Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) signaling is involved in innate immune responses and regulates the production of proinflammatory cytokines that can contribute to COVID-19 immunopathology. Clinical trials with BTK inhibitors in COVID-19 treatment have been proposed, and previous studies have attempted to investigate the therapeutic effects of ibrutinib and underlying mechanisms in treating viral pneumonia. These attempts, however, did not consider potential off target effect of BTK inhibitors on T cell differentiation, function, and survival, which may be beneficial in treatment for COVID-19. Here, we summarize the current knowledge of BTK/IL-2-inducible T-cell kinase (ITK) signaling in immunopathology and lymphopenia and discuss the potential of BTK/ITK dual inhibitors such as ibrutinib in modulating immunopathology and lymphopenia, for COVID-19 therapy.
Keywords: BTK; COVID-19; ITK; immunopathology; lymphopenia; therapy.
©2020 Society for Leukocyte Biology.