Ekstedt S, Piersiala K, Petro M, Karlsson A, Kågedal Å, Kumlien Georén S, Cardell LO
Sci Rep 12 (1) 9915 [2022-06-15; online 2022-06-15]
Despite the introduction of vaccines, COVID-19 still affects millions of people worldwide. A better understanding of pathophysiology and the discovery of novel therapies are needed. One of the cells of interest in COVID-19 is the neutrophil. This cell type is being recruited to a site of inflammation as one of the first immune cells. In this project, we investigated a variety of neutrophils phenotypes during COVID-19 by measuring the expression of markers for migration, maturity, activation, gelatinase granules and secondary granules using flow cytometry. We show that neutrophils during COVID-19 exhibit altered phenotypes compared to healthy individuals. The activation level including NETs production and maturity of neutrophils seem to last longer during COVID-19 than expected for innate immunity. Neutrophils as one of the drivers of severe cases of COVID-19 are considered as potential treatment targets. However, for a successful implementation of treatment, there is a need for a better understanding of neutrophil functions and phenotypes in COVID-19. Our study answers some of those questions.