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2.
Oxid Med Cell Longev ; 2022: 5397733, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1635531

ABSTRACT

The infection of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) seriously threatens human life. It is urgent to generate effective and safe specific antibodies (Abs) against the pathogenic elements of COVID-19. Mice were immunized with SARS-CoV-2 spike protein antigens: S ectodomain-1 (CoV, in short) mixed in Alum adjuvant for 2 times and boosted with CoV weekly for 6 times. A portion of mice were treated with Maotai liquor (MTL, in short) or/and heat stress (HS) together with CoV boosting. We observed that the anti-CoV Ab was successfully induced in mice that received the CoV/Alum immunization for 2 times. However, upon boosting with CoV, the CoV Ab production diminished progressively; spleen CoV Ab-producing plasma cell counts reduced, in which substantial CoV-specific Ab-producing plasma cells (sPC) were apoptotic. Apparent oxidative stress signs were observed in sPCs; the results were reproduced by exposing sPCs to CoV in the culture. The presence of MTL or/and HS prevented the CoV-induced oxidative stress in sPCs and promoted and stabilized the CoV Ab production in mice in re-exposure to CoV. In summary, CoV/Alum immunization can successfully induce CoV Ab production in mice that declines upon reexposure to CoV. Concurrent administration of MTL/HS stabilizes and promotes the CoV Ab production in mice.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , Apoptosis , COVID-19/immunology , Plasma Cells/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Superoxide Dismutase-1/physiology , Adjuvants, Immunologic , Alcoholic Beverages , Alum Compounds , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/physiology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/enzymology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Heat-Shock Response , Immunization, Secondary , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Janus Kinase 2/physiology , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Oxidative Stress , Plasma Cells/drug effects , Plasma Cells/pathology , Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism , STAT1 Transcription Factor/physiology , Signal Transduction , Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination
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.
Immunity ; 54(12): 2772-2783.e5, 2021 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1517288

ABSTRACT

Humoral immunity is essential for protection against pathogens, emphasized by the prevention of 2-3 million deaths worldwide annually by childhood immunizations. Long-term protective immunity is dependent on the continual production of neutralizing antibodies by the subset of long-lived plasma cells (LLPCs). LLPCs are not intrinsically long-lived, but require interaction with LLPC niche stromal cells for survival. However, it remains unclear which and how these interactions sustain LLPC survival and long-term humoral immunity. We now have found that the immunosuppressive enzyme indoleamine 2,3- dioxygenase 1 (IDO1) is required to sustain antibody responses and LLPC survival. Activation of IDO1 occurs upon the engagement of CD80/CD86 on the niche dendritic cells by CD28 on LLPC. Kynurenine, the product of IDO1 catabolism, activates the aryl hydrocarbon receptor in LLPC, reinforcing CD28 expression and survival signaling. These findings expand the immune function of IDO1 and uncover a novel pathway for sustaining LLPC survival and humoral immunity.


Subject(s)
Dendritic Cells/immunology , Indoleamine-Pyrrole 2,3,-Dioxygenase/metabolism , Plasma Cells/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , B7-1 Antigen/metabolism , CD28 Antigens/metabolism , Cell Self Renewal , Cell Survival , Cells, Cultured , Female , Immunity, Humoral , Immunologic Memory , Indoleamine-Pyrrole 2,3,-Dioxygenase/genetics , Mice , Mice, Knockout
5.
Front Immunol ; 12: 769059, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1505989

ABSTRACT

The prognosis of severe COVID-19 patients has motivated research communities to uncover mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis also on a regional level. In this work, we aimed to understand the immunological dynamics of severe COVID-19 patients with different degrees of illness, and upon long-term recovery. We analyzed immune cellular subsets and SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody isotypes of 66 COVID-19 patients admitted to the Hospital Clínico Universidad de Chile, which were categorized according to the WHO ten-point clinical progression score. These included 29 moderate patients (score 4-5) and 37 severe patients under either high flow oxygen nasal cannula (18 patients, score 6), or invasive mechanical ventilation (19 patients, score 7-9), plus 28 convalescent patients and 28 healthy controls. Furthermore, six severe patients that recovered from the disease were longitudinally followed over 300 days. Our data indicate that severe COVID-19 patients display increased frequencies of plasmablasts, activated T cells and SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies compared to moderate and convalescent patients. Remarkably, within the severe COVID-19 group, patients rapidly progressing into invasive mechanical ventilation show higher frequencies of plasmablasts, monocytes, eosinophils, Th1 cells and SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG than patients under high flow oxygen nasal cannula. These findings demonstrate that severe COVID-19 patients progressing into invasive mechanical ventilation show a distinctive type of immunity. In addition, patients that recover from severe COVID-19 begin to regain normal proportions of immune cells 100 days after hospital discharge and maintain high levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG throughout the study, which is an indicative sign of immunological memory. Thus, this work can provide useful information to better understand the diverse outcomes of severe COVID-19 pathogenesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Eosinophils/immunology , Plasma Cells/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Convalescence , Disease Progression , Female , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunologic Memory , Male , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index
6.
Cell Rep ; 37(2): 109823, 2021 10 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433047

ABSTRACT

Although both infections and vaccines induce memory B cell (MBC) populations that participate in secondary immune responses, the MBCs generated in each case can differ. Here, we compare SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor binding domain (S1-RBD)-specific primary MBCs that form in response to infection or a single mRNA vaccination. Both primary MBC populations have similar frequencies in the blood and respond to a second S1-RBD exposure by rapidly producing plasmablasts with an abundant immunoglobulin (Ig)A+ subset and secondary MBCs that are mostly IgG+ and cross-react with the B.1.351 variant. However, infection-induced primary MBCs have better antigen-binding capacity and generate more plasmablasts and secondary MBCs of the classical and atypical subsets than do vaccine-induced primary MBCs. Our results suggest that infection-induced primary MBCs have undergone more affinity maturation than vaccine-induced primary MBCs and produce more robust secondary responses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Plasma Cells/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , B-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , Cross Reactions/immunology , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunization/methods , Immunologic Memory , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Middle Aged , RNA, Messenger/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vaccination/methods , Vaccines/immunology
7.
Front Immunol ; 12: 654587, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1348485

ABSTRACT

Background: SARS-CoV-2 occurs in the majority of children as COVID-19, without symptoms or with a paucisymptomatic respiratory syndrome, but a small proportion of children develop the systemic Multi Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C), characterized by persistent fever and systemic hyperinflammation, with some clinical features resembling Kawasaki Disease (KD). Objective: With this study we aimed to shed new light on the pathogenesis of these two SARS-CoV-2-related clinical manifestations. Methods: We investigated lymphocyte and dendritic cells subsets, chemokine/cytokine profiles and evaluated the neutrophil activity mediators, myeloperoxidase (MPO), and reactive oxygen species (ROS), in 10 children with COVID-19 and 9 with MIS-C at the time of hospital admission. Results: Patients with MIS-C showed higher plasma levels of C reactive protein (CRP), MPO, IL-6, and of the pro-inflammatory chemokines CXCL8 and CCL2 than COVID-19 children. In addition, they displayed higher levels of the chemokines CXCL9 and CXCL10, mainly induced by IFN-γ. By contrast, we detected IFN-α in plasma of children with COVID-19, but not in patients with MIS-C. This observation was consistent with the increase of ISG15 and IFIT1 mRNAs in cells of COVID-19 patients, while ISG15 and IFIT1 mRNA were detected in MIS-C at levels comparable to healthy controls. Moreover, quantification of the number of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs), which constitute the main source of IFN-α, showed profound depletion of this subset in MIS-C, but not in COVID-19. Conclusions: Our results show a pattern of immune response which is suggestive of type I interferon activation in COVID-19 children, probably related to a recent interaction with the virus, while in MIS-C the immune response is characterized by elevation of the inflammatory cytokines/chemokines IL-6, CCL2, and CXCL8 and of the chemokines CXCL9 and CXL10, which are markers of an active Th1 type immune response. We believe that these immunological events, together with neutrophil activation, might be crucial in inducing the multisystem and cardiovascular damage observed in MIS-C.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Chemokine CXCL10/immunology , Chemokine CXCL9/immunology , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Plasma Cells/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/immunology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Retrospective Studies
8.
Front Immunol ; 12: 690416, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317226

ABSTRACT

The AID (activation-induced cytidine deaminase)/APOBEC (apolipoprotein B mRNA editing enzyme catalytic subunit) family with its multifaceted mode of action emerges as potent intrinsic host antiviral system that acts against a variety of DNA and RNA viruses including coronaviruses. All family members are cytosine-to-uracil deaminases that either have a profound role in driving a strong and specific humoral immune response (AID) or restricting the virus itself by a plethora of mechanisms (APOBECs). In this article, we highlight some of the key aspects apparently linking the AID/APOBECs and SARS-CoV-2. Among those is our discovery that APOBEC4 shows high expression in cell types and anatomical parts targeted by SARS-CoV-2. Additional focus is given by us to the lymphoid structures and AID as the master regulator of germinal center reactions, which result in antibody production by plasma and memory B cells. We propose the dissection of the AID/APOBECs gene signature towards decisive determinants of the patient-specific and/or the patient group-specific antiviral response. Finally, the patient-specific mapping of the AID/APOBEC polymorphisms should be considered in the light of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
APOBEC-1 Deaminase/genetics , COVID-19/enzymology , COVID-19/immunology , Cytidine Deaminase/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Transcriptome , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Germinal Center/immunology , Host Microbial Interactions/genetics , Host Microbial Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Humoral/genetics , Plasma Cells/immunology , Polymorphism, Genetic , RNA Editing/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics
9.
Nature ; 596(7870): 109-113, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1284697

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 mRNA-based vaccines are about 95% effective in preventing COVID-191-5. The dynamics of antibody-secreting plasmablasts and germinal centre B cells induced by these vaccines in humans remain unclear. Here we examined antigen-specific B cell responses in peripheral blood (n = 41) and draining lymph nodes in 14 individuals who had received 2 doses of BNT162b2, an mRNA-based vaccine that encodes the full-length SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) gene1. Circulating IgG- and IgA-secreting plasmablasts that target the S protein peaked one week after the second immunization and then declined, becoming undetectable three weeks later. These plasmablast responses preceded maximal levels of serum anti-S binding and neutralizing antibodies to an early circulating SARS-CoV-2 strain as well as emerging variants, especially in individuals who had previously been infected with SARS-CoV-2 (who produced the most robust serological responses). By examining fine needle aspirates of draining axillary lymph nodes, we identified germinal centre B cells that bound S protein in all participants who were sampled after primary immunization. High frequencies of S-binding germinal centre B cells and plasmablasts were sustained in these draining lymph nodes for at least 12 weeks after the booster immunization. S-binding monoclonal antibodies derived from germinal centre B cells predominantly targeted the receptor-binding domain of the S protein, and fewer clones bound to the N-terminal domain or to epitopes shared with the S proteins of the human betacoronaviruses OC43 and HKU1. These latter cross-reactive B cell clones had higher levels of somatic hypermutation as compared to those that recognized only the SARS-CoV-2 S protein, which suggests a memory B cell origin. Our studies demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 mRNA-based vaccination of humans induces a persistent germinal centre B cell response, which enables the generation of robust humoral immunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Germinal Center/immunology , Plasma Cells/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Adult , Aged , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Chlorocebus aethiops , Clone Cells/cytology , Clone Cells/immunology , Germinal Center/cytology , Healthy Volunteers , Humans , Middle Aged , Plasma Cells/cytology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Time Factors , Vero Cells
10.
Nature ; 595(7867): 421-425, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1240773

ABSTRACT

Long-lived bone marrow plasma cells (BMPCs) are a persistent and essential source of protective antibodies1-7. Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 have a substantially lower risk of reinfection with SARS-CoV-28-10. Nonetheless, it has been reported that levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2 serum antibodies decrease rapidly in the first few months after infection, raising concerns that long-lived BMPCs may not be generated and humoral immunity against SARS-CoV-2 may be short-lived11-13. Here we show that in convalescent individuals who had experienced mild SARS-CoV-2 infections (n = 77), levels of serum anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S) antibodies declined rapidly in the first 4 months after infection and then more gradually over the following 7 months, remaining detectable at least 11 months after infection. Anti-S antibody titres correlated with the frequency of S-specific plasma cells in bone marrow aspirates from 18 individuals who had recovered from COVID-19 at 7 to 8 months after infection. S-specific BMPCs were not detected in aspirates from 11 healthy individuals with no history of SARS-CoV-2 infection. We show that S-binding BMPCs are quiescent, which suggests that they are part of a stable compartment. Consistently, circulating resting memory B cells directed against SARS-CoV-2 S were detected in the convalescent individuals. Overall, our results indicate that mild infection with SARS-CoV-2 induces robust antigen-specific, long-lived humoral immune memory in humans.


Subject(s)
Bone Marrow Cells/cytology , Bone Marrow Cells/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Plasma Cells/cytology , Plasma Cells/immunology , Adult , Aged , Cell Survival , Female , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
11.
Nature ; 595(7865): 114-119, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1207147

ABSTRACT

Respiratory failure is the leading cause of death in patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection1,2, but the host response at the lung tissue level is poorly understood. Here we performed single-nucleus RNA sequencing of about 116,000 nuclei from the lungs of nineteen individuals who died of COVID-19 and underwent rapid autopsy and seven control individuals. Integrated analyses identified substantial alterations in cellular composition, transcriptional cell states, and cell-to-cell interactions, thereby providing insight into the biology of lethal COVID-19. The lungs from individuals with COVID-19 were highly inflamed, with dense infiltration of aberrantly activated monocyte-derived macrophages and alveolar macrophages, but had impaired T cell responses. Monocyte/macrophage-derived interleukin-1ß and epithelial cell-derived interleukin-6 were unique features of SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to other viral and bacterial causes of pneumonia. Alveolar type 2 cells adopted an inflammation-associated transient progenitor cell state and failed to undergo full transition into alveolar type 1 cells, resulting in impaired lung regeneration. Furthermore, we identified expansion of recently described CTHRC1+ pathological fibroblasts3 contributing to rapidly ensuing pulmonary fibrosis in COVID-19. Inference of protein activity and ligand-receptor interactions identified putative drug targets to disrupt deleterious circuits. This atlas enables the dissection of lethal COVID-19, may inform our understanding of long-term complications of COVID-19 survivors, and provides an important resource for therapeutic development.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Lung/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Single-Cell Analysis , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/pathology , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , Atlases as Topic , Autopsy , COVID-19/immunology , Case-Control Studies , Female , Fibroblasts/pathology , Fibrosis/pathology , Fibrosis/virology , Humans , Inflammation/pathology , Inflammation/virology , Macrophages/pathology , Macrophages/virology , Macrophages, Alveolar/pathology , Macrophages, Alveolar/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Plasma Cells/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
12.
J Leukoc Biol ; 109(1): 77-90, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1188012

ABSTRACT

B cells play a central role in antiviral and antiparasitic immunity, not only as producers of antibodies, but also as APCs and mediators of inflammation. In this study, we used 16-color flow cytometry analysis to investigate the frequency, differentiation, and activation status of peripheral B cells of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection or acute Plasmodium falciparum malaria compared with the healthy individuals. As a main result, we observed an increase of the frequency of (CD27-, CD21-) atypical memory B cells and (CD19+, CD27+, CD38+) plasmablasts in malaria and COVID-19 patients. Additionally, CD86, PD-1, CXCR3, and CD39 expression was up-regulated, whereas CD73 was down-regulated on plasmablasts of COVID-19 and malaria patients compared with the bulk B cell population. In particular, there was a more pronounced loss of CD73+ B cells in malaria. The frequency of plasmablasts positively correlated with serum levels of CRP, IL-6, and LDH of COVID-19 patients. In the longitudinal course of COVID-19, a rapid normalization of the frequency of atypical memory B cells was observed. The role and function of plasmablasts and atypical memory B cells in COVID-19 and other acute infections remain to be further investigated. The role of B cells as either "driver or passenger" of hyperinflammation during COVID-19 needs to be clarified.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immunologic Memory , Malaria, Falciparum/immunology , Plasma Cells/immunology , Plasmodium falciparum/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antigens, CD/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Female , Humans , Malaria, Falciparum/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Plasma Cells/pathology
13.
Immunity ; 54(5): 1083-1095.e7, 2021 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1179682

ABSTRACT

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a life-threatening post-infectious complication occurring unpredictably weeks after mild or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. We profiled MIS-C, adult COVID-19, and healthy pediatric and adult individuals using single-cell RNA sequencing, flow cytometry, antigen receptor repertoire analysis, and unbiased serum proteomics, which collectively identified a signature in MIS-C patients that correlated with disease severity. Despite having no evidence of active infection, MIS-C patients had elevated S100A-family alarmins and decreased antigen presentation signatures, indicative of myeloid dysfunction. MIS-C patients showed elevated expression of cytotoxicity genes in NK and CD8+ T cells and expansion of specific IgG-expressing plasmablasts. Clinically severe MIS-C patients displayed skewed memory T cell TCR repertoires and autoimmunity characterized by endothelium-reactive IgG. The alarmin, cytotoxicity, TCR repertoire, and plasmablast signatures we defined have potential for application in the clinic to better diagnose and potentially predict disease severity early in the course of MIS-C.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/immunology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/pathology , Adolescent , Alarmins/immunology , Autoantibodies/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cytotoxicity, Immunologic/genetics , Endothelium/immunology , Endothelium/pathology , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Myeloid Cells/immunology , Plasma Cells/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , Severity of Illness Index
14.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 1961, 2021 03 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1169399

ABSTRACT

The pathogenesis of severe COVID-19 reflects an inefficient immune reaction to SARS-CoV-2. Here we analyze, at the single cell level, plasmablasts egressed into the blood to study the dynamics of adaptive immune response in COVID-19 patients requiring intensive care. Before seroconversion in response to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, peripheral plasmablasts display a type 1 interferon-induced gene expression signature; however, following seroconversion, plasmablasts lose this signature, express instead gene signatures induced by IL-21 and TGF-ß, and produce mostly IgG1 and IgA1. In the sustained immune reaction from COVID-19 patients, plasmablasts shift to the expression of IgA2, thereby reflecting an instruction by TGF-ß. Despite their continued presence in the blood, plasmablasts are not found in the lungs of deceased COVID-19 patients, nor does patient IgA2 binds to the dominant antigens of SARS-CoV-2. Our results thus suggest that, in severe COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 triggers a chronic immune reaction that is instructed by TGF-ß, and is distracted from itself.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Transforming Growth Factor beta/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Interleukins/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Plasma Cells/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
15.
Am J Med ; 134(8): 1029-1033, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1163305

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Cytokines seen in severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are associated with proliferation, differentiation, and survival of plasma cells. Plasma cells are not routinely found in peripheral blood, though may produce virus-neutralizing antibodies in COVID-19 later in the course of an infection. METHODS: Using the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Precision Medicine Analytics Platform Registry, we identified hospitalized adult patients with confirmed severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and stratified by presence of plasma cells and World Health Organization (WHO) disease severity. To identify plasma cells, we employed a sensitive flow cytometric screening method for highly fluorescent lymphocytes and confirmed these microscopically. Cox regression models were used to evaluate time to death and time to clinical improvement by the presence of plasma cells in patients with severe disease. RESULTS: Of 2301 hospitalized patients with confirmed infection, 371 had plasma cells identified. Patients with plasma cells were more likely to have severe disease, though 86.6% developed plasma cells after onset of severe disease. In patients with severe disease, after adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, race, and other covariates associated with disease severity, patients with plasma cells had a reduced hazard of death (adjusted hazard ratio: 0.57; 95% confidence interval: 0.38-0.87; P value: .008). There was no significant association with the presence of plasma cells and time to clinical improvement. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with severe disease who have detectable plasma cells in the peripheral blood have improved mortality despite adjusting for known covariates associated with disease severity in COVID-19. Further investigation is warranted to understand the role of plasma cells in the immune response to COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19 , Plasma Cells , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/physiopathology , Female , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Male , Mass Screening/methods , Middle Aged , Mortality , Plasma Cells/immunology , Plasma Cells/pathology , Predictive Value of Tests , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Survival Analysis , United States/epidemiology
17.
Annu Rev Immunol ; 39: 345-368, 2021 04 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1069448

ABSTRACT

For many infections and almost all vaccines, neutralizing-antibody-mediated immunity is the primary basis and best functional correlate of immunological protection. Durable long-term humoral immunity is mediated by antibodies secreted by plasma cells that preexist subsequent exposures and by memory B cells that rapidly respond to infections once they have occurred. In the midst of the current pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019, it is important to define our current understanding of the unique roles of memory B cells and plasma cells in immunity and the factors that control the formation and persistence of these cell types. This fundamental knowledge is the basis to interpret findings from natural infections and vaccines. Here, we review transcriptional and metabolic programs that promote and support B cell fates and functions, suggesting points at which these pathways do and do not intersect.


Subject(s)
B-Lymphocytes/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/metabolism , Energy Metabolism , Gene Expression Regulation , Immunologic Memory , Plasma Cells/immunology , Plasma Cells/metabolism , Animals , Biomarkers , Cell Differentiation/genetics , Cell Differentiation/immunology , Cell Survival/genetics , Cell Survival/immunology , Germinal Center/immunology , Germinal Center/metabolism , Humans , Immunologic Memory/genetics , Lymphocyte Activation/genetics , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Transcription, Genetic
18.
Immunity ; 54(2): 205-210, 2021 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1046373

ABSTRACT

Immunological memory is a mechanism to protect us against reinfection. Antibodies produced by B cells are integral to this defense strategy and underlie virtually all vaccine success. Here, we explain how B cells memory is generated by infection and vaccination, what influences its efficacy and its persistence, and how characterizing these parameters in the immune response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) will help achieve protective immunity through vaccination.


Subject(s)
B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunologic Memory , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Plasma Cells/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccination , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage , Viral Vaccines/immunology
19.
Immunity ; 54(2): 235-246.e5, 2021 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-988081

ABSTRACT

The interleukin-6 (IL-6) membrane receptor and its circulating soluble form, sIL-6R, can be targeted by antibody therapy to reduce deleterious immune signaling caused by chronic overexpression of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6. This strategy may also hold promise for treating acute hyperinflammation, such as observed in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), highlighting a need to define regulators of IL-6 homeostasis. We found that conventional dendritic cells (cDCs), defined in mice via expression of the transcription factor Zbtb46, were a major source of circulating sIL-6R and, thus, systemically regulated IL-6 signaling. This was uncovered through identification of a cDC-dependent but T cell-independent modality that naturally adjuvants plasma cell differentiation and antibody responses to protein antigens. This pathway was then revealed as part of a broader biological buffer system in which cDC-derived sIL-6R set the in-solution persistence of IL-6. This control axis may further inform the development of therapeutic agents to modulate pro-inflammatory immune reactions.


Subject(s)
Dendritic Cells/immunology , Interleukin-6/blood , Interleukin-6/immunology , ADAM17 Protein , Animals , Cell Differentiation , Immunity, Humoral , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Inflammation , Interferon Regulatory Factors/genetics , Interferon Regulatory Factors/immunology , Interleukin-6/genetics , Membrane Glycoproteins/immunology , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Plasma Cells/immunology , Receptors, Interleukin-6/blood , Receptors, Interleukin-6/immunology , Signal Transduction/immunology , Toll-Like Receptor 4/immunology , Toll-Like Receptor 7/immunology
20.
Science ; 369(6508)2020 09 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-981641

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is currently a global pandemic, but human immune responses to the virus remain poorly understood. We used high-dimensional cytometry to analyze 125 COVID-19 patients and compare them with recovered and healthy individuals. Integrated analysis of ~200 immune and ~50 clinical features revealed activation of T cell and B cell subsets in a proportion of patients. A subgroup of patients had T cell activation characteristic of acute viral infection and plasmablast responses reaching >30% of circulating B cells. However, another subgroup had lymphocyte activation comparable with that in uninfected individuals. Stable versus dynamic immunological signatures were identified and linked to trajectories of disease severity change. Our analyses identified three immunotypes associated with poor clinical trajectories versus improving health. These immunotypes may have implications for the design of therapeutics and vaccines for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adaptive Immunity , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/blood , B-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 , Cytokines/blood , Female , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Lymphocyte Activation , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Plasma Cells/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer/immunology , Time Factors , Young Adult
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