Decreased Naïve T-cell Production Leading to Cytokine Storm as Cause of Increased COVID-19 Severity with Comorbidities
Schwartz Michael D1,*, Emerson Stephen G2, Punt Jennifer3, Goff Willow D4
1Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA 2Immunology and Medicine, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA 3Immunology, Pathobiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, PA 19104, USA 4Colgate University, Hamilton, NY 13346, USA
Aging, type 2 diabetes, and male gender are major risk factors leading to increased COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. Thymic production and the export of naïve T cells decrease with aging through the effects of androgens in males and in type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, with aging, recovery of naïve T-cell populations after bone marrow transplantation is delayed and associated with an increased risk of chronic graft vs. host disease. Severe COVID-19 and SARS infections are notable for severe T-cell depletion. In COVID-19, there is unique suppression of interferon signaling by infected respiratory tract cells with intact cytokine signaling. A decreased naïve T-cell response likely contributes to an excessive inflammatory response and increases the odds of a cytokine storm. Treatments that improve naïve T-cell production may prove to be vital COVID-19 therapies, especially for these high-risk groups.
Schwartz Michael D,Emerson Stephen G,Punt Jennifer, et al. Decreased Naïve T-cell Production Leading to Cytokine Storm as Cause of Increased COVID-19 Severity with Comorbidities[J]. Aging and disease,
2020, 11(4): 742-745.
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