Increased peripheral blood neutrophil activation phenotypes and NETosis in critically ill COVID-19 patients
Jorge A. Masso-Silva,
Michael T. Y. Lam,
Jennifer M Dan,
Thomas H. Alexander,
Grace Y Lin,
Ana Lucia Fuentes,
Ira N. Advani,
Nicole G Coufal,
Laura E Crotty-Alexander
Posted 15 Jan 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.01.14.21249831
Posted 15 Jan 2021
Background: Increased inflammation is a hallmark of COVID-19, with pulmonary and systemic inflammation identified in multiple cohorts of patients. Definitive cellular and molecular pathways driving severe forms of this disease remain uncertain. Neutrophils, the most numerous leukocytes in blood circulation, can contribute to immunopathology in infections, inflammatory diseases and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a primary cause of morbidity and mortality in COVID-19. Changes in multiple neutrophil functions and circulating cytokine levels over time during COVID-19 may help define disease severity and guide care and decision making. Methods: Blood was obtained serially from critically ill COVID-19 patients for 11 days. Neutrophil oxidative burst, neutrophil extracellular trap formation (NETosis), phagocytosis and cytokine levels were assessed ex vivo. Lung tissue was obtained immediately post-mortem for immunostaining. Results: Elevations in neutrophil-associated cytokines IL-8 and IL-6, and general inflammatory cytokines IP-10, GM-CSF, IL-1b, IL-10 and TNF, were identified in COVID-19 plasma both at the first measurement and at multiple timepoints across hospitalization (p < 0.0001). Neutrophils had exaggerated oxidative burst (p < 0.0001), NETosis (p < 0.0001) and phagocytosis (p < 0.0001) relative to controls. Increased NETosis correlated with both leukocytosis and neutrophilia. Neutrophils and NETs were identified within airways and alveoli in the lung parenchyma of 40% of SARS-CoV-2 infected lungs. While elevations in IL-8 and ANC correlated to COVID-19 disease severity, plasma IL-8 levels alone correlated with death. Conclusions: Circulating neutrophils in COVID-19 exhibit an activated phenotype with increased oxidative burst, NETosis and phagocytosis. Readily accessible and dynamic, plasma IL-8 and circulating neutrophil function may be potential COVID-19 disease biomarkers.
- Downloaded 903 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 34,565
- In allergy and immunology: 99
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 66,610
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: 48,575
Downloads over time
Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide
- 27 Nov 2020: The website and API now include results pulled from medRxiv as well as bioRxiv.
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!