This study involves the histological analysis of samples taken during autopsies in cases of COVID-19 related death to evaluate the inflammatory cytokine response and the tissue localization of the virus in various organs. In all the selected cases, SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR on swabs collected from the upper (nasopharynx and oropharynx) and/or the lower respiratory (trachea and primary bronchi) tracts were positive. Tissue localization of SARS-CoV-2 was detected using antibodies against the nucleoprotein and the spike protein. Overall, we tested the hypothesis that the overexpression of proinflammatory cytokines plays an important role in the development of COVID-19-associated pneumonia by estimating the expression of multiple cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, IL-15, TNF-α, and MCP-1), inflammatory cells (CD4, CD8, CD20, and CD45), and fibrinogen. Immunohistochemical staining showed that endothelial cells expressed IL-1β in lung samples obtained from the COVID-19 group (p < 0.001). Similarly, alveolar capillary endothelial cells showed strong and diffuse immunoreactivity for IL-6 and IL-15 in the COVID-19 group (p < 0.001). TNF-α showed a higher immunoreactivity in the COVID-19 group than in the control group (p < 0.001). CD8 + T cells where more numerous in the lung samples obtained from the COVID-19 group (p < 0.001). Current evidence suggests that a cytokine storm is the major cause of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multiple organ failure and is consistently linked with fatal outcomes.

Cytokine storm and histopathological findings in 60 cases of COVID-19-related death: from viral load research to immunohistochemical quantification of major players IL-1β, IL-6, IL-15 and TNF-α

Frisoni P.
Primo
;
Neri M.
Secondo
;
Alfieri L.;Gaudio R. M.;Marti M.;
2022

Abstract

This study involves the histological analysis of samples taken during autopsies in cases of COVID-19 related death to evaluate the inflammatory cytokine response and the tissue localization of the virus in various organs. In all the selected cases, SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR on swabs collected from the upper (nasopharynx and oropharynx) and/or the lower respiratory (trachea and primary bronchi) tracts were positive. Tissue localization of SARS-CoV-2 was detected using antibodies against the nucleoprotein and the spike protein. Overall, we tested the hypothesis that the overexpression of proinflammatory cytokines plays an important role in the development of COVID-19-associated pneumonia by estimating the expression of multiple cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, IL-15, TNF-α, and MCP-1), inflammatory cells (CD4, CD8, CD20, and CD45), and fibrinogen. Immunohistochemical staining showed that endothelial cells expressed IL-1β in lung samples obtained from the COVID-19 group (p < 0.001). Similarly, alveolar capillary endothelial cells showed strong and diffuse immunoreactivity for IL-6 and IL-15 in the COVID-19 group (p < 0.001). TNF-α showed a higher immunoreactivity in the COVID-19 group than in the control group (p < 0.001). CD8 + T cells where more numerous in the lung samples obtained from the COVID-19 group (p < 0.001). Current evidence suggests that a cytokine storm is the major cause of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multiple organ failure and is consistently linked with fatal outcomes.
2022
Frisoni, P.; Neri, M.; D'Errico, S.; Alfieri, L.; Bonuccelli, D.; Cingolani, M.; Di Paolo, M.; Gaudio, R. M.; Lestani, M.; Marti, M.; Martelloni, M.; Moreschi, C.; Santurro, A.; Scopetti, M.; Turriziani, O.; Zanon, M.; Scendoni, R.; Frati, P.; Fineschi, V.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2471968
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