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Nat Commun ; 13(1): 269, 2022 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621240


A complete diagnostic autopsy is the gold-standard to gain insight into Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pathogenesis. To delineate the in situ immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 viral infection, here we perform comprehensive high-dimensional transcriptional and spatial immune profiling in 22 COVID-19 decedents from Wuhan, China. We find TIM-3-mediated and PD-1-mediated immunosuppression as a hallmark of severe COVID-19, particularly in men, with PD-1+ cells being proximal rather than distal to TIM-3+ cells. Concurrently, lymphocytes are distal, while activated myeloid cells are proximal, to SARS-CoV-2 viral antigens, consistent with prevalent SARS-CoV-2 infection of myeloid cells in multiple organs. Finally, viral load positively correlates with specific immunosuppression and dendritic cell markers. In summary, our data show that SARS-CoV-2 viral infection induces lymphocyte suppression yet myeloid activation in severe COVID-19, so these two cell types likely have distinct functions in severe COVID-19 disease progression, and should be targeted differently for therapy.

COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Aged , Autopsy , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , China , Diagnosis , Female , Hepatitis A Virus Cellular Receptor 2/genetics , Hepatitis A Virus Cellular Receptor 2/immunology , Humans , Lymphocyte Activation , Lymphocytes/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Myeloid Cells/immunology , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/genetics , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Load
Neuropeptides ; 89: 102159, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225350


T cells of aged people, and of patients with either cancer or severe infections (including COVID-19), are often exhausted, senescent and dysfunctional, leading to increased susceptibilities, complications and mortality. Neurotransmitters and Neuropeptides bind their receptors in T cells, and induce multiple beneficial T cell functions. Yet, T cells of different people vary in the expression levels of Neurotransmitter and Neuropeptide receptors, and in the magnitude of the corresponding effects. Therefore, we performed an individual-based study on T cells of 3 healthy subjects, and 3 Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) patients. HCC usually develops due to chronic inflammation. The inflamed liver induces reduction and inhibition of CD4+ T cells and Natural Killer (NK) cells. Immune-based therapies for HCC are urgently needed. We tested if selected Neurotransmitters and Neuropeptides decrease the key checkpoint protein PD-1 in human T cells, and increase proliferation and killing of HCC cells. First, we confirmed human T cells express all dopamine receptors (DRs), and glutamate receptors (GluRs): AMPA-GluR3, NMDA-R and mGluR. Second, we discovered that either Dopamine, Glutamate, GnRH-II, Neuropeptide Y and/or CGRP (10nM), as well as DR and GluR agonists, induced the following effects: 1. Decreased significantly both %PD-1+ T cells and PD-1 expression level per cell (up to 60% decrease, within 1 h only); 2. Increased significantly the number of T cells that proliferated in the presence of HCC cells (up to 7 fold increase), 3. Increased significantly T cell killing of HCC cells (up to 2 fold increase). 4. Few non-conventional combinations of Neurotransmitters and Neuropeptides had surprising synergistic beneficial effects. We conclude that Dopamine, Glutamate, GnRH-II, Neuropeptide Y and CGRP, alone or in combinations, can decrease % PD-1+ T cells and PD-1 expression per cell, in T cells of both healthy subjects and HCC patients, and increase their proliferation in response to HCC cells and killing of HCC cells. Yet, testing T cells of many more cancer patients is absolutely needed. Based on these findings and previous ones, we designed a novel "Personalized Adoptive Neuro-Immunotherapy", calling for validation of safety and efficacy in clinical trials.

Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/drug therapy , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/metabolism , Cell Proliferation/drug effects , Liver Neoplasms/drug therapy , Liver Neoplasms/metabolism , Neuropeptides/pharmacology , Neurotransmitter Agents/pharmacology , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/biosynthesis , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/genetics , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19/complications , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/pathology , Dopamine/pharmacology , Dopamine Agonists/pharmacology , Humans , Immunotherapy , Killer Cells, Natural/metabolism , Liver Neoplasms/pathology , Receptors, Glutamate/drug effects , Receptors, Neuropeptide/metabolism , Receptors, Neurotransmitter/metabolism
Cell Immunol ; 364: 104347, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1157177


Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) are important immune-regulatory cells but their identification remains difficult. Here, we provide a critical view on selected surface markers, transcriptional and translational pathways commonly used to identify MDSC by specific, their developmental origin and new possibilities by transcriptional or proteomic profiling. Discrimination of MDSC from their non-suppressive counterparts is a prerequisite for the development of successful therapies. Understanding the switch mechanisms that direct granulocytic and monocytic development into a pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory direction will be crucial for therapeutic strategies. Manipulation of these myeloid checkpoints are exploited by tumors and pathogens, such as M. tuberculosis (Mtb), HIV or SARS-CoV-2, that induce MDSC for immune evasion. Thus, specific markers for MDSC identification may reveal also novel molecular candidates for therapeutic intervention at the level of MDSC.

Biomarkers/metabolism , Gene Expression Profiling/methods , Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells/immunology , Proteomics/methods , Signal Transduction/immunology , Animals , B7-H1 Antigen/genetics , B7-H1 Antigen/immunology , B7-H1 Antigen/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Humans , Mice , Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells/metabolism , Neoplasms/genetics , Neoplasms/immunology , Neoplasms/metabolism , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/genetics , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/immunology , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Signal Transduction/genetics , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory/metabolism
EMBO Mol Med ; 12(12): e13001, 2020 12 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-881540


In patients infected by SARS-CoV-2 who experience an exaggerated inflammation leading to pneumonia, monocytes likely play a major role but have received poor attention. Thus, we analyzed peripheral blood monocytes from patients with COVID-19 pneumonia and found that these cells show signs of altered bioenergetics and mitochondrial dysfunction, had a reduced basal and maximal respiration, reduced spare respiratory capacity, and decreased proton leak. Basal extracellular acidification rate was also diminished, suggesting reduced capability to perform aerobic glycolysis. Although COVID-19 monocytes had a reduced ability to perform oxidative burst, they were still capable of producing TNF and IFN-γ in vitro. A significantly high amount of monocytes had depolarized mitochondria and abnormal mitochondrial ultrastructure. A redistribution of monocyte subsets, with a significant expansion of intermediate/pro-inflammatory cells, and high amounts of immature monocytes were found, along with a concomitant compression of classical monocytes, and an increased expression of inhibitory checkpoints like PD-1/PD-L1. High plasma levels of several inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, including GM-CSF, IL-18, CCL2, CXCL10, and osteopontin, finally confirm the importance of monocytes in COVID-19 immunopathogenesis.

COVID-19/pathology , Energy Metabolism/physiology , Mitochondria/metabolism , Monocytes/metabolism , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Chemokines/blood , Cytokines/blood , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Mitochondria/ultrastructure , Monocytes/cytology , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/genetics , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
Cell Mol Immunol ; 17(9): 995-997, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-625131

Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Molecular Targeted Therapy/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia/immunology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/immunology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Apyrase/antagonists & inhibitors , Apyrase/genetics , Apyrase/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/pathology , B7-H1 Antigen/antagonists & inhibitors , B7-H1 Antigen/genetics , B7-H1 Antigen/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , Case-Control Studies , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Gene Expression/drug effects , Humans , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , Killer Cells, Natural/drug effects , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/pathology , NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily C/antagonists & inhibitors , NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily C/genetics , NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily C/immunology , Pandemics , Pneumonia/drug therapy , Pneumonia/genetics , Pneumonia/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/antagonists & inhibitors , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/genetics , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/drug therapy , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/genetics , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/pathology