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1.
Nature ; 600(7888): 295-301, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1626235

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is a single-stranded RNA virus that causes COVID-19. Given its acute and often self-limiting course, it is likely that components of the innate immune system play a central part in controlling virus replication and determining clinical outcome. Natural killer (NK) cells are innate lymphocytes with notable activity against a broad range of viruses, including RNA viruses1,2. NK cell function may be altered during COVID-19 despite increased representation of NK cells with an activated and adaptive phenotype3,4. Here we show that a decline in viral load in COVID-19 correlates with NK cell status and that NK cells can control SARS-CoV-2 replication by recognizing infected target cells. In severe COVID-19, NK cells show defects in virus control, cytokine production and cell-mediated cytotoxicity despite high expression of cytotoxic effector molecules. Single-cell RNA sequencing of NK cells over the time course of the COVID-19 disease spectrum reveals a distinct gene expression signature. Transcriptional networks of interferon-driven NK cell activation are superimposed by a dominant transforming growth factor-ß (TGFß) response signature, with reduced expression of genes related to cell-cell adhesion, granule exocytosis and cell-mediated cytotoxicity. In severe COVID-19, serum levels of TGFß peak during the first two weeks of infection, and serum obtained from these patients severely inhibits NK cell function in a TGFß-dependent manner. Our data reveal that an untimely production of TGFß is a hallmark of severe COVID-19 and may inhibit NK cell function and early control of the virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Transforming Growth Factor beta/immunology , Atlases as Topic , Gene Expression Regulation/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Influenza, Human/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/pathology , RNA-Seq , Single-Cell Analysis , Time Factors , Transforming Growth Factor beta/blood , Viral Load/immunology , Virus Replication/immunology
2.
Nature ; 600(7888): 295-301, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483137

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is a single-stranded RNA virus that causes COVID-19. Given its acute and often self-limiting course, it is likely that components of the innate immune system play a central part in controlling virus replication and determining clinical outcome. Natural killer (NK) cells are innate lymphocytes with notable activity against a broad range of viruses, including RNA viruses1,2. NK cell function may be altered during COVID-19 despite increased representation of NK cells with an activated and adaptive phenotype3,4. Here we show that a decline in viral load in COVID-19 correlates with NK cell status and that NK cells can control SARS-CoV-2 replication by recognizing infected target cells. In severe COVID-19, NK cells show defects in virus control, cytokine production and cell-mediated cytotoxicity despite high expression of cytotoxic effector molecules. Single-cell RNA sequencing of NK cells over the time course of the COVID-19 disease spectrum reveals a distinct gene expression signature. Transcriptional networks of interferon-driven NK cell activation are superimposed by a dominant transforming growth factor-ß (TGFß) response signature, with reduced expression of genes related to cell-cell adhesion, granule exocytosis and cell-mediated cytotoxicity. In severe COVID-19, serum levels of TGFß peak during the first two weeks of infection, and serum obtained from these patients severely inhibits NK cell function in a TGFß-dependent manner. Our data reveal that an untimely production of TGFß is a hallmark of severe COVID-19 and may inhibit NK cell function and early control of the virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Transforming Growth Factor beta/immunology , Atlases as Topic , Gene Expression Regulation/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Influenza, Human/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/pathology , RNA-Seq , Single-Cell Analysis , Time Factors , Transforming Growth Factor beta/blood , Viral Load/immunology , Virus Replication/immunology
3.
Cell Transplant ; 30: 963689721996217, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1181030

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has spread worldwide, including the United States, United Kingdom, and Italy, along with its site of origin in China, since 2020. The virus was first found in the Wuhan seafood market at the end of 2019, with a controversial source. The clinical symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and respiratory tract inflammation, with some severe patients developing an acute and chronic lung injury, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and pulmonary fibrosis (PF). It has already claimed approximately 300 thousand human lives and the number is still on the rise; the only way to prevent the infection is to be safe till vaccines and reliable treatments develop. In previous studies, the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in clinical trials had been proven to be effective in immune modulation and tissue repair promotion; however, their efficacy in treating COVID-19 remains underestimated. Here, we report the findings from past experiences of SARS and MSCs, and how SARS could also induce PF. Such studies may help to understand the rationale for the recent cell-based therapies for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation , Pulmonary Fibrosis/etiology , Animals , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/therapy , Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Humans , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation/methods , Pulmonary Fibrosis/blood , Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , Pulmonary Fibrosis/therapy , Renin-Angiotensin System , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/blood , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/complications , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/pathology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/therapy , Transforming Growth Factor beta/blood
4.
Cell Death Dis ; 11(10): 921, 2020 10 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-894382

ABSTRACT

The immunological mechanisms underlying the clinical presentation of SARS-CoV-2 infection and those influencing the disease outcome remain to be defined. Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) have been described to be highly increased during COVID-19, however, their role remains elusive. We performed an in depth analysis of MDSC in 128 SARS-CoV-2 infected patients. Polymorphonuclear (PMN)-MDSC expanded during COVID-19, in particular in patients who required intensive care treatments, and correlated with IL-1ß, IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α plasma levels. PMN-MDSC inhibited T-cells IFN-γ production upon SARS-CoV-2 peptides stimulation, through TGF-ß- and iNOS-mediated mechanisms, possibly contrasting virus elimination. Accordingly, a multivariate regression analysis found a strong association between PMN-MDSC percentage and fatal outcome of the disease. The PMN-MDSC frequency was higher in non-survivors than survivors at the admission time, followed by a decreasing trend. Interestingly, this trend was associated with IL-6 increase in non-survivors but not in survivors. In conclusion, this study indicates PMN-MDSC as a novel factor in the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV2 infection, and open up to new therapeutic options.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Aged , Area Under Curve , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Interleukin-1beta/blood , Interleukin-6/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells/cytology , Neutrophils/cytology , Neutrophils/immunology , Neutrophils/metabolism , Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II/metabolism , Pandemics , Peptides/immunology , Peptides/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Proportional Hazards Models , ROC Curve , SARS-CoV-2 , Survival Rate , T-Lymphocytes/cytology , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , Transforming Growth Factor beta/blood , Transforming Growth Factor beta/metabolism
5.
Cytokine ; 137: 155323, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-849208

ABSTRACT

Cytokine dysregulation is the proposed mechanism for Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The aim of this study was to evaluate the serum levels of interferon (IFN)-γ, interleukin (IL)-5, IL-8, Il-9, IL-17, TGF-ß and IFN-γ in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. The study was conducted between 63 adult patients with COVID-19 and compared with 33 age and gender-matched healthy subjects as controls. The age range in both groups was 50-70 years. The patients were classified into mild group (33 patients) and severe group (30 patients). Serum samples were collected from all participants and tested for the cytokine levels by ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) method. Statistical analysis was performed using the one-way ANOVA. The mean serum levels of IFN-γ, TGF-ß, IL-17 and IL-8 in the COVID-19 patients were significantly higher than those observed in the control group. A comparison of between the mild and severe groups showed significant differences in TGF-ß levels. The mean concentration of serum IL-5 and IL-9 in patients with COVID-19 did not differ from those in the control group. Systemic IL-17 levels correlated positively and significantly with TGF-ß in patients with COVID-19. Th1 (IFN-γ), Treg (TGF-ß), and Th17 (IL-17) cytokines concentration were increased in COVID-19 patients. Interferon-γ and IL-17 are involved in inducing and mediating proinflammatory responses. Our data suggest that TGF-ß can be used as a predictive factor of disease severity in patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Cytokines/blood , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/physiopathology , Female , Humans , Inflammation/blood , Interferon-gamma/blood , Interleukin-17/blood , Interleukin-5/blood , Interleukin-8/blood , Interleukin-9/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index , Transforming Growth Factor beta/blood
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