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1.
J Immunol ; 208(10): 2319-2330, 2022 05 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1810583

ABSTRACT

T follicular helper (Tfh) cells support Ab responses and are a critical component of adaptive immune responses to respiratory viral infections. Tfh cells are regulated by a network of signaling pathways that are controlled, in part, by transcription factors. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is an environment-sensing transcription factor that modulates many aspects of adaptive immunity by binding a range of small molecules. However, the contribution of AHR signaling to Tfh cell differentiation and function is not known. In this article, we report that AHR activation by three different agonists reduced the frequency of Tfh cells during primary infection of C57BL/6 mice with influenza A virus (IAV). Further, using the high-affinity and AHR-specific agonist 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, we show that AHR activation reduced Tfh cell differentiation and T cell-dependent B cell responses. Using conditional AHR knockout mice, we demonstrated that alterations of Tfh cells and T cell-dependent B cell responses after AHR activation required the AHR in T cells. AHR activation reduced the number of T follicular regulatory (Tfr) cells; however, the ratio of Tfr to Tfh cells was amplified. These alterations to Tfh and Tfr cells during IAV infection corresponded with differences in expression of BCL6 and FOXP3 in CD4+ T cells and required the AHR to have a functional DNA-binding domain. Overall, these findings support that the AHR modulates Tfh cells during viral infection, which has broad-reaching consequences for understanding how environmental factors contribute to variation in immune defenses against infectious pathogens, such as influenza and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus.


Subject(s)
Influenza A virus , Orthomyxoviridae Infections , T Follicular Helper Cells , Animals , Cell Differentiation , Influenza A virus/immunology , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/immunology , Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon/immunology , T Follicular Helper Cells/immunology
2.
Sci Immunol ; 7(68): eabl5652, 2022 Feb 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673340

ABSTRACT

T follicular helper (TFH) cells are the conventional drivers of protective, germinal center (GC)­based antiviral antibody responses. However, loss of TFH cells and GCs has been observed in patients with severe COVID-19. As T cell­B cell interactions and immunoglobulin class switching still occur in these patients, noncanonical pathways of antibody production may be operative during SARS-CoV-2 infection. We found that both TFH-dependent and -independent antibodies were induced against SARS-CoV-2 infection, SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, and influenza A virus infection. Although TFH-independent antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 had evidence of reduced somatic hypermutation, they were still high affinity, durable, and reactive against diverse spike-derived epitopes and were capable of neutralizing both homologous SARS-CoV-2 and the B.1.351 (beta) variant of concern. We found by epitope mapping and B cell receptor sequencing that TFH cells focused the B cell response, and therefore, in the absence of TFH cells, a more diverse clonal repertoire was maintained. These data support an alternative pathway for the induction of B cell responses during viral infection that enables effective, neutralizing antibody production to complement traditional GC-derived antibodies that might compensate for GCs damaged by viral inflammation.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T Follicular Helper Cells/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antibody Formation/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Germinal Center/immunology , Humans , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Mice , T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer
3.
Cell ; 185(4): 603-613.e15, 2022 02 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1588149

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines induce robust anti-spike (S) antibody and CD4+ T cell responses. It is not yet clear whether vaccine-induced follicular helper CD4+ T (TFH) cell responses contribute to this outstanding immunogenicity. Using fine-needle aspiration of draining axillary lymph nodes from individuals who received the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine, we evaluated the T cell receptor sequences and phenotype of lymph node TFH. Mining of the responding TFH T cell receptor repertoire revealed a strikingly immunodominant HLA-DPB1∗04-restricted response to S167-180 in individuals with this allele, which is among the most common HLA alleles in humans. Paired blood and lymph node specimens show that while circulating S-specific TFH cells peak one week after the second immunization, S-specific TFH persist at nearly constant frequencies for at least six months. Collectively, our results underscore the key role that robust TFH cell responses play in establishing long-term immunity by this efficacious human vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Immunity/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T Follicular Helper Cells/immunology , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , mRNA Vaccines/immunology , Adult , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , BNT162 Vaccine/immunology , COVID-19/blood , Clone Cells , Cohort Studies , Cytokines/metabolism , Female , Germinal Center/immunology , HLA-DP beta-Chains/immunology , Humans , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Jurkat Cells , Lymph Nodes/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Peptides/chemistry , Peptides/metabolism , Protein Multimerization , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism
4.
Methods Mol Biol ; 2380: 201-209, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525490

ABSTRACT

Generation of effective immune protection against viral infection and vaccination depends greatly on a successful engagement and stimulation of adaptive immune B cells and a specialized CD4+ T cell subset called T follicular helper cells (TFH cells). Since TFH cells primarily reside in lymphoid tissues, they can be challenging to study in human settings. However, a counterpart of these cells, circulating TFH (cTFH) cells, can be detected in peripheral blood. Assessment of cTFH cells serves as an informative marker of humoral responses following viral infection and vaccination and can be predictive of antibody titers. Here, we describe a comprehensive flow cytometry detection method for dissecting cTFH subsets and activation, together with the assessment of antibody-secreting cells (ASCs), from a small volume of human whole blood. This approach allows the investigation of cellular events that underpin successful immune responses following influenza and SARS-CoV-2 infection/vaccination in humans and is applicable to other viral disease settings.


Subject(s)
B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , T Follicular Helper Cells/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Influenza, Human/immunology
5.
J Leukoc Biol ; 111(2): 355-365, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1499281

ABSTRACT

Vaccination remains the most effective mechanism to reduce the impact of COVID-19. Induction of neutralizing antibodies is a strong correlate of protection from infection and severe disease. An understanding of the cellular events that underpin the generation of effective neutralizing antibodies is therefore key to the development of efficacious vaccines that target emerging variants of concern. Analysis of the immune response to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and vaccination has identified circulating T follicular helper cells (cTFH ) as a robust correlate of the neutralizing antibody response. Here, we discuss the analysis of cTFH cells and their lymphoid counterparts in human humoral immune responses during COVID-19, and in response to vaccination with SARS-CoV-2 spike. We discuss the phenotypic heterogeneity of cTFH cells and the utility of cTFH subsets as informative biomarkers for development of humoral immunity. We posit that the analysis of the most effective cTFH will be critical to inducing durable immunity to new variants of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T Follicular Helper Cells/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Humans
6.
Science ; 374(6573): 1343-1353, 2021 Dec 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483979

ABSTRACT

Neutralizing antibody responses gradually wane against several variants of concern (VOCs) after vaccination with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccine messenger RNA-1273 (mRNA-1273). We evaluated the immune responses in nonhuman primates that received a primary vaccination series of mRNA-1273 and were boosted about 6 months later with either homologous mRNA-1273 or heterologous mRNA-1273.ß, which encompasses the spike sequence of the B.1.351 Beta variant. After boost, animals had increased neutralizing antibody responses across all VOCs, which was sustained for at least 8 weeks after boost. Nine weeks after boost, animals were challenged with the SARS-CoV-2 Beta variant. Viral replication was low to undetectable in bronchoalveolar lavage and significantly reduced in nasal swabs in all boosted animals, suggesting that booster vaccinations may be required to sustain immunity and protection.


Subject(s)
/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , /administration & dosage , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/analysis , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/virology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Immunity, Mucosal , Immunization, Secondary , Macaca mulatta , Nose/immunology , Nose/virology , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T Follicular Helper Cells/immunology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Virus Replication
7.
Front Immunol ; 12: 731100, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450811

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a serious infectious disease that has led to a global pandemic with high morbidity and mortality. High-affinity neutralizing antibody is important for controlling infection, which is closely regulated by follicular helper T (Tfh) cells. Tfh cells play a central role in promoting germinal center reactions and driving cognate B cell differentiation for antibody secretion. Available studies indicate a close relationship between virus-specific Tfh cell-mediated immunity and SARS-CoV-2 infection progression. Although several lines of evidence have suggested that Tfh cells contribute to the control of SARS-CoV-2 infection by eliciting neutralizing antibody productions, further studies are needed to elucidate Tfh-mediated effector mechanisms in anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunity. Here, we summarize the functional features and roles of virus-specific Tfh cells in the immunopathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 infection and in COVID-19 vaccines, and highlight the potential of targeting Tfh cells as therapeutic strategy against SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T Follicular Helper Cells/immunology , Antibody Formation/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cell Differentiation/immunology , Germinal Center/cytology , Germinal Center/immunology , Humans , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , T Follicular Helper Cells/cytology
9.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(7): e1009761, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1315898

ABSTRACT

T-cell immunity is likely to play a role in protection against SARS-CoV-2 by helping generate neutralizing antibodies. We longitudinally studied CD4 T-cell responses to the M, N, and S structural proteins of SARS-CoV-2 in 26 convalescent individuals. Within the first two months following symptom onset, a majority of individuals (81%) mounted at least one CD4 T-cell response, and 48% of individuals mounted detectable SARS-CoV-2-specific circulating T follicular helper cells (cTfh, defined as CXCR5+PD1+ CD4 T cells). SARS-CoV-2-specific cTfh responses across all three protein specificities correlated with antibody neutralization with the strongest correlation observed for S protein-specific responses. When examined over time, cTfh responses, particularly to the M protein, increased in convalescence, and robust cTfh responses with magnitudes greater than 5% were detected at the second convalescent visit, a median of 38 days post-symptom onset. CD4 T-cell responses declined but persisted at low magnitudes three months and six months after symptom onset. These data deepen our understanding of antigen-specific cTfh responses in SARS-CoV-2 infection, suggesting that in addition to S protein, M and N protein-specific cTfh may also assist in the development of neutralizing antibodies and that cTfh response formation may be delayed in SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T Follicular Helper Cells/immunology , T Follicular Helper Cells/virology , Adult , Aged , Antibody Specificity , Case-Control Studies , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Female , Host Microbial Interactions/immunology , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Time Factors , Viral Matrix Proteins/immunology , Young Adult
10.
Front Immunol ; 12: 674279, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266662

ABSTRACT

An accurate depiction of the convalescent COVID-19 immunome will help delineate the immunological milieu crucial for disease resolution and protection. Using mass cytometry, we characterized the immune architecture in patients recovering from mild COVID-19. We identified a virus-specific immune rheostat composed of an effector T (Teff) cell recall response that is balanced by the enrichment of a highly specialized regulatory T (Treg) cell subset. Both components were reactive against a peptide pool covering the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein. We also observed expansion of IFNγ+ memory CD4+ T cells and virus-specific follicular helper T (TFH) cells. Overall, these findings pinpoint critical immune effector and regulatory mechanisms essential for a potent, yet harmless resolution of COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Male , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T Follicular Helper Cells/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory/immunology , Young Adult
11.
Science ; 372(6548): 1336-1341, 2021 06 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1234278

ABSTRACT

The identification of CD4+ T cell epitopes is instrumental for the design of subunit vaccines for broad protection against coronaviruses. Here, we demonstrate in COVID-19-recovered individuals a robust CD4+ T cell response to naturally processed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike (S) protein and nucleoprotein (N), including effector, helper, and memory T cells. By characterizing 2943 S-reactive T cell clones from 34 individuals, we found that the receptor-binding domain (RBD) is highly immunogenic and that 33% of RBD-reactive clones and 94% of individuals recognized a conserved immunodominant S346-S365 region comprising nested human leukocyte antigen DR (HLA-DR)- and HLA-DP-restricted epitopes. Using pre- and post-COVID-19 samples and S proteins from endemic coronaviruses, we identified cross-reactive T cells targeting multiple S protein sites. The immunodominant and cross-reactive epitopes identified can inform vaccination strategies to counteract emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunodominant Epitopes , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus/immunology , Cross Reactions , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Genes, T-Cell Receptor beta , HLA-DP Antigens/immunology , HLA-DR Antigens/immunology , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Protein Domains , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , T Follicular Helper Cells/immunology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology
12.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 541, 2021 01 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1044084

ABSTRACT

CD4 T follicular helper (Tfh) cells are important for the generation of durable and specific humoral protection against viral infections. The degree to which SARS-CoV-2 infection generates Tfh cells and stimulates the germinal center (GC) response is an important question as we investigate vaccine induced immunity against COVID-19. Here, we report that SARS-CoV-2 infection in rhesus macaques, either infused with convalescent plasma, normal plasma, or receiving no infusion, resulted in transient accumulation of pro-inflammatory monocytes and proliferating Tfh cells with a Th1 profile in peripheral blood. CD4 helper cell responses skewed predominantly toward a Th1 response in blood, lung, and lymph nodes. SARS-CoV-2 Infection induced GC Tfh cells specific for the SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid proteins, and a corresponding early appearance of antiviral serum IgG antibodies. Collectively, the data show induction of GC responses in a rhesus model of mild COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Germinal Center/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T Follicular Helper Cells/immunology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/therapy , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Immunization, Passive , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Macaca mulatta , Male , Phosphoproteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vero Cells
13.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 1864, 2021 01 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1042540

ABSTRACT

The ferret is a key animal model for investigating the pathogenicity and transmissibility of important human viruses, and for the pre-clinical assessment of vaccines. However, relatively little is known about the ferret immune system, due in part to a paucity of ferret-reactive reagents. In particular, T follicular helper (Tfh) cells are critical in the generation of effective humoral responses in humans, mice and other animal models but to date it has not been possible to identify Tfh in ferrets. Here, we describe the screening and development of ferret-reactive BCL6, CXCR5 and PD-1 monoclonal antibodies. We found two commercial anti-BCL6 antibodies (clone K112-91 and clone IG191E/A8) had cross-reactivity with lymph node cells from influenza-infected ferrets. We next developed two murine monoclonal antibodies against ferret CXCR5 (clone feX5-C05) and PD-1 (clone fePD-CL1) using a single B cell PCR-based method. We were able to clearly identify Tfh cells in lymph nodes from influenza infected ferrets using these antibodies. The development of ferret Tfh marker antibodies and the identification of ferret Tfh cells will assist the evaluation of vaccine-induced Tfh responses in the ferret model and the design of novel vaccines against the infection of influenza and other viruses, including SARS-CoV2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Ferrets/immunology , High-Throughput Screening Assays/methods , T Follicular Helper Cells/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/isolation & purification , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cross Reactions/immunology , Humans , Influenza Vaccines/immunology , Lymph Nodes/immunology , Mice , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/immunology , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-6/immunology , Receptors, CXCR5/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology
14.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(2)2021 Jan 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024587

ABSTRACT

CD4+ T cells orchestrate adaptive immune responses through their capacity to recruit and provide help to multiple immune effectors, in addition to exerting direct effector functions. CD4+ T cells are increasingly recognized as playing an essential role in the control of chronic viral infections. In this review, we present recent advances in understanding the nature of CD4+ T cell help provided to antiviral effectors. Drawing from our studies of natural human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) control, we then focus on the role of high-affinity T cell receptor (TCR) clonotypes in mediating antiviral CD4+ T cell responses. Last, we discuss the role of TCR affinity in determining CD4+ T cell differentiation, reviewing the at times divergent studies associating TCR signal strength to the choice of a T helper 1 (Th1) or a T follicular helper (Tfh) cell fate.


Subject(s)
HIV Infections/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , T Follicular Helper Cells/cytology , T Follicular Helper Cells/immunology , Adaptive Immunity/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Cell Differentiation/immunology , HIV Infections/virology , Humans , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory/immunology
15.
Nat Microbiol ; 6(1): 51-58, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-926541

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)1-3 and individuals with COVID-19 have symptoms that can be asymptomatic, mild, moderate or severe4,5. In the early phase of infection, T- and B-cell counts are substantially decreased6,7; however, IgM8-11 and IgG12-14 are detectable within 14 d after symptom onset. In COVID-19-convalescent individuals, spike-specific neutralizing antibodies are variable3,15,16. No specific drug or vaccine is available for COVID-19 at the time of writing; however, patients benefit from treatment with serum from COVID-19-convalescent individuals17,18. Nevertheless, antibody responses and cross-reactivity with other coronaviruses in COVID-19-convalescent individuals are largely unknown. Here, we show that the majority of COVID-19-convalescent individuals maintained SARS-CoV-2 spike S1- and S2-specific antibodies with neutralizing activity against the SARS-CoV-2 pseudotyped virus, and that some of the antibodies cross-neutralized SARS-CoV, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus or both pseudotyped viruses. Convalescent individuals who experienced severe COVID-19 showed higher neutralizing antibody titres, a faster increase in lymphocyte counts and a higher frequency of CXCR3+ T follicular help (TFH) cells compared with COVID-19-convalescent individuals who experienced non-severe disease. Circulating TFH cells were spike specific and functional, and the frequencies of CXCR3+ TFH cells were positively associated with neutralizing antibody titres in COVID-19-convalescent individuals. No individuals had detectable autoantibodies. These findings provide insights into neutralizing antibody responses in COVID-19-convalescent individuals and facilitate the treatment and vaccine development for SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T Follicular Helper Cells/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Cross Reactions , Humans , Receptors, CXCR3/immunology
16.
J Cell Mol Med ; 24(24): 14270-14279, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-907630

ABSTRACT

Recent studies have demonstrated a marked decrease in peripheral lymphocyte levels in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Few studies have focused on the changes of NK, T- and B-cell subsets, inflammatory cytokines and virus-specific antibodies in patients with moderate COVID-19. A total of 11 RT-PCR-confirmed convalescent patients with COVID-19 and 11 patients with non-SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia (control patients) were enrolled in this study. NK, CD8+ T, CD4+ T, Tfh-like and B-cell subsets were analysed using flow cytometry. Cytokines and SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies were analysed using an electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. NK cell counts were significantly higher in patients with COVID-19 than in control patients (P = 0.017). Effector memory CD8+ T-cell counts significantly increased in patients with COVID-19 during a convalescent period of 1 week (P = 0.041). TIM-3+ Tfh-like cell and CD226+ Tfh-like cell counts significantly increased (P = 0.027) and decreased (P = 0.022), respectively, during the same period. Moreover, ICOS+ Tfh-like cell counts tended to decrease (P = 0.074). No abnormal increase in cytokine levels was observed. The high expression of NK cells is important in innate immune response against SARS-CoV-2. The increase in effector memory CD8+ T-cell counts, the up-regulation of inhibitory molecules and the down-regulation of active molecules on CD4+ T cells and Tfh-like cells in patients with COVID-19 would benefit the maintenance of balanced cellular and humoural immune responses, may prevent the development of severe cases and contribute to the recovery of patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/biosynthesis , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T Follicular Helper Cells/immunology , Adult , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , China/epidemiology , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
17.
Cell ; 183(5): 1340-1353.e16, 2020 11 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-888424

ABSTRACT

The contribution of CD4+ T cells to protective or pathogenic immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection remains unknown. Here, we present single-cell transcriptomic analysis of >100,000 viral antigen-reactive CD4+ T cells from 40 COVID-19 patients. In hospitalized patients compared to non-hospitalized patients, we found increased proportions of cytotoxic follicular helper cells and cytotoxic T helper (TH) cells (CD4-CTLs) responding to SARS-CoV-2 and reduced proportion of SARS-CoV-2-reactive regulatory T cells (TREG). Importantly, in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, a strong cytotoxic TFH response was observed early in the illness, which correlated negatively with antibody levels to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Polyfunctional TH1 and TH17 cell subsets were underrepresented in the repertoire of SARS-CoV-2-reactive CD4+ T cells compared to influenza-reactive CD4+ T cells. Together, our analyses provide insights into the gene expression patterns of SARS-CoV-2-reactive CD4+ T cells in distinct disease severities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , T Follicular Helper Cells/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory/immunology , Transcriptome , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , CD4 Lymphocyte Count , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , England/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , Severity of Illness Index , Single-Cell Analysis/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
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