Version 1 du 21 septembre 2020
Monocytes and macrophages, targets of SARS-CoV-2: the clue for Covid-19 immunoparalysis
Asma Boumaza, Laetitia Gay, Soraya Mezouar, Aïssatou Bailo Diallo, Moise Michel1,2, Benoit Desnues1,2, Didier Raoult1,2, Bernard La Scola1,2, Philippe Halfon, Joana Vitte, Daniel Olive and Jean-Louis Mege
To date, the Covid-19 pandemic affected more than 18 million individuals and caused more than 690, 000 deaths. Its clinical expression is pleiomorphic and severity is related to age and comorbidities such as diabetes and hypertension. The pathophysiology of the disease relies on aberrant activation of immune system and lymphopenia that has been recognized as a prognosis marker. We wondered if the myeloid compartment was affected in Covid-19 and if monocytes and macrophages could be infected by SARS-CoV-2. We show here that SARS40 CoV-2 efficiently infects monocytes and macrophages without any cytopathic effect.
Infection was associated with the secretion of immunoregulatory cytokines (IL-6, IL-10, TGF-β) and the induction of a macrophagic specific transcriptional program characterized by the upregulation of M2-type molecules. In addition, we found that in vitro macrophage polarization did not account for the permissivity to SARS-CoV-2, since M1- and M2-type macrophages were similarly infected. Finally, in a cohort of 76 Covid-19 patients ranging from mild to severe clinical expression, all circulating monocyte subsets were decreased, likely related to massive emigration into tissues. Monocytes from Covid-19 patients exhibited decreased expression of HLA-DR and increased expression of CD163, irrespective of the clinical status. Hence, SARS-CoV-2 drives circulating monocytes and macrophages inducing immunoparalysis of the host for the benefit of Covid-19 disease progression.