SARS-CoV-2 infection causes immunodeficiency in recovered patients by downregulating CD19 expression in B cells via enhancing B-cell metabolism

Signal Transduct Target Ther. 2021 Sep 22;6(1):345. doi: 10.1038/s41392-021-00749-3.

Abstract

The SARS-CoV-2 infection causes severe immune disruption. However, it is unclear if disrupted immune regulation still exists and pertains in recovered COVID-19 patients. In our study, we have characterized the immune phenotype of B cells from 15 recovered COVID-19 patients, and found that healthy controls and recovered patients had similar B-cell populations before and after BCR stimulation, but the frequencies of PBC in patients were significantly increased when compared to healthy controls before stimulation. However, the percentage of unswitched memory B cells was decreased in recovered patients but not changed in healthy controls upon BCR stimulation. Interestingly, we found that CD19 expression was significantly reduced in almost all the B-cell subsets in recovered patients. Moreover, the BCR signaling and early B-cell response were disrupted upon BCR stimulation. Mechanistically, we found that the reduced CD19 expression was caused by the dysregulation of cell metabolism. In conclusion, we found that SARS-CoV-2 infection causes immunodeficiency in recovered patients by downregulating CD19 expression in B cells via enhancing B-cell metabolism, which may provide a new intervention target to cure COVID-19.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD19 / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • COVID-19 / complications
  • COVID-19 / immunology*
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Down-Regulation / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / etiology
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / immunology*
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / virology
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell / immunology
  • SARS-CoV-2 / immunology*
  • Vero Cells

Substances

  • Antigens, CD19
  • CD19 antigen, mouse
  • CD19 molecule, human
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell