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ABSTRACT
In COVID-19, immune responses are key in determining disease severity. However, cellular mechanisms at the onset of inflammatory lung injury in SARS-CoV-2 infection, particularly involving endothelial cells, remain ill-defined. Using Syrian hamsters as model for moderate COVID-19, we conducted a detailed longitudinal analysis of systemic and pulmonary cellular responses, and corroborated it with datasets from COVID-19 patients. Monocyte-derived macrophages in lungs exerted the earliest and strongest transcriptional response to infection, including induction of pro-inflammatory genes, while epithelial cells showed weak activation. Without evidence for productive infection, endothelial cells reacted, depending on cell subtypes, by strong and early expression of anti-viral, pro-inflammatory, and T cell recruiting genes. Recruitment of cytotoxic T cells as well as emergence of IgM antibodies preceded viral clearance at day 5 post infection. Investigating SARS-CoV-2 infected Syrian hamsters can thus identify cell type-specific effector functions, provide detailed insights into pathomechanisms of COVID-19, and inform therapeutic strategies.

Full text: Available Collection: Preprints Database: EuropePMC Type of study: Observational study Language: English Year: 2021 Document Type: Preprint

Full text: Available Collection: Preprints Database: EuropePMC Type of study: Observational study Language: English Year: 2021 Document Type: Preprint