Aims: This study aims to cast light on immunocytometric alterations in COVID-19, a potentially fatal viral infection with heterogeneous clinical expression and a not completely defined pathophysiology. Methods: We studied 35 COVID patients at hospital admission testing by cytofluorimetry a large panel of lymphocyte subpopulations and serum tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-17A and the soluble receptor of IL-17A (IL-17RA). Key findings: At hospital admission, total lymphocytes and most T and B subpopulations were reduced in 50-80% of patients, with close relationship to disease severity. While activated T helper 1 (TH1) and TH17 cells resulted normal or higher. Serum IL-6 was increased in all patients, while TNF-α and IL-17A were higher in advanced stages. A patient subset with low severity had very high IL-17RA levels. Tocilizumab treatment caused an increase of IL-17A in 3/6 patients and a reduction in 3 others, while the lymphocyte number increased in 3 patients and did not change in the others. Significance: Cytofluorimetry revealed a functional exhaustion of most lymphocyte populations in COVID patients not involving activated TH1 and TH17. Consequently, there was a relevant cytokines production that contributes to impair the respiratory inflammation. The increase of TH17 and IL-17 in a subset of cases and the evidence of a significant increase of IL-17RA (that prevents the interaction of IL-17 with the cell receptor) in patients with low severity suggest that some patients could benefit from monoclonal antibodies treatment targeting IL-17 pathway. Immunocytofluorimetric markers may contribute to a personalized therapy in COVID patients.

Immunocytometric analysis of COVID patients: A contribution to personalized therapy?

Cacciapuoti, Sara;Gelzo, Monica;Megna, Matteo;Raia, Maddalena;Pinchera, Biagio;Pontarelli, Agostina;Scotto, Riccardo;Scala, Emanuele;Scarano, Francesco;Scalia, Giulia;Castaldo, Giuseppe
;
Fabbrocini, Gabriella;Gentile, Ivan;
2020

Abstract

Aims: This study aims to cast light on immunocytometric alterations in COVID-19, a potentially fatal viral infection with heterogeneous clinical expression and a not completely defined pathophysiology. Methods: We studied 35 COVID patients at hospital admission testing by cytofluorimetry a large panel of lymphocyte subpopulations and serum tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-17A and the soluble receptor of IL-17A (IL-17RA). Key findings: At hospital admission, total lymphocytes and most T and B subpopulations were reduced in 50-80% of patients, with close relationship to disease severity. While activated T helper 1 (TH1) and TH17 cells resulted normal or higher. Serum IL-6 was increased in all patients, while TNF-α and IL-17A were higher in advanced stages. A patient subset with low severity had very high IL-17RA levels. Tocilizumab treatment caused an increase of IL-17A in 3/6 patients and a reduction in 3 others, while the lymphocyte number increased in 3 patients and did not change in the others. Significance: Cytofluorimetry revealed a functional exhaustion of most lymphocyte populations in COVID patients not involving activated TH1 and TH17. Consequently, there was a relevant cytokines production that contributes to impair the respiratory inflammation. The increase of TH17 and IL-17 in a subset of cases and the evidence of a significant increase of IL-17RA (that prevents the interaction of IL-17 with the cell receptor) in patients with low severity suggest that some patients could benefit from monoclonal antibodies treatment targeting IL-17 pathway. Immunocytofluorimetric markers may contribute to a personalized therapy in COVID patients.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/817032
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