Integrated cytokine and metabolite analysis reveals immunometabolic reprogramming in COVID-19 patients with therapeutic implications

Nan Xiao, Meng Nie, Huanhuan Pang, Bohong Wang, Jieli Hu, Xiangjun Meng, Ke Li, Xiaorong Ran, Quanxin Long, Haijun Deng, Na Chen, Shao Li, Ni Tang, Ailong Huang, Zeping Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Cytokine release syndrome (CRS) is a major cause of the multi-organ injury and fatal outcome induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection in severe COVID-19 patients. Metabolism can modulate the immune responses against infectious diseases, yet our understanding remains limited on how host metabolism correlates with inflammatory responses and affects cytokine release in COVID-19 patients. Here we perform both metabolomics and cytokine/chemokine profiling on serum samples from healthy controls, mild and severe COVID-19 patients, and delineate their global metabolic and immune response landscape. Correlation analyses show tight associations between metabolites and proinflammatory cytokines/chemokines, such as IL-6, M-CSF, IL-1α, IL-1β, and imply a potential regulatory crosstalk between arginine, tryptophan, purine metabolism and hyperinflammation. Importantly, we also demonstrate that targeting metabolism markedly modulates the proinflammatory cytokines release by peripheral blood mononuclear cells isolated from SARS-CoV-2-infected rhesus macaques ex vivo, hinting that exploiting metabolic alterations may be a potential strategy for treating fatal CRS in COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1618
JournalNature communications
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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