Primate Monocytes - CD14, CD16 - Ziegler-Heitbrock


Mild/asymptomatic COVID-19 in unvaccinated pregnant mothers impairs neonatal immune responses.


Maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection triggers placental inflammation and alters cord blood immune cell composition. However, most studies focus on outcomes of severe maternal infection. Therefore, we analyzed cord blood and chorionic villi from newborns of unvaccinated mothers who experienced mild/asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy. We investigated immune cell rewiring using flow cytometry, single-cell RNA sequencing, and functional readouts using ex vivo stimulation with TLR agonists and pathogens. Maternal infection was associated with increased frequency of memory T- and B-cells, and non-classical monocytes in cord blood. Ex vivo T- and B-cell responses to stimulation were attenuated, suggesting a tolerogenic state. Maladaptive responses were also observed in cord blood monocytes, where antiviral responses were dampened but responses to bacterial TLRs were increased. Maternal infection was also associated with expansion and activation of placental Hofbauer cells, secreting elevated levels of myeloid cell recruiting chemokines. Moreover, we reported increased activation of maternal-derived monocytes/macrophages in the fetal placenta that are transcriptionally primed for antiviral responses. Our data indicate that even in the absence of vertical transmission or symptoms in the neonate, mild/asymptomatic maternal COVID-19 altered the transcriptional and functional state in fetal immune cells in circulation and in the placenta.

Authors: Doratt BM, Sureshchandra S, True H, Rincon M, Marshall NE, Messaoudi I,
Journal: JCI Insight;2023Sep12. doi:10.1172/jci.insight.172658
Year: 2023
PubMed: PMID: 37698937 (Go to PubMed)