. His endomyocardial biopsy revealed diffuse CD68+ cell infiltration. We characterized the immune profile of the patient using multiplex cytokine assay and flow cytometry analysis. Sex-matched vaccinated individuals and healthy individuals were used as controls. IL-18 and IL-27, Th1-type cytokines, were highly increased in the patient with COVID-19 vaccine-related myopericarditis compared with vaccinated controls who experienced no cardiac complications. In the patient, circulating NK cells and T cells showed an activated phenotype and mRNA profile, and monocytes expressed increased levels of IL-18 and its upstream NLRP3 inflammasome. We found that recombinant IL-18 administration into mice caused mild cardiac dysfunction and activation of NK cells and T cells in the hearts, similar to the findings in the patient with myopericarditis after COVID-19 mRNA vaccination. Collectively, myopericarditis following COVID-19 mRNA vaccination may be associated with increased IL-18-mediated immune responses and cardiotoxicity.


Subject(s)
/adverse effects , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity/immunology , Interleukin-18/immunology , Myocarditis/chemically induced , Vaccination/adverse effects , Adult , Animals , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Male , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Young Adult
8.
Front Immunol ; 13: 837524, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731784

ABSTRACT

Effectively treating infectious diseases often requires a multi-step approach to target different components involved in disease pathogenesis. Similarly, the COVID-19 pandemic has become a global health crisis that requires a comprehensive understanding of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection to develop effective therapeutics. One potential strategy to instill greater immune protection against COVID-19 is boosting the innate immune system. This boosting, termed trained immunity, employs immune system modulators to train innate immune cells to produce an enhanced, non-specific immune response upon reactivation following exposure to pathogens, a process that has been studied in the context of in vitro and in vivo clinical studies prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Evaluation of the underlying pathways that are essential to inducing protective trained immunity will provide insight into identifying potential therapeutic targets that may alleviate the COVID-19 crisis. Here we review multiple immune training agents, including Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), ß-glucan, and lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and the two most popular cell types involved in trained immunity, monocytes and natural killer (NK) cells, and compare the signaling pathways involved in innate immunity. Additionally, we discuss COVID-19 trained immunity clinical trials, emphasizing the potential of trained immunity to fight SARS-CoV-2 infection. Understanding the mechanisms by which training agents activate innate immune cells to reprogram immune responses may prove beneficial in developing preventive and therapeutic targets against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Monocytes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
9.
Mol Med ; 28(1): 20, 2022 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1707603

ABSTRACT

Adaptive immune responses have been studied extensively in the course of mRNA vaccination against COVID-19. Considerably fewer studies have assessed the effects on innate immune cells. Here, we characterized NK cells in healthy individuals and immunocompromised patients in the course of an anti-SARS-CoV-2 BNT162b2 mRNA prospective, open-label clinical vaccine trial. See trial registration description in notes. Results revealed preserved NK cell numbers, frequencies, subsets, phenotypes, and function as assessed through consecutive peripheral blood samplings at 0, 10, 21, and 35 days following vaccination. A positive correlation was observed between the frequency of NKG2C+ NK cells at baseline (Day 0) and anti-SARS-CoV-2 Ab titers following BNT162b2 mRNA vaccination at Day 35. The present results provide basic insights in regards to NK cells in the context of mRNA vaccination, and have relevance for future mRNA-based vaccinations against COVID-19, other viral infections, and cancer.Trial registration: The current study is based on clinical material from the COVAXID open-label, non-randomized prospective clinical trial registered at EudraCT and clinicaltrials.gov (no. 2021-000175-37). Description: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04780659?term=2021-000175-37&draw=2&rank=1 .


Subject(s)
/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunocompromised Host/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Female , Flow Cytometry , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural/metabolism , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily C/immunology , NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily C/metabolism , Outcome Assessment, Health Care/methods , Outcome Assessment, Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Vaccination/methods , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
10.
Cell Rep ; 38(10): 110503, 2022 03 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1705992

ABSTRACT

Natural killer (NK) cells are innate immune cells that contribute to host defense against virus infections. NK cells respond to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in vitro and are activated in patients with acute coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, by which mechanisms NK cells detect SARS-CoV-2-infected cells remains largely unknown. Here, we show that the Non-structural protein 13 of SARS-CoV-2 encodes for a peptide that is presented by human leukocyte antigen E (HLA-E). In contrast with self-peptides, the viral peptide prevents binding of HLA-E to the inhibitory receptor NKG2A, thereby rendering target cells susceptible to NK cell attack. In line with these observations, NKG2A-expressing NK cells are particularly activated in patients with COVID-19 and proficiently limit SARS-CoV-2 replication in infected lung epithelial cells in vitro. Thus, these data suggest that a viral peptide presented by HLA-E abrogates inhibition of NKG2A+ NK cells, resulting in missing self-recognition.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I , Killer Cells, Natural , Methyltransferases , NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily C , RNA Helicases , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Nonstructural Proteins , COVID-19/immunology , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/immunology , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Methyltransferases/immunology , NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily C/immunology , NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily C/metabolism , Peptides/metabolism , RNA Helicases/immunology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/immunology
11.
Comput Math Methods Med ; 2022: 9604456, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1704361

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the potential pharmacological value of extracts from honeysuckle on patients with mild coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. METHODS: The active components and targets of honeysuckle were screened by Traditional Chinese Medicine Database and Analysis Platform (TCMSP). SwissADME and pkCSM databases predict pharmacokinetics of ingredients. The Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database collected transcriptome data for mild COVID-19. Data quality control, differentially expressed gene (DEG) identification, enrichment analysis, and correlation analysis were implemented by R toolkit. CIBERSORT evaluated the infiltration of 22 immune cells. RESULTS: The seven active ingredients of honeysuckle had good oral absorption and medicinal properties. Both the active ingredient targets of honeysuckle and differentially expressed genes of mild COVID-19 were significantly enriched in immune signaling pathways. There were five overlapping immunosignature genes, among which RELA and MAP3K7 expressions were statistically significant (P < 0.05). Finally, immune cell infiltration and correlation analysis showed that RELA, MAP3K7, and natural killer (NK) cell are with highly positive correlation and highly negatively correlated with hematopoietic stem cells. CONCLUSION: Our analysis suggested that honeysuckle extract had a safe and effective protective effect against mild COVID-19 by regulating a complex molecular network. The main mechanism was related to the proportion of infiltration between NK cells and hematopoietic stem cells.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Drugs, Chinese Herbal/therapeutic use , Lonicera , Phytotherapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacokinetics , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Computational Biology , Databases, Pharmaceutical/statistics & numerical data , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Drugs, Chinese Herbal/chemistry , Drugs, Chinese Herbal/pharmacokinetics , Gene Expression/drug effects , Gene Ontology , Gene Regulatory Networks/drug effects , Gene Regulatory Networks/immunology , Hematopoietic Stem Cells/drug effects , Hematopoietic Stem Cells/immunology , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural/drug effects , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Lonicera/chemistry , Medicine, Chinese Traditional , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
12.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 1018, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702467

ABSTRACT

The antiviral immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection can limit viral spread and prevent development of pneumonic COVID-19. However, the protective immunological response associated with successful viral containment in the upper airways remains unclear. Here, we combine a multi-omics approach with longitudinal sampling to reveal temporally resolved protective immune signatures in non-pneumonic and ambulatory SARS-CoV-2 infected patients and associate specific immune trajectories with upper airway viral containment. We see a distinct systemic rather than local immune state associated with viral containment, characterized by interferon stimulated gene (ISG) upregulation across circulating immune cell subsets in non-pneumonic SARS-CoV2 infection. We report reduced cytotoxic potential of Natural Killer (NK) and T cells, and an immune-modulatory monocyte phenotype associated with protective immunity in COVID-19. Together, we show protective immune trajectories in SARS-CoV2 infection, which have important implications for patient prognosis and the development of immunomodulatory therapies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Ambulatory Care , Cytokines/blood , Female , Gene Expression Regulation , Gene Regulatory Networks , Humans , Interferons/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/immunology , Nasopharynx/immunology , Nasopharynx/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
13.
Front Immunol ; 13: 807454, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686483

ABSTRACT

Background: Innate immunity, armed with pattern recognition receptors including Toll-like receptors (TLR), is critical for immune cell activation and the connection to anti-microbial adaptive immunity. However, information regarding the impact of age on the innate immunity in response to SARS-CoV2 adenovirus vector vaccines and its association with specific immune responses remains scarce. Methods: Fifteen subjects between 25-35 years (the young group) and five subjects between 60-70 years (the older adult group) were enrolled before ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222) vaccination. We determined activation markers and cytokine production of monocyte, natural killer (NK) cells and B cells ex vivo stimulated with TLR agonist (poly (I:C) for TLR3; LPS for TLR4; imiquimod for TLR7; CpG for TLR9) before vaccination and 3-5 days after each jab with flow cytometry. Anti-SARS-CoV2 neutralization antibody titers (surrogate virus neutralization tests, sVNTs) were measured using serum collected 2 months after the first jab and one month after full vaccination. Results: The older adult vaccinees had weaker vaccine-induced sVNTs than young vaccinees after 1st jab (47.2±19.3% vs. 21.2±22.2%, p value<0.05), but this difference became insignificant after the 2nd jab. Imiquimod, LPS and CpG strongly induced CD86 expression in IgD+CD27- naïve and IgD-CD27+ memory B cells in the young group. In contrast, only the IgD+ CD27- naïve B cells responded to these TLR agonists in the older adult group. Imiquimode strongly induced the CD86 expression in CD14+ monocytes in the young group but not in the older adult group. After vaccination, the young group had significantly higher IFN-γ expression in CD3- CD56dim NK cells after the 1st jab, whilst the older adult group had significantly higher IFN-γ and granzyme B expression in CD56bright NK cells after the 2nd jab (all p value <0.05). The IFN-γ expression in CD56dim and CD56bright NK cells after the first vaccination and CD86 expression in CD14+ monocyte and IgD-CD27-double-negative B cells after LPS and imiquimod stimulation correlated with vaccine-induced antibody responses. Conclusions: The innate immune responses after the first vaccination correlated with the neutralizing antibody production. Older people may have defective innate immune responses by TLR stimulation and weak or delayed innate immune activation profile after vaccination compared with young people.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Imiquimod/pharmacology , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Immunosenescence/immunology , Interferon-gamma/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Poly I-C/administration & dosage , Poly I-C/immunology , Toll-Like Receptors/immunology , Vaccination
15.
Nature ; 600(7888): 295-301, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1626235

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is a single-stranded RNA virus that causes COVID-19. Given its acute and often self-limiting course, it is likely that components of the innate immune system play a central part in controlling virus replication and determining clinical outcome. Natural killer (NK) cells are innate lymphocytes with notable activity against a broad range of viruses, including RNA viruses1,2. NK cell function may be altered during COVID-19 despite increased representation of NK cells with an activated and adaptive phenotype3,4. Here we show that a decline in viral load in COVID-19 correlates with NK cell status and that NK cells can control SARS-CoV-2 replication by recognizing infected target cells. In severe COVID-19, NK cells show defects in virus control, cytokine production and cell-mediated cytotoxicity despite high expression of cytotoxic effector molecules. Single-cell RNA sequencing of NK cells over the time course of the COVID-19 disease spectrum reveals a distinct gene expression signature. Transcriptional networks of interferon-driven NK cell activation are superimposed by a dominant transforming growth factor-ß (TGFß) response signature, with reduced expression of genes related to cell-cell adhesion, granule exocytosis and cell-mediated cytotoxicity. In severe COVID-19, serum levels of TGFß peak during the first two weeks of infection, and serum obtained from these patients severely inhibits NK cell function in a TGFß-dependent manner. Our data reveal that an untimely production of TGFß is a hallmark of severe COVID-19 and may inhibit NK cell function and early control of the virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Transforming Growth Factor beta/immunology , Atlases as Topic , Gene Expression Regulation/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Influenza, Human/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/pathology , RNA-Seq , Single-Cell Analysis , Time Factors , Transforming Growth Factor beta/blood , Viral Load/immunology , Virus Replication/immunology
16.
Nature ; 602(7896): 321-327, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585831

ABSTRACT

It is not fully understood why COVID-19 is typically milder in children1-3. Here, to examine the differences between children and adults in their response to SARS-CoV-2 infection, we analysed paediatric and adult patients with COVID-19 as well as healthy control individuals (total n = 93) using single-cell multi-omic profiling of matched nasal, tracheal, bronchial and blood samples. In the airways of healthy paediatric individuals, we observed cells that were already in an interferon-activated state, which after SARS-CoV-2 infection was further induced especially in airway immune cells. We postulate that higher paediatric innate interferon responses restrict viral replication and disease progression. The systemic response in children was characterized by increases in naive lymphocytes and a depletion of natural killer cells, whereas, in adults, cytotoxic T cells and interferon-stimulated subpopulations were significantly increased. We provide evidence that dendritic cells initiate interferon signalling in early infection, and identify epithelial cell states associated with COVID-19 and age. Our matching nasal and blood data show a strong interferon response in the airways with the induction of systemic interferon-stimulated populations, which were substantially reduced in paediatric patients. Together, we provide several mechanisms that explain the milder clinical syndrome observed in children.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Interferons/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology , Adult , Bronchi/immunology , Bronchi/virology , COVID-19/pathology , Chicago , Cohort Studies , Disease Progression , Epithelial Cells/cytology , Epithelial Cells/immunology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Humans , Immunity, Innate , London , Male , Nasal Mucosa/immunology , Nasal Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Single-Cell Analysis , Trachea/virology , Young Adult
17.
Nat Immunol ; 23(1): 23-32, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585822

ABSTRACT

Systemic immune cell dynamics during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are extensively documented, but these are less well studied in the (upper) respiratory tract, where severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) replicates1-6. Here, we characterized nasal and systemic immune cells in individuals with COVID-19 who were hospitalized or convalescent and compared the immune cells to those seen in healthy donors. We observed increased nasal granulocytes, monocytes, CD11c+ natural killer (NK) cells and CD4+ T effector cells during acute COVID-19. The mucosal proinflammatory populations positively associated with peripheral blood human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DRlow monocytes, CD38+PD1+CD4+ T effector (Teff) cells and plasmablasts. However, there was no general lymphopenia in nasal mucosa, unlike in peripheral blood. Moreover, nasal neutrophils negatively associated with oxygen saturation levels in blood. Following convalescence, nasal immune cells mostly normalized, except for CD127+ granulocytes and CD38+CD8+ tissue-resident memory T cells (TRM). SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T cells persisted at least 2 months after viral clearance in the nasal mucosa, indicating that COVID-19 has both transient and long-term effects on upper respiratory tract immune responses.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Nasopharynx/immunology , Nose/cytology , Respiratory Mucosa/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Granulocytes/immunology , HLA-DR Antigens/metabolism , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Monocytes/immunology , Nasopharynx/cytology , Nasopharynx/virology , Neutrophils/immunology , Nose/immunology , Nose/virology , Prospective Studies , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Respiratory Mucosa/virology
18.
Rev Med Virol ; 31(6): e2236, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1573896

ABSTRACT

Modifications in HLA-I expression are found in many viral diseases. They represent one of the immune evasion strategies most widely used by viruses to block antigen presentation and NK cell response, and SARS-CoV-2 is no exception. These alterations result from a combination of virus-specific factors, genetically encoded mechanisms, and the status of host defences and range from loss or upregulation of HLA-I molecules to selective increases of HLA-I alleles. In this review, I will first analyse characteristic features of altered HLA-I expression found in SARS-CoV-2. I will then discuss the potential factors underlying these defects, focussing on HLA-E and class-I-related (like) molecules and their receptors, the most documented HLA-I alterations. I will also draw attention to potential differences between cells transfected to express viral proteins and those presented as part of authentic infection. Consideration of these factors and others affecting HLA-I expression may provide us with improved possibilities for research into cellular immunity against viral variants.


Subject(s)
Antigenic Variation , COVID-19/immunology , Clonal Anergy , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/immunology , Immune Evasion , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Alleles , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/immunology , Cytotoxicity, Immunologic , Gene Expression , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/genetics , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/virology , NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily C/genetics , NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily C/immunology , NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily D/genetics , NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily D/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/virology
19.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 418, 2021 12 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1565706

ABSTRACT

The systemic processes involved in the manifestation of life-threatening COVID-19 and in disease recovery are still incompletely understood, despite investigations focusing on the dysregulation of immune responses after SARS-CoV-2 infection. To define hallmarks of severe COVID-19 in acute disease (n = 58) and in disease recovery in convalescent patients (n = 28) from Hannover Medical School, we used flow cytometry and proteomics data with unsupervised clustering analyses. In our observational study, we combined analyses of immune cells and cytokine/chemokine networks with endothelial activation and injury. ICU patients displayed an altered immune signature with prolonged lymphopenia but the expansion of granulocytes and plasmablasts along with activated and terminally differentiated T and NK cells and high levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies. The core signature of seven plasma proteins revealed a highly inflammatory microenvironment in addition to endothelial injury in severe COVID-19. Changes within this signature were associated with either disease progression or recovery. In summary, our data suggest that besides a strong inflammatory response, severe COVID-19 is driven by endothelial activation and barrier disruption, whereby recovery depends on the regeneration of the endothelial integrity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Blood Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/diagnosis , Cytokine Release Syndrome/diagnosis , Endothelium, Vascular/virology , Lymphopenia/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Biomarkers/blood , C-Reactive Protein/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , Chemokine CXCL10/blood , Chemokine CXCL9/blood , Cluster Analysis , Convalescence , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/mortality , Cytokine Release Syndrome/virology , Disease Progression , Endothelium, Vascular/immunology , Granulocytes/immunology , Granulocytes/virology , Hematopoietic Cell Growth Factors/blood , Hepatocyte Growth Factor/blood , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Interleukin-12 Subunit p40/blood , Interleukin-6/blood , Interleukin-8/blood , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/virology , Lectins, C-Type/blood , Lymphopenia/immunology , Lymphopenia/mortality , Lymphopenia/virology , Plasma Cells/immunology , Plasma Cells/virology , Survival Analysis , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/virology
20.
J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 149(3): 912-922, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1536619

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is an acute, febrile, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-associated syndrome, often with cardiohemodynamic dysfunction. Insight into mechanism of disease is still incomplete. OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to analyze immunologic features of MIS-C patients compared to febrile controls (FC). METHODS: MIS-C patients were defined by narrow criteria, including having evidence of cardiohemodynamic involvement and no macrophage activation syndrome. Samples were collected from 8 completely treatment-naive patients with MIS-C (SARS-CoV-2 serology positive), 3 patients with unclassified MIS-C-like disease (serology negative), 14 FC, and 5 MIS-C recovery (RCV). Three healthy controls (HCs) were used for comparisons of normal range. Using spectral flow cytometry, we assessed 36 parameters in antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and 29 in T cells. We used biaxial analysis and uniform manifold approximation and projection (UMAP). RESULTS: Significant elevations in cytokines including CXCL9, M-CSF, and IL-27 were found in MIS-C compared to FC. Classic monocytes and type 2 dendritic cells (DCs) were downregulated (decreased CD86, HLA-DR) versus HCs; however, type 1 DCs (CD11c+CD141+CLEC9A+) were highly activated in MIS-C patients versus FC, expressing higher levels of CD86, CD275, and atypical conventional DC markers such as CD64, CD115, and CX3CR1. CD169 and CD38 were upregulated in multiple monocyte subtypes. CD56dim/CD57-/KLRGhi/CD161+/CD38- natural killer (NK) cells were a unique subset in MIS-C versus FC without macrophage activation syndrome. CONCLUSION: Orchestrated by complex cytokine signaling, type 1 DC activation and NK dysregulation are key features in the pathophysiology of MIS-C. NK cell findings may suggest a relationship with macrophage activation syndrome, while type 1 DC upregulation implies a role for antigen cross-presentation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Dendritic Cells/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/immunology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/virology , ADP-ribosyl Cyclase 1/blood , Adolescent , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Priming , Cytokines/blood , Dendritic Cells/classification , Female , HLA-DR Antigens/blood , Humans , Immunophenotyping , Interferon-gamma/blood , Interleukins/blood , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Male , Membrane Glycoproteins/blood , Models, Immunological , Monocytes/immunology , Sialic Acid Binding Ig-like Lectin 1/blood , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/virology , Up-Regulation
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