Single-cell analysis of severe COVID-19 patients reveals a monocyte-driven inflammatory storm attenuated by Tocilizumab
Posted 09 Apr 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.04.08.029769 (published DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-17834-w)
Posted 09 Apr 2020
Despite the current devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic, several recent studies have suggested that the immunosuppressive drug Tocilizumab can powerfully treating inflammatory responses that occur in this disease. Here, by employing single-cell analysis of the immune cell composition of severe-stage COVID-19 patients and these same patients in post Tocilizumab-treatment remission, we have identified a monocyte subpopulation specific to severe disease that contributes to inflammatory storms in COVID-19 patients. Although Tocilizumab treatment attenuated the strong inflammatory immune response, we found that immune cells including plasma B cells and CD8+ T cells still exhibited an intense humoral and cell-mediated anti-virus immune response in COVID-19 patients after Tocilizumab treatment. Thus, in addition to providing a rich, very high-resolution data resource about the immune cell distribution at multiple stages of the COVID-19 disease, our work both helps explain Tocilizumab’s powerful therapeutic effects and defines a large number of potential new drug targets related to inflammatory storms. ### Competing Interest Statement Jingwen Fang is the executive officer of HanGen Biotech
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