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1.
Theranostics ; 12(1): 290-306, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1579955

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID19), caused by SARS-CoV-2, is a complex disease, with a variety of clinical manifestations ranging from asymptomatic infection or mild cold-like symptoms to more severe cases requiring hospitalization and critical care. The most severe presentations seem to be related with a delayed, deregulated immune response leading to exacerbated inflammation and organ damage with close similarities to sepsis. Methods: In order to improve the understanding on the relation between host immune response and disease course, we have studied the differences in the cellular (monocytes, CD8+ T and NK cells) and soluble (cytokines, chemokines and immunoregulatory ligands) immune response in blood between Healthy Donors (HD), COVID19 and a group of patients with non-COVID19 respiratory tract infections (NON-COV-RTI). In addition, the immune response profile has been analyzed in COVID19 patients according to disease severity. Results: In comparison to HDs and patients with NON-COV-RTI, COVID19 patients show a heterogeneous immune response with the presence of both activated and exhausted CD8+ T and NK cells characterised by the expression of the immune checkpoint LAG3 and the presence of the adaptive NK cell subset. An increased frequency of adaptive NK cells and a reduction of NK cells expressing the activating receptors NKp30 and NKp46 correlated with disease severity. Although both activated and exhausted NK cells expressing LAG3 were increased in moderate/severe cases, unsupervised cell clustering analyses revealed a more complex scenario with single NK cells expressing more than one immune checkpoint (PD1, TIM3 and/or LAG3). A general increased level of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines was found in COVID19 patients, some of which like IL18, IL1RA, IL36B and IL31, IL2, IFNα and TNFα, CXCL10, CCL2 and CCL8 were able to differentiate between COVID19 and NON-COV-RTI and correlated with bad prognosis (IL2, TNFα, IL1RA, CCL2, CXCL10 and CXCL9). Notably, we found that soluble NKG2D ligands from the MIC and ULBPs families were increased in COVID19 compared to NON-COV-RTI and correlated with disease severity. Conclusions: Our results provide a detailed comprehensive analysis of the presence of activated and exhausted CD8+T, NK and monocyte cell subsets as well as extracellular inflammatory factors beyond cytokines/chemokines, specifically associated to COVID19. Importantly, multivariate analysis including clinical, demographical and immunological experimental variables have allowed us to reveal specific immune signatures to i) differentiate COVID19 from other infections and ii) predict disease severity and the risk of death.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/blood , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/mortality , Case-Control Studies , Chemokines/blood , Cytokines/blood , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural/virology , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/virology , Prospective Studies , Respiratory Tract Infections/blood , Respiratory Tract Infections/immunology , Severity of Illness Index
2.
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
3.
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
4.
Hum Immunol ; 83(1): 86-98, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401492

ABSTRACT

The global outbreak of coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) still claims more lives daily around the world due to the lack of a definitive treatment and the rapid tendency of virus to mutate, which even jeopardizes vaccination efficacy. At the forefront battle against SARS-CoV-2, an effective innate response to the infection has a pivotal role in the initial control and treatment of disease. However, SARS-CoV-2 subtly interrupts the equations of immune responses, disrupting the cytolytic antiviral effects of NK cells, while seriously activating infected macrophages and other immune cells to induce an unleashed "cytokine storm", a dangerous and uncontrollable inflammatory response causing life-threatening symptoms in patients. Notably, the NK cell exhaustion with ineffective cytolytic function against the sources of exaggerated cytokine release, acts as an Achilles' heel which exacerbates the severity of COVID-19. Given this, approaches that improve NK cell cytotoxicity may benefit treatment protocols. As a suggestion, adoptive transfer of NK or CAR-NK cells with proper cytotolytic potentials and the lowest capacity of cytokine-release (for example CD56dim NK cells brightly express activating receptors), to severe COVID-19 patients may provide an effective cure especially in cases suffering from cytokine storms. More intriguingly, the ongoing evidence for persistent clonal expansion of NK memory cells characterized by an activating phenotype in response to viral infections, can benefit the future studies on vaccine development and adoptive NK cell therapy in COVID-19. Whether vaccinated volunteers or recovered patients can also be considered as suitable candidates for cell donation could be the subject of future research.


Subject(s)
Adoptive Transfer , COVID-19/therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/therapy , Cytokines/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/transplantation , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adoptive Transfer/adverse effects , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/metabolism , Cytokine Release Syndrome/virology , Cytokines/metabolism , Cytotoxicity, Immunologic , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/metabolism , Killer Cells, Natural/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Treatment Outcome
5.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 25(15): 5057-5062, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1346860

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Complete blood count parameters are frequently altered in COVID-19 patients. Leucopenia and lymphopenia are the most common findings. This is not specific to COVID-19 as similar alterations are found in various other viral infections. This work is intended to summarize the evidence regarding white blood cell and lymphocyte subset alterations in COVID-19 and their clinical implications. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A PubMed search was conducted to identify relevant original studies. Articles not available in English or referring exclusively to pediatric patients were excluded. The study was designed as a narrative review from its inception. RESULTS: Complete white blood cell number and lymphocytes may be reduced in COVID-19 patients. Circulating CD4+ cells (helper T lymphocytes), CD8+ cells (cytotoxic T lymphocytes), regulatory T cells and natural killer (NK) cells may be reduced, with a greater reduction observed in critically ill patients. CD4+ and regulatory cell deficiencies may contribute to the cytokine storm and subsequent tissue damage observed in severe COVID-19 infection. NK and CD8+ cell deficiency might delay infection clearance. These aberrations of cellular immunity may contribute significantly to the pathogenesis of the disease. Alterations observed in monocyte function can also be implicated as they are effector cells responsible for tissue damage and remodeling. B cell dysfunction and maturation abnormalities have also been reported, suggesting that the virus also impairs humoral immunity. CONCLUSIONS: Lymphocyte subset abnormalities may be useful prognostic biomarkers for COVID-19, with circulating CD8+ cell count being the most promising as a predictor of severe disease requiring mechanical ventilation and mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , Lymphocyte Subsets/virology , Monocytes/immunology , Monocytes/virology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/virology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/virology
7.
J Exp Med ; 218(8)2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1269483

ABSTRACT

Our understanding of protective versus pathological immune responses to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is limited by inadequate profiling of patients at the extremes of the disease severity spectrum. Here, we performed multi-omic single-cell immune profiling of 64 COVID-19 patients across the full range of disease severity, from outpatients with mild disease to fatal cases. Our transcriptomic, epigenomic, and proteomic analyses revealed widespread dysfunction of peripheral innate immunity in severe and fatal COVID-19, including prominent hyperactivation signatures in neutrophils and NK cells. We also identified chromatin accessibility changes at NF-κB binding sites within cytokine gene loci as a potential mechanism for the striking lack of pro-inflammatory cytokine production observed in monocytes in severe and fatal COVID-19. We further demonstrated that emergency myelopoiesis is a prominent feature of fatal COVID-19. Collectively, our results reveal disease severity-associated immune phenotypes in COVID-19 and identify pathogenesis-associated pathways that are potential targets for therapeutic intervention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Innate/physiology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/mortality , Case-Control Studies , Cytokines/genetics , Epigenesis, Genetic , Female , Hematopoiesis , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural/pathology , Killer Cells, Natural/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/pathology , Monocytes/virology , NF-kappa B/metabolism , Neutrophils/pathology , Neutrophils/virology , Proteomics , Severity of Illness Index , Single-Cell Analysis
8.
Front Immunol ; 12: 655934, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1156126

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 manifests with a wide diversity of clinical phenotypes characterized by dysfunctional and exaggerated host immune responses. Many results have been described on the status of the immune system of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, but there are still aspects that have not been fully characterized or understood. In this study, we have analyzed a cohort of patients with mild, moderate and severe disease. We performed flow cytometric studies and correlated the data with the clinical characteristics and clinical laboratory values of the patients. Both conventional and unsupervised data analyses concluded that patients with severe disease are characterized, among others, by a higher state of activation in all T cell subsets (CD4, CD8, double negative and T follicular helper cells), higher expression of perforin and granzyme B in cytotoxic cells, expansion of adaptive NK cells and the accumulation of activated and immature dysfunctional monocytes which are identified by a low expression of HLA-DR and an intriguing shift in the expression pattern of CD300 receptors. More importantly, correlation analysis showed a strong association between the alterations in the immune cells and the clinical signs of severity. These results indicate that patients with severe COVID-19 have a broad perturbation of their immune system, and they will help to understand the immunopathogenesis of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Cytotoxicity, Immunologic , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Lymphocyte Activation , Monocytes/immunology , Receptors, Immunologic/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Aged , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Flow Cytometry , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Immunophenotyping , Killer Cells, Natural/metabolism , Killer Cells, Natural/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/metabolism , Monocytes/virology , Phenotype , Severity of Illness Index , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes/virology
9.
Inflamm Res ; 70(4): 407-428, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1103389

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The aim of this review is to explore whether patients with autoimmune diseases (AIDs) were at high risk of infection during the COVID-19 epidemic and how severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic affected immune system. METHODS: A systematic literature search was performed using the foreign databases (NCBI, web of science, EBSCO, ELSEVIER ScienceDirect) and Chinese databases (WanFang, CNKI (China National Knowledge Infrastructure), VIP, CBM) to locate all relevant publications (up to January 10, 2021). The search strategies used Medical Search Headings (MeSH) headings and keywords for "COVID-19" or "SARS-CoV-2" or "coronavirus" and "autoimmune disease". RESULTS: This review evaluates the effect of SARS-CoV-2 on the immune system through ACE-2 receptor binding as the main pathway for cell attachment and invasion. It is speculated that SARS-COV-2 infection can activate lymphocytes and inflammatory response, which may play a role in the clinical onset of AIDs and also patients were treated with immunomodulatory drugs during COVID-19 outbreak. Preliminary studies suggested that the risk of developing severe forms of COVID-19 in patients with AIDs treated with immunomodulators or biologics might not increase. A large number of samples are needed for further verification, leading to an excessive immune response to external stimuli. CONCLUSION: The relationship between autoimmune diseases and SARS-CoV-2 infection is complex. During the COVID-19 epidemic, individualized interventions for AIDs should be provided such as Internet-based service.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases/complications , Autoimmune Diseases/epidemiology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/therapeutic use , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/immunology , Autoimmune Diseases/immunology , Azetidines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/therapy , Dendritic Cells/virology , Humans , Immune System , Immunity, Innate , Immunization, Passive/trends , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/virology , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/immunology , Monocytes/virology , Multiple Sclerosis/immunology , Purines/therapeutic use , Pyrazoles/therapeutic use , Sulfonamides/therapeutic use
10.
Int J Infect Dis ; 104: 315-319, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-988038

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The immunologic profile and opportunistic viral DNA increase were monitored in Italian patients with COVID-19 in order to identify markers of disease severity. METHODS: A total of 104 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 were evaluated in the study. Of them, 42/104 (40.4%) were hospitalized in an intensive care unit (ICU) and 62/104(59.6%) in a sub-intensive care unit (SICU). Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), Parvovirus B19 and Human Herpesvirus 6 virus reactivations were determined by real-time PCR, and lymphocyte subpopulation counts were determined by flow cytometry. RESULTS: Among opportunistic viruses, only EBV was consistently detected. EBV DNA was observed in 40/42 (95.2%) of the ICU patients and in 51/61 (83.6%) of the SICU patients. Comparing the two groups of patients, the EBV DNA median level among ICU patients was significantly higher than that observed in SICU patients. In parallel, a significant reduction of CD8 T cell and NK count in ICU patients as compared with SICU patients was observed (p<0.05). In contrast, B cell count was significantly increased in ICU patients (p=0.0172). CONCLUSIONS: A correlation between reduced CD8+ T cells and NK counts, EBV DNA levels and COVID-19 severity was observed. Other opportunistic viral infections were not observed. The relationship between EBV load and COVID-19 severity should be further evaluated in longitudinal studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Epstein-Barr Virus Infections/virology , Herpesvirus 4, Human/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/virology , DNA, Viral/analysis , Epstein-Barr Virus Infections/complications , Epstein-Barr Virus Infections/diagnosis , Female , Herpesvirus 4, Human/genetics , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Killer Cells, Natural/virology , Lymphocyte Count , Lymphocyte Subsets/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Opportunistic Infections , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
11.
Clin Immunol ; 218: 108516, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-973956

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is posing a huge threat to human health worldwide. We aim to investigate the immune status of CD8+ T and NK cells in COVID-19 patients. METHODS: The count and immune status of lymphocytes were detected by flow cytometry in 32 COVID-19 patients and 18 healthy individuals. RESULTS: As the disease progression in COVID-19 patients, CD8+ T and NK cells were significantly decreased in absolute number but highly activated. After patients' condition improved, the count and immune status of CD8+ T and NK cells restored to some extent. GrA+CD8+ T and perforin+ NK cells had good sensitivity and specificity for assisting diagnosis of COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: As the disease progression, the declined lymphocytes in COVID-19 patients might lead to compensatory activation of CD8+ T and NK cells. GrA+CD8+ T and perforin+ NK cells might be used as meaningful indicators for assisting diagnosis of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Granzymes/genetics , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Perforin/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Biomarkers/blood , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/pathology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Case-Control Studies , China , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Disease Progression , Female , Gene Expression , Granzymes/blood , Granzymes/immunology , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural/pathology , Killer Cells, Natural/virology , Lymphocyte Activation , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Perforin/blood , Perforin/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Prognosis , ROC Curve , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/pathology , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/virology
12.
Pathog Dis ; 79(1)2021 01 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-963763

ABSTRACT

A vast proportion of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) individuals remain asymptomatic and can shed severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV) type 2 virus to transmit the infection, which also explains the exponential increase in the number of COVID-19 cases globally. Furthermore, the rate of recovery from clinical COVID-19 in certain pockets of the globe is surprisingly high. Based on published reports and available literature, here, we speculated a few immunovirological mechanisms as to why a vast majority of individuals remain asymptomatic similar to exotic animal (bats and pangolins) reservoirs that remain refractile to disease development despite carrying a huge load of diverse insidious viral species, and whether such evolutionary advantage would unveil therapeutic strategies against COVID-19 infection in humans. Understanding the unique mechanisms that exotic animal species employ to achieve viral control, as well as inflammatory regulation, appears to hold key clues to the development of therapeutic versatility against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/immunology , Receptors, KIR/immunology , Receptors, NK Cell Lectin-Like/immunology , Zoonoses/immunology , Animals , Animals, Exotic/virology , Asymptomatic Diseases , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Chiroptera/virology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/genetics , Cytokine Release Syndrome/prevention & control , Cytokine Release Syndrome/virology , Disease Reservoirs , Eutheria/virology , Gene Expression , Host Specificity , Humans , Immune Tolerance , Immunity, Innate , Interferon-beta/deficiency , Interferon-beta/genetics , Interferon-beta/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/virology , Monocytes/immunology , Monocytes/virology , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/deficiency , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/genetics , Receptors, KIR/deficiency , Receptors, KIR/genetics , Receptors, NK Cell Lectin-Like/deficiency , Receptors, NK Cell Lectin-Like/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/deficiency , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/genetics , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/immunology , Zoonoses/genetics , Zoonoses/transmission , Zoonoses/virology
13.
Eur J Clin Invest ; 51(1): e13443, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-901035

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To reveal detailed histopathological changes, virus distributions, immunologic properties and multi-omic features caused by SARS-CoV-2 in the explanted lungs from the world's first successful lung transplantation of a COVID-19 patient. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 36 samples were collected from the lungs. Histopathological features and virus distribution were observed by optical microscope and transmission electron microscope (TEM). Immune cells were detected by flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry. Transcriptome and proteome approaches were used to investigate main biological processes involved in COVID-19-associated pulmonary fibrosis. RESULTS: The histopathological changes of the lung tissues were characterized by extensive pulmonary interstitial fibrosis and haemorrhage. Viral particles were observed in the cytoplasm of macrophages. CD3+ CD4- T cells, neutrophils, NK cells, γ/δ T cells and monocytes, but not B cells, were abundant in the lungs. Higher levels of proinflammatory cytokines iNOS, IL-1ß and IL-6 were in the area of mild fibrosis. Multi-omics analyses revealed a total of 126 out of 20,356 significant different transcription and 114 out of 8,493 protein expression in lung samples with mild and severe fibrosis, most of which were related to fibrosis and inflammation. CONCLUSIONS: Our results provide novel insight that the significant neutrophil/ CD3+ CD4- T cell/ macrophage activation leads to cytokine storm and severe fibrosis in the lungs of COVID-19 patient and may contribute to a better understanding of COVID-19 pathogenesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Hemorrhage/pathology , Lung Transplantation , Lung/pathology , Lymph Nodes/pathology , Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , B-Lymphocytes/pathology , B-Lymphocytes/ultrastructure , B-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/surgery , Chromatography, Liquid , Flow Cytometry , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Interleukin-1beta/metabolism , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Killer Cells, Natural/pathology , Killer Cells, Natural/ultrastructure , Killer Cells, Natural/virology , Lung/metabolism , Lung/ultrastructure , Lung/virology , Lymph Nodes/metabolism , Lymph Nodes/ultrastructure , Lymph Nodes/virology , Macrophages, Alveolar/pathology , Macrophages, Alveolar/ultrastructure , Macrophages, Alveolar/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/pathology , Monocytes/ultrastructure , Monocytes/virology , Neutrophils/pathology , Neutrophils/ultrastructure , Neutrophils/virology , Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II/metabolism , Proteomics , Pulmonary Fibrosis/genetics , Pulmonary Fibrosis/metabolism , Pulmonary Fibrosis/surgery , RNA-Seq , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , T-Lymphocytes/pathology , T-Lymphocytes/ultrastructure , T-Lymphocytes/virology , Tandem Mass Spectrometry
16.
Immunity ; 53(4): 864-877.e5, 2020 10 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-693493

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has resulted in millions of infections, yet the role of host immune responses in early COVID-19 pathogenesis remains unclear. By investigating 17 acute and 24 convalescent patients, we found that acute SARS-CoV-2 infection resulted in broad immune cell reduction including T, natural killer, monocyte, and dendritic cells (DCs). DCs were significantly reduced with functional impairment, and ratios of conventional DCs to plasmacytoid DCs were increased among acute severe patients. Besides lymphocytopenia, although neutralizing antibodies were rapidly and abundantly generated in patients, there were delayed receptor binding domain (RBD)- and nucleocapsid protein (NP)-specific T cell responses during the first 3 weeks after symptoms onset. Moreover, acute RBD- and NP-specific T cell responses included relatively more CD4 T cells than CD8 T cells. Our findings provided evidence that impaired DCs, together with timely inverted strong antibody but weak CD8 T cell responses, could contribute to acute COVID-19 pathogenesis and have implications for vaccine development.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Diabetes Mellitus/immunology , Hypertension/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , Betacoronavirus/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/pathology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/pathology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19 , Convalescence , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Dendritic Cells/pathology , Dendritic Cells/virology , Diabetes Complications , Diabetes Mellitus/diagnosis , Diabetes Mellitus/virology , Disease Progression , Female , Humans , Hypertension/complications , Hypertension/diagnosis , Hypertension/virology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/pathology , Killer Cells, Natural/virology , Lymphocyte Activation , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/immunology , Monocytes/pathology , Monocytes/virology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
17.
Crit Rev Immunol ; 40(2): 167-171, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-664088

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) poses a great public health challenge worldwide. While studies on the effects of SARS-CoV-2 on immune cell function continue to progress, we know very little about the significance of depletion of key immune effectors by the virus in the mortality and morbidity of the disease. This commentary reviews what is known thus far about the effects of the virus on natural killer (NK) cells, the major cell type responsible for the destruction and removal of virally infected cells. It also highlights the necessity of comprehensive studies of NK cells in COVID-19 patients and animal models to better understand the role and significance of reported NK depletion and functional inactivation in disease morbidity and mortality, in the hopes of designing effective therapeutic interventions for the disease.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Antibody-Dependent Cell Cytotoxicity/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Humans , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Neutrophils/immunology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/immunology
18.
Clin Immunol ; 218: 108524, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-639598

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of SARS-CoV-2-associated pneumonia, a disease called COVID-19, has caused a pandemic worldwide. To investigate the immune responses after infection of SARS-CoV-2 in non-critical patients may help to better understand the disease progression. We collected 334 confirmed COVID-19 cases including 212 still in hospital with nucleic acid test positive on halfway for SARS-CoV-2 and 122 discharged from hospital, compared specific antibodies, immune cells, and cytokine changes between the hospitalized and discharged patients. The hospitalized patients had a longer illness time compared with discharged patients. Analysis of viral loads explained long-term or persistent infection of SARS-CoV-2, which existed with the median time of 18.5 days of the positive nucleic acid test. Serum analysis showed that the specific anti-N IgG antibody was positive in all detected patients after infection of two weeks. Neutrophils, Monocytes, NK cells, and CD4+ T cells significantly increased, while total lymphocytes and CD8+ T cells decreased from non-critical hospitalized patients after longer-term infection. Further analysis of the cytokines showed that IL-6, TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-4, and IL-10 from the hospitalized patients were significantly higher, indicating a potential of the increased CD4+ T cell differentiation.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Cardiovascular Diseases/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Diabetes Mellitus/immunology , Immunity, Innate , Lung Diseases/immunology , Neoplasms/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology , Cardiovascular Diseases/pathology , Cardiovascular Diseases/virology , China/epidemiology , Comorbidity , Convalescence , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cytokines/blood , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Diabetes Mellitus/pathology , Diabetes Mellitus/virology , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/pathology , Killer Cells, Natural/virology , Lung Diseases/epidemiology , Lung Diseases/pathology , Lung Diseases/virology , Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , Lymphocyte Subsets/pathology , Lymphocyte Subsets/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Monocytes/immunology , Monocytes/pathology , Monocytes/virology , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Neoplasms/pathology , Neoplasms/virology , Neutrophils/immunology , Neutrophils/pathology , Neutrophils/virology , Pandemics , Patient Discharge , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors , Viral Load/immunology
19.
Adv Biol Regul ; 77: 100737, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-597242

ABSTRACT

Natural killer (NK) cells are pivotal effectors of the innate immunity protecting an individual from microbes. They are the first line of defense against invading viruses, given their substantial ability to directly target infected cells without the need for specific antigen presentation. By establishing cellular networks with a variety of cell types such as dendritic cells, NK cells can also amplify and modulate antiviral adaptive immune responses. In this review, we will examine the role of NK cells in SARS-COV2 infections causing the ongoing COVID19 pandemic, keeping in mind the controversial role of NK cells specifically in viral respiratory infections and in inflammatory-driven lung damage. We discuss lessons learnt from previous coronavirus outbreaks in humans (caused by SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-COV).


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Respiratory Insufficiency/epidemiology , Acute Disease , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Gene Expression Regulation , Immunity, Innate , Interferon-gamma/genetics , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Interleukins/genetics , Interleukins/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/pathology , Killer Cells, Natural/virology , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Lymphocyte Activation , Lysosomal-Associated Membrane Protein 1/genetics , Lysosomal-Associated Membrane Protein 1/immunology , NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily C/genetics , NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily C/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Respiratory Insufficiency/complications , Respiratory Insufficiency/diagnosis , Respiratory Insufficiency/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/genetics , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/immunology
20.
J Med Virol ; 92(10): 2216-2220, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-619029

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2-induced direct cytopathic effects against type I and II pneumocytes mediate lung damage. Krebs von den Lungen-6 (KL-6) is mainly produced by damaged or regenerating alveolar type II pneumocytes. This preliminary study analyzed serum concentrations of KL-6 in patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to verify its potential as a prognostic biomarker of severity. Twenty-two patients (median age [interquartile range] 63 [59-68] years, 16 males) with COVID-19 were enrolled prospectively. Patients were divided into mild-moderate and severe groups, according to respiratory impairment and clinical management. KL-6 serum concentrations and lymphocyte subset were obtained. Peripheral natural killer (NK) cells/µL were significantly higher in nonsevere patients than in the severe group (P = .0449) and the best cut-off value was 119 cells/µL. KL-6 serum concentrations were significantly higher in severe patients than the nonsevere group (P = .0118). Receiver operating characteristic analysis distinguished severe and nonsevere patients according to KL-6 serum levels and the best cut-off value was 406.5 U/mL. NK cell analysis and assay of KL-6 in serum can help identify severe COVID-19 patients. Increased KL-6 serum concentrations were observed in patients with severe pulmonary involvement, revealing a prognostic value and supporting the potential usefulness of KL-6 measurement to evaluate COVID-19 patients' prognosis.


Subject(s)
Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Mucin-1/blood , Aged , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/virology , Lung/immunology , Lung/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prognosis , ROC Curve , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
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