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1.
Crit Care ; 26(1): 155, 2022 05 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1951297

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A dysregulated immune response is emerging as a key feature of critical illness in COVID-19. Neutrophils are key components of early innate immunity that, if not tightly regulated, contribute to uncontrolled systemic inflammation. We sought to decipher the role of neutrophil phenotypes, functions, and homeostasis in COVID-19 disease severity and outcome. METHODS: By using flow cytometry, this longitudinal study compares peripheral whole-blood neutrophils from 90 COVID-19 ICU patients with those of 22 SARS-CoV-2-negative patients hospitalized for severe community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and 38 healthy controls. We also assessed correlations between these phenotypic and functional indicators and markers of endothelial damage as well as disease severity. RESULTS: At ICU admission, the circulating neutrophils of the COVID-19 patients showed continuous basal hyperactivation not seen in CAP patients, associated with higher circulating levels of soluble E- and P-selectin, which reflect platelet and endothelial activation. Furthermore, COVID-19 patients had expanded aged-angiogenic and reverse transmigrated neutrophil subsets-both involved in endothelial dysfunction and vascular inflammation. Simultaneously, COVID-19 patients had significantly lower levels of neutrophil oxidative burst in response to bacterial formyl peptide. Moreover patients dying of COVID-19 had significantly higher expansion of aged-angiogenic neutrophil subset and greater impairment of oxidative burst response than survivors. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that neutrophil exhaustion may be involved in the pathogenesis of severe COVID-19 and identify angiogenic neutrophils as a potentially harmful subset involved in fatal outcome.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Community-Acquired Infections , Pneumonia , Aged , Homeostasis , Humans , Inflammation , Longitudinal Studies , Neutrophils/physiology , Pneumonia/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
2.
Elife ; 102021 11 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1534519

ABSTRACT

Human serum albumin (HSA) is the frontline antioxidant protein in blood with established anti-inflammatory and anticoagulation functions. Here, we report that COVID-19-induced oxidative stress inflicts structural damages to HSA and is linked with mortality outcome in critically ill patients. We recruited 39 patients who were followed up for a median of 12.5 days (1-35 days), among them 23 had died. Analyzing blood samples from patients and healthy individuals (n=11), we provide evidence that neutrophils are major sources of oxidative stress in blood and that hydrogen peroxide is highly accumulated in plasmas of non-survivors. We then analyzed electron paramagnetic resonance spectra of spin-labeled fatty acids (SLFAs) bound with HSA in whole blood of control, survivor, and non-survivor subjects (n=10-11). Non-survivors' HSA showed dramatically reduced protein packing order parameter, faster SLFA correlational rotational time, and smaller S/W ratio (strong-binding/weak-binding sites within HSA), all reflecting remarkably fluid protein microenvironments. Following loading/unloading of 16-DSA, we show that the transport function of HSA may be impaired in severe patients. Stratified at the means, Kaplan-Meier survival analysis indicated that lower values of S/W ratio and accumulated H2O2 in plasma significantly predicted in-hospital mortality (S/W≤0.15, 81.8% (18/22) vs. S/W>0.15, 18.2% (4/22), p=0.023; plasma [H2O2]>8.6 µM, 65.2% (15/23) vs. 34.8% (8/23), p=0.043). When we combined these two parameters as the ratio ((S/W)/[H2O2]) to derive a risk score, the resultant risk score lower than the mean (<0.019) predicted mortality with high fidelity (95.5% (21/22) vs. 4.5% (1/22), log-rank χ2=12.1, p=4.9×10-4). The derived parameters may provide a surrogate marker to assess new candidates for COVID-19 treatments targeting HSA replacements and/or oxidative stress.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Neutrophils/physiology , Oxidative Stress , Serum Albumin/adverse effects , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Case-Control Studies , Egypt/epidemiology , Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy , Female , Humans , Hydrogen Peroxide/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Time Factors
4.
Front Immunol ; 12: 694243, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1337641

ABSTRACT

The immune response to COVID-19 infection is variable. How COVID-19 influences clinical outcomes in hospitalized patients needs to be understood through readily obtainable biological materials, such as blood. We hypothesized that a high-density analysis of host (and pathogen) blood RNA in hospitalized patients with SARS-CoV-2 would provide mechanistic insights into the heterogeneity of response amongst COVID-19 patients when combined with advanced multidimensional bioinformatics for RNA. We enrolled 36 hospitalized COVID-19 patients (11 died) and 15 controls, collecting 74 blood PAXgene RNA tubes at multiple timepoints, one early and in 23 patients after treatment with various therapies. Total RNAseq was performed at high-density, with >160 million paired-end, 150 base pair reads per sample, representing the most sequenced bases per sample for any publicly deposited blood PAXgene tube study. There are 770 genes significantly altered in the blood of COVID-19 patients associated with antiviral defense, mitotic cell cycle, type I interferon signaling, and severe viral infections. Immune genes activated include those associated with neutrophil mechanisms, secretory granules, and neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), along with decreased gene expression in lymphocytes and clonal expansion of the acquired immune response. Therapies such as convalescent serum and dexamethasone reduced many of the blood expression signatures of COVID-19. Severely ill or deceased patients are marked by various secondary infections, unique gene patterns, dysregulated innate response, and peripheral organ damage not otherwise found in the cohort. High-density transcriptomic data offers shared gene expression signatures, providing unique insights into the immune system and individualized signatures of patients that could be used to understand the patient's clinical condition. Whole blood transcriptomics provides patient-level insights for immune activation, immune repertoire, and secondary infections that can further guide precision treatment.


Subject(s)
Blood Proteins/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Interferon Type I/genetics , Neutrophils/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Disease Progression , Female , Gene Expression Profiling , Hospitalization , Humans , Immunity , Immunity, Innate , Male , Middle Aged , Sequence Analysis, RNA , Transcriptome , Young Adult
5.
Cells ; 10(6)2021 06 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1270009

ABSTRACT

Neutrophils are the most abundant circulating innate immune cells and comprise the first immune defense line, as they are the most rapidly recruited cells at sites of infection or inflammation. Their main microbicidal mechanisms are degranulation, phagocytosis, cytokine secretion and the formation of extracellular traps. Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are a microbicidal mechanism that involves neutrophil death. Since their discovery, in vitro and in vivo neutrophils have been challenged with a range of stimuli capable of inducing or inhibiting NET formation, with the objective to understand its function and regulation in health and disease. These networks composed of DNA and granular components are capable of immobilizing and killing pathogens. They comprise enzymes such as myeloperoxidase, elastase, cathepsin G, acid hydrolases and cationic peptides, all with antimicrobial and antifungal activity. Therefore, the excessive formation of NETs can also lead to tissue damage and promote local and systemic inflammation. Based on this concept, in this review, we focus on the role of NETs in different infectious and inflammatory diseases of the mucosal epithelia and skin.


Subject(s)
Extracellular Traps/physiology , Mucous Membrane/immunology , Skin Diseases/immunology , Epithelial Cells/immunology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate/physiology , Neutrophils/immunology , Neutrophils/physiology , Skin Diseases/pathology
6.
Epidemiol Infect ; 149: e81, 2021 03 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1189172

ABSTRACT

To assess the relationship between the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and related parameters to the severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms. Clinical data from 38 COVID-19 patients who were diagnosed, treated and discharged from the Qishan Hospital in Yantai over the period from January to February 2020 were analysed. NLR and procalcitonin (PCT) were determined in the first and fourth weeks after their admission, along with the clinical characteristics and laboratory test results of these patients. Based on results as obtained on the first and fourth weeks after admission, five indices consisting of NLR, white blood cells, neutrophils, lymphocytes (LY) and monocytes (MON) were selected to generate receiver operating characteristic curves, while optimal cutoff values, sensitivities and specificities were obtained according to the Yuden index. Statistically significant differences in neutrophils, LY and the NLR were present in the severe vs. moderate COVID-19 group from the first to the fourth week of their hospitalisation. The cut-off value of NLR for predicting the severity of COVID-19 was 4.425, with a sensitivity of 0.855 and a specificity of 0.979. A statistically significant positive correlation was present between PCT and NLR in the severe group as determined within the first week of admission. NLR can serve as a predictor of COVID-19 disease severity as patients' progress from the first to the fourth week of their hospitalisation. The statistically significant positive correlation between levels of NLR and PCT in severe patients indicated that increases in NLR were accompanied with gradual increases in PCT.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Lymphocytes/physiology , Neutrophils/physiology , Procalcitonin/blood , Adult , Aged , China , Female , Humans , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , ROC Curve , Retrospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index
7.
Commun Biol ; 4(1): 290, 2021 03 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1118820

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 virus has infected more than 92 million people worldwide resulting in the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Using a rhesus macaque model of SARS-CoV-2 infection, we have characterized the transcriptional signatures induced in the lungs of juvenile and old macaques following infection. Genes associated with Interferon (IFN) signaling, neutrophil degranulation and innate immune pathways are significantly induced in macaque infected lungs, while pathways associated with collagen formation are downregulated, as also seen in lungs of macaques with tuberculosis. In COVID-19, increasing age is a significant risk factor for poor prognosis and increased mortality. Type I IFN and Notch signaling pathways are significantly upregulated in lungs of juvenile infected macaques when compared with old infected macaques. These results are corroborated with increased peripheral neutrophil counts and neutrophil lymphocyte ratio in older individuals with COVID-19 disease. Together, our transcriptomic studies have delineated disease pathways that improve our understanding of the immunopathogenesis of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Cell Degranulation , Interferons/physiology , Neutrophils/physiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Animals , CD36 Antigens/physiology , COVID-19/etiology , Collagen/metabolism , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Lung/metabolism , Macaca mulatta , Male , Middle Aged , Receptors, Notch/physiology , Signal Transduction/physiology , Transforming Growth Factor beta/physiology , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A/blood , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A/physiology
8.
Crit Care ; 25(1): 50, 2021 02 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1068599

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although the immune function of neutrophils in sepsis has been well described, the heterogeneity of neutrophils remains unclear during the process of sepsis. METHODS: In this study, we used a mouse CLP model to simulate the clinical scenario of patients with sepsis, neutrophil infiltration, abnormal distribution and dysfunction was analyzed. LPS was used to stimulate neutrophils in vitro to simulate sepsis; single-cell gene sequencing technology was used to explore the immunological typing. To explore the immunological function of immunosuppressive neutrophils, PD-L1 knockout neutrophils were cocultured with lymphocytes from wild-type mice. RESULTS: We found that neutrophils presented variant dysfunction at the late stage of sepsis, including inhibition of apoptosis, seriously damaged chemotaxis and extensive infiltration into the tissues. Single-cell RNA sequencing revealed that multiple subclusters of neutrophils were differentiated after LPS stimulation. The two-dimensional spatial distribution analysis showed that Foxp3+ T cells were much closer to Ly-6G than the CD4+ and CD8+ cells, indicating that infiltrated neutrophils may play immunomodulatory effect on surrounding T-regs. Further observations showed that LPS mediates PD-L1 over expression through p38α-MSK1/-MK2 pathway in neutrophils. The subsets of highly expressed PD-L1 exert immunosuppressive effect under direct contact mode, including inhibition of T cell activation and induction of T cell apoptosis and trans-differentiation. CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, our data identify a previously unknown immunosuppressive subset of neutrophils as inhibitory neutrophil in order to more accurately describe the phenotype and characteristics of these cells in sepsis.


Subject(s)
Genetic Heterogeneity , Neutrophils/classification , Sepsis/blood , Animals , Disease Models, Animal , Leukocyte Count/methods , Leukocyte Count/statistics & numerical data , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Neutrophils/physiology , Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Sepsis/genetics
9.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis ; 15(1): e0009019, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1013203

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), a disease caused by the betacoronavirus Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has only recently emerged, while Mycobacterium leprae, the etiological agent of leprosy, has endured for more than 2,000 years. As soon as the initial reports of COVID-19 became public, several entities, including the Brazilian Leprosy Society, warned about the possible impact of COVID-19 on leprosy patients. It has been verified that COVID-19 carriers can be either asymptomatic or present varying degrees of severe respiratory failure in association with cytokine storm and death, among other diseases. Severe COVID-19 patients show increased numbers of neutrophils and serum neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) markers, in addition to alterations in the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR). The absence of antiviral drugs and the speed of COVID-19 transmission have had a major impact on public health systems worldwide, leading to the almost total collapse of many national and local healthcare services. Leprosy, an infectious neurological and dermatological illness, is widely considered to be the most frequent cause of physical disabilities globally. The chronic clinical course of the disease may be interrupted by acute inflammatory episodes, named leprosy reactions. These serious immunological complications, characterized by cytokine storms, are responsible for amplifying peripheral nerve damage. From 30% to 40% of all multibacillary leprosy (MB) patients experience erythema nodosum leprosum (ENL), a neutrophilic immune-mediated condition. ENL patients often present these same COVID-19-like symptoms, including high levels of serum NET markers, altered NLR, and neutrophilia. Moreover, the consequences of a M. leprae-SARS-CoV-2 coinfection have yet to be fully investigated. The goal of the present viewpoint is to describe some of the similarities that may be found between COVID-19 and leprosy disease in the context of neutrophilic biology.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Leprosy/immunology , Neutrophils/physiology , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/complications , Humans , Leprosy/complications
10.
J Am Soc Nephrol ; 31(2): 297-307, 2020 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-992922

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Myeloperoxidase-specific ANCA (MPO-ANCA) are implicated in the pathogenesis of vasculitis and GN. Kinins play a major role during acute inflammation by regulating vasodilatation and vascular permeability and by modulating adhesion and migration of leukocytes. Kinin system activation occurs in patients with ANCA vasculitis. Previous studies in animal models of GN and sclerosing kidney diseases have demonstrated protective effects of bradykinin receptor 1 (B1R) blockade via interference with myeloid cell trafficking. METHODS: To investigate the role of B1R in a murine model of MPO-ANCA GN, we evaluated effects of B1R genetic ablation and pharmacologic blockade. We used bone marrow chimeric mice to determine the role of B1R in bone marrow-derived cells (leukocytes) versus nonbone marrow-derived cells. We elucidated mechanisms of B1R effects using in vitro assays for MPO-ANCA-induced neutrophil activation, endothelial adherence, endothelial transmigration, and neutrophil adhesion molecule surface display. RESULTS: B1R deficiency or blockade prevented or markedly reduced ANCA-induced glomerular crescents, necrosis, and leukocyte influx in mice. B1R was not required for in vitro MPO-ANCA-induced neutrophil activation. Leukocyte B1R deficiency, but not endothelial B1R deficiency, decreased glomerular neutrophil infiltration induced by MPO-ANCA in vivo. B1R enhanced ANCA-induced neutrophil endothelial adhesion and transmigration in vitro. ANCA-activated neutrophils exhibited changes in Mac-1 and LFA-1, important regulators of neutrophil endothelial adhesion and transmigration: ANCA-activated neutrophils increased surface expression of Mac-1 and increased shedding of LFA-1, whereas B1R blockade reduced these effects. CONCLUSIONS: The leukocyte B1R plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of MPO-ANCA-induced GN in a mouse model by modulating neutrophil-endothelial interaction. B1R blockade may have potential as a therapy for ANCA GN and vasculitis.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic/immunology , Glomerulonephritis/etiology , Peroxidase/immunology , Receptor, Bradykinin B1/physiology , Animals , Bradykinin B1 Receptor Antagonists/therapeutic use , Cell Adhesion , Disease Models, Animal , Endothelial Cells/physiology , Glomerulonephritis/drug therapy , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Neutrophils/physiology
11.
Life Sci ; 264: 118617, 2021 Jan 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-880558

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is associated with significant morbidity and high levels of mortality. This paper describes the processes involved in the pathophysiology of COVID-19 from the initial infection and subsequent destruction of type II alveolar epithelial cells by SARS-CoV-2 and culminating in the development of ARDS. MAIN BODY: The activation of alveolar cells and alveolar macrophages leads to the release of large quantities of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines and their translocation into the pulmonary vasculature. The presence of these inflammatory mediators in the vascular compartment leads to the activation of vascular endothelial cells platelets and neutrophils and the subsequent formation of platelet neutrophil complexes. These complexes in concert with activated endothelial cells interact to create a state of immunothrombosis. The consequence of immunothrombosis include hypercoagulation, accelerating inflammation, fibrin deposition, migration of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) producing neutrophils into the alveolar apace, activation of the NLRP3 inflammazome, increased alveolar macrophage destruction and massive tissue damage by pyroptosis and necroptosis Therapeutic combinations aimed at ameliorating immunothrombosis and preventing the development of severe COVID-19 are discussed in detail.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/complications , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Thrombosis/complications , Thrombosis/physiopathology , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/physiology , Blood Platelets/physiology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cytokines/physiology , Endothelial Cells/physiology , Humans , Macrophages, Alveolar/physiology , Neutrophils/physiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/pathology , Thrombosis/immunology
13.
Clin Exp Med ; 21(1): 15-28, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-684281

ABSTRACT

Acute viral respiratory infections are the main infectious disease in the world. In 2020, a new disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), became a global pandemic. The immune response to the virus depends on factors such as genetics, age and physical state, and its main input receptor is the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. The practice of physical exercises acts as a modulator of the immune system. During and after physical exercise, pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines are released, lymphocyte circulation increases, as well as cell recruitment. Such practice has an effect on the lower incidence, intensity of symptoms and mortality in viral infections observed in people who practice physical activity regularly, and its correct execution must be considered to avoid damage. The initial response is given mainly by type I interferons (IFN-I), which drive the action macrophages and lymphocytes, followed by lymphocyte action. A suppression of the IFN-I response has been noted in COVID-19. Severe conditions have been associated with storms of pro-inflammatory cytokines and lymphopenia, as well as circulatory changes and virus dispersion to other organs. The practice of physical activities strengthens the immune system, suggesting a benefit in the response to viral communicable diseases. Thus, regular practice of adequate intensity is suggested as an auxiliary tool in strengthening and preparing the immune system for COVID-19. Further studies are needed to associate physical exercise with SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Exercise/physiology , Immune System/physiology , COVID-19/virology , Cytokines/immunology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Neutrophils/physiology
14.
Med Hypotheses ; 144: 109968, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-548596

ABSTRACT

NETosis, being an alternative form of cell death is the creation of web-like chromatin decondensates by suitably primed neutrophils as a response to stimulus aimed at containing and eliminating the same. In certain situations, it causes more harm than benefit in the form of bystander damage directly or via activation of autoimmune mechanisms. Such pathophysiology finds evidence in both Periodontal disease and COVID-19. Coupled with impaired removal, NETs have been implicated in both these disease forms to promote a state of inflammation and be a source of constant harm to the tissues involved. This potentially forms groundwork to implicate Periodontal disease as predisposing towards adverse COVID-19 related outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Extracellular Traps/immunology , Periodontal Diseases/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/cytology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/physiopathology , Humans , Models, Immunological , Neutrophils/physiology , Pandemics , Periodontal Diseases/physiopathology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology
15.
Int Immunopharmacol ; 84: 106504, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-76298

ABSTRACT

AIM: To accumulate evidence that indicated the key role played by virus-triggered inflammation in the 2019-novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) which emerged in Wuhan City and rapidly spread throughout China. METHODS: Age, neutrophil(NEU)-to-lymphocyte (LYM) ratio (NLR), lymphocyte-to-monocyte (MON) ratio, platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR), and C-reactive protein (CRP) of 93 patients with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 were investigated and compared. The receiver operating characteristic curve was applied to determine the thresholds for five bio-markers, and their prognostic values were assessed via the Kaplan-Meier curve and multivariate COX regression models. RESULTS: The median age was 46.4 years old, and 37cases were females. A total of 27.8% of patients had been to Wuhan, and 73.1% had contacted with people from Wuhan. Fever (83.8%) and cough (70.9%) were the two most common symptoms. Elevated NLR and age were significantly associated with illness severity. The binary logistic analysis identified elevated NLR (hazard risk [HR] 2.46, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.98-4.57) and age (HR 2.52, 95% CI 1.65-4.83) as independent factors for poor clinical outcome of COVID-19. NLR exhibited the largest area under the curve at 0.841, with the highest specificity (63.6%) and sensitivity (88%). CONCLUSIONS: Elevated age and NLR can be considered independent biomarkers for indicating poor clinical outcomes.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Blood Platelets/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Lymphocytes/physiology , Monocytes/physiology , Neutrophils/physiology , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Adult , C-Reactive Protein/analysis , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Epidemics , Female , Humans , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Prognosis , ROC Curve , SARS-CoV-2
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