A myeloid program associated with COVID-19 severity is decreased by therapeutic blockade of IL-6 signaling

UCSF COMET consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Altered myeloid inflammation and lymphopenia are hallmarks of severe infections. We identified the upregulated EN-RAGE gene program in airway and blood myeloid cells from patients with acute lung injury from SARS-CoV-2 or other causes across 7 cohorts. This program was associated with greater clinical severity and predicted future mechanical ventilation and death. EN-RAGEhi myeloid cells express features consistent with suppressor cell functionality, including low HLA-DR and high PD-L1. Sustained EN-RAGE program expression in airway and blood myeloid cells correlated with clinical severity and increasing expression of T cell dysfunction markers. IL-6 upregulated many EN-RAGE program genes in monocytes in vitro. IL-6 signaling blockade by tocilizumab in a placebo-controlled clinical trial led to rapid normalization of EN-RAGE and T cell gene expression. This identifies IL-6 as a key driver of myeloid dysregulation associated with worse clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients and provides insights into shared pathophysiological mechanisms in non-COVID-19 ARDS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107813
JournaliScience
Volume26
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 20 2023

Keywords

  • Clinical genetics
  • Immune response
  • Molecular medicine

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