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Viruses ; 13(11)2021 11 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1542790


The detailed characterization of human γδ T lymphocyte differentiation at the single-cell transcriptomic (scRNAseq) level in tumors and patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) requires both a reference differentiation trajectory of γδ T cells and a robust mapping method for additional γδ T lymphocytes. Here, we incepted such a method to characterize thousands of γδ T lymphocytes from (n = 95) patients with cancer or adult and pediatric COVID-19 disease. We found that cancer patients with human papillomavirus-positive head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and Epstein-Barr virus-positive Hodgkin's lymphoma have γδ tumor-infiltrating T lymphocytes that are more prone to recirculate from the tumor and avoid exhaustion. In COVID-19, both TCRVγ9 and TCRVγnon9 subsets of γδ T lymphocytes relocalize from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) to the infected lung tissue, where their advanced differentiation, tissue residency, and exhaustion reflect T cell activation. Although severe COVID-19 disease increases both recruitment and exhaustion of γδ T lymphocytes in infected lung lesions but not blood, the anti-IL6R therapy with Tocilizumab promotes γδ T lymphocyte differentiation in patients with COVID-19. PBMC from pediatric patients with acute COVID-19 disease display similar γδ T cell lymphopenia to that seen in adult patients. However, blood γδ T cells from children with the COVID-19-related multisystem inflammatory syndrome are not lymphodepleted, but they are differentiated as in healthy PBMC. These findings suggest that some virus-induced memory γδ T lymphocytes durably persist in the blood of adults and could subsequently infiltrate and recirculate in tumors.

COVID-19/immunology , Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating/immunology , Neoplasms/immunology , RNA-Seq , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta/immunology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/metabolism , Adult , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology , COVID-19/complications , Cell Differentiation , Child , Head and Neck Neoplasms/immunology , Head and Neck Neoplasms/virology , Herpesvirus 4, Human/isolation & purification , Hodgkin Disease/immunology , Hodgkin Disease/virology , Humans , Lung/immunology , Lymphocyte Activation , Lymphocyte Count , Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating/metabolism , Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating/physiology , Neoplasms/virology , Papillomaviridae/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index , Single-Cell Analysis , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/immunology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/physiology
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(37)2021 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1373495


The hallmark of severe COVID-19 is an uncontrolled inflammatory response, resulting from poorly understood immunological dysfunction. We hypothesized that perturbations in FoxP3+ T regulatory cells (Treg), key enforcers of immune homeostasis, contribute to COVID-19 pathology. Cytometric and transcriptomic profiling revealed a distinct Treg phenotype in severe COVID-19 patients, with an increase in Treg proportions and intracellular levels of the lineage-defining transcription factor FoxP3, correlating with poor outcomes. These Tregs showed a distinct transcriptional signature, with overexpression of several suppressive effectors, but also proinflammatory molecules like interleukin (IL)-32, and a striking similarity to tumor-infiltrating Tregs that suppress antitumor responses. Most marked during acute severe disease, these traits persisted somewhat in convalescent patients. A screen for candidate agents revealed that IL-6 and IL-18 may individually contribute different facets of these COVID-19-linked perturbations. These results suggest that Tregs may play nefarious roles in COVID-19, by suppressing antiviral T cell responses during the severe phase of the disease, and by a direct proinflammatory role.

COVID-19/etiology , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory/physiology , Adult , Aged , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , Female , Forkhead Transcription Factors/genetics , Forkhead Transcription Factors/metabolism , Gene Expression Profiling , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Inflammation/metabolism , Inflammation/virology , Interleukin-18/genetics , Interleukin-18/metabolism , Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit/genetics , Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit/metabolism , Interleukin-6/genetics , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating/physiology , Male , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory/virology , Transcription Factors/genetics , Transcription Factors/metabolism