Knowledge of the pathogenic mechanisms of severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is certainly a priority for the scientific community. Two main elements are involved in the biology of the most severe forms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): the direct cytopathic effect of the virus against the host tissues, and a dysfunction of the immune system, characterized by the exhaustion of T lymphocytes. The exhaustion of T cells in COVID-19 is poorly understand, but some data could suggest a possible role of PD-1/PD-L1 axis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible role of PD-L1 expression in the pulmonary tissue in subjects affected by COVID-19. The presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the pulmonary tissue, and its exact location, was indagated by in situ hybridization; the expression of PD-L1 and CD8 in the same tissue was indagated by immunohistochemistry. Overall, PD-L1 resulted diffusely expressed in 70% of the cases, and an intense expression was observed in 43.5% of cases. Diffuse and intense presence of SARS-CoV-2 by in situ hybridization significantly correlated with an intense PD-L1 expression, and with expression of PD-L1 by pneumocytes. PD-L1 is overexpressed in the pulmonary tissue of subjects died from COVID-19, and mainly in subjects with a high viral load. These data suggest a possible role of PD-L1 in the immune system exhaustion at the basis of the severe forms of the disease.

PD-L1 Overexpression in the Lungs of Subjects Who Died from COVID-19: Are We on the Way to Understanding the Immune System Exhaustion Induced by SARS-CoV-2?

Ronchi A;Campobasso CP;Mascolo P;Giordano C;Franco R.
2022

Abstract

Knowledge of the pathogenic mechanisms of severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is certainly a priority for the scientific community. Two main elements are involved in the biology of the most severe forms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): the direct cytopathic effect of the virus against the host tissues, and a dysfunction of the immune system, characterized by the exhaustion of T lymphocytes. The exhaustion of T cells in COVID-19 is poorly understand, but some data could suggest a possible role of PD-1/PD-L1 axis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible role of PD-L1 expression in the pulmonary tissue in subjects affected by COVID-19. The presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the pulmonary tissue, and its exact location, was indagated by in situ hybridization; the expression of PD-L1 and CD8 in the same tissue was indagated by immunohistochemistry. Overall, PD-L1 resulted diffusely expressed in 70% of the cases, and an intense expression was observed in 43.5% of cases. Diffuse and intense presence of SARS-CoV-2 by in situ hybridization significantly correlated with an intense PD-L1 expression, and with expression of PD-L1 by pneumocytes. PD-L1 is overexpressed in the pulmonary tissue of subjects died from COVID-19, and mainly in subjects with a high viral load. These data suggest a possible role of PD-L1 in the immune system exhaustion at the basis of the severe forms of the disease.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11591/475549
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 1
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact