Neutrophils and lymphopenia, an unknown axis in severe COVID-19 disease

Hernán F. Peñaloza, Janet S. Lee, Prabir Ray

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by the betacoronavirus Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus that can mediate asymptomatic or fatal infections characterized by pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and multi-organ failure. Several studies have highlighted the importance of B and T lymphocytes, given that neutralizing antibodies and T cell responses are required for an effective immunity. In addition, other reports have described myeloid cells such as macrophages and monocytes play a major role in the immunity against SARS-CoV-2 as well as dysregulated pro-inflammatory signature that characterizes severe COVID-19. During COVID-19, neutrophils have been defined as a heterogeneous group of cells, functionally linked to severe inflammation and thrombosis triggered by degranulation and NETosis, but also to suppressive phenotypes. The physiological role of suppressive neutrophils during COVID-19 and their implications in severe disease have been poorly studied and is not well understood. Here, we discuss the current evidence regarding the role of neutrophils with suppressive properties such as granulocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells (G-MDSCs) and their possible role in suppressing CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes expansion and giving rise to lymphopenia in severe COVID-19 infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1009850
JournalPLoS pathogens
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Neutrophils and lymphopenia, an unknown axis in severe COVID-19 disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this