Natural killer cell immunotypes related to COVID-19 disease severity.

Maucourant C, Filipovic I, Ponzetta A, Aleman S, Cornillet M, Hertwig L, Strunz B, Lentini A, Reinius B, Brownlie D, Cuapio A, Ask EH, Hull RM, Haroun-Izquierdo A, Schaffer M, Klingström J, Folkesson E, Buggert M, Sandberg JK, Eriksson LI, Rooyackers O, Ljunggren H, Malmberg K, Michaëlsson J, Marquardt N, Hammer Q, Strålin K, Björkström NK, Karolinska COVID-19 Study Group

Sci Immunol 5 (50) - [2020-08-21; online 2020-08-23]

Understanding innate immune responses in COVID-19 is important to decipher mechanisms of host responses and interpret disease pathogenesis. Natural killer (NK) cells are innate effector lymphocytes that respond to acute viral infections but might also contribute to immunopathology. Using 28-color flow cytometry, we here reveal strong NK cell activation across distinct subsets in peripheral blood of COVID-19 patients. This pattern was mirrored in scRNA-seq signatures of NK cells in bronchoalveolar lavage from COVID-19 patients. Unsupervised high-dimensional analysis of peripheral blood NK cells furthermore identified distinct NK cell immunotypes that were linked to disease severity. Hallmarks of these immunotypes were high expression of perforin, NKG2C, and Ksp37, reflecting increased presence of adaptive NK cells in circulation of patients with severe disease. Finally, arming of CD56 bright NK cells was observed across COVID-19 disease states, driven by a defined protein-protein interaction network of inflammatory soluble factors. This study provides a detailed map of the NK cell activation landscape in COVID-19 disease.

Category: Biochemistry

Category: Genomics & transcriptomics

Category: Health

Category: Imaging

Category: Other

Category: Proteins

Funder: KAW/SciLifeLab

Funder: VR

Funder: VR: Special COVID-19 funding

Research Area: Data-driven research – models and AI

Research Area: Diagnostics for virus

Research Area: Host cell systems biology and targets

Type: Journal article

PubMed 32826343

DOI 10.1126/sciimmunol.abd6832

Crossref 10.1126/sciimmunol.abd6832

Curated flow cytometry data available via the Karolinska COVID-19 Immune Atlas
Raw data, clinical characteristics of patients, and various results files are available in supplementary data


Publications 7.1.2