Lung T cell response in COVID-19

Front Immunol. 2023 Feb 16:14:1108716. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2023.1108716. eCollection 2023.


The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the potentially devastating impact of novel respiratory infections worldwide. Insightful data obtained in the last years have shed light on the pathophysiology of SARS-CoV-2 infection and the role of the inflammatory response in driving both the resolution of the disease and uncontrolled deleterious inflammatory status in severe cases. In this mini-review, we cover some important aspects of the role of T cells in COVID-19 with a special focus on the local response in the lung. We focus on the reported T cell phenotypes in mild, moderate, and severe COVID-19, focusing on lung inflammation and on both the protective and damaging roles of the T cell response, also highlighting the open questions in the field.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; T-cell; lung; pathomechanism.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / immunology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation* / immunology
  • Lung* / immunology
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • T-Lymphocytes* / immunology

Grants and funding

LB is supported by the BMBF-funded excellence project Diet-Body-Brain (DietBB) under grant number 01EA1809A. MB is supported by DFG (IRTG2168-272482170, SFB1454-432325352).