Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection represents a global health crisis. Immune cell activation via pattern recognition receptors has been implicated as a driver of the hyperinflammatory response seen in COVID-19. However, our understanding of the specific immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 remains limited. Mast cells (MCs) and eosinophils are innate immune cells that play pathogenic roles in many inflammatory responses. Here we report MC-derived proteases and eosinophil-associated mediators are elevated in COVID-19 patient sera and lung tissues. Stimulation of viral-sensing toll-like receptors in vitro and administration of synthetic viral RNA in vivo induced features of hyperinflammation, including cytokine elevation, immune cell airway infiltration, and MC-protease production-effects suppressed by an anti-Siglec-8 monoclonal antibody which selectively inhibits MCs and depletes eosinophils. Similarly, anti-Siglec-8 treatment reduced disease severity and airway inflammation in a respiratory viral infection model. These results suggest that MC and eosinophil activation are associated with COVID-19 inflammation and anti-Siglec-8 antibodies are a potential therapeutic approach for attenuating excessive inflammation during viral infections.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Siglec-8; Toll-like receptor; eosinophil; lirentelimab; mast cell; viral inflammation.
Copyright © 2021 Gebremeskel, Schanin, Coyle, Butuci, Luu, Brock, Xu, Wong, Leung, Korver, Morin, Schleimer, Bochner and Youngblood.