TNF-alpha+ CD4+ Tcells dominate the SARS-CoV-2 specific T cell response in COVID-19 outpatients and are associated with durable antibodies.
Cell reports. Medicine
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-specific CD4+ Tcells are likely important in immunity against coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), but our understanding of CD4+ longitudinal dynamics following infection and of specific features that correlate with the maintenance of neutralizing antibodies remains limited. Here, we characterize SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ Tcells in a longitudinal cohort of 109 COVID-19 outpatients enrolled during acute infection. The quality of the SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ response shifts from cells producing interferon gamma (IFNgamma) to tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) from 5days to 4months post-enrollment, with IFNgamma-IL-21-TNF-alpha+ CD4+ Tcells the predominant population detected at later time points. Greater percentages of IFNgamma-IL-21-TNF-alpha+ CD4+ Tcells on day 28 correlate with SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing antibodies measured 7months post-infection (⍴= 0.4, p= 0.01). mRNA vaccination following SARS-CoV-2 infection boosts both IFNgamma- and TNF-alpha-producing, spike-protein-specific CD4+ Tcells. These data suggest that SARS-CoV-2-specific, TNF-alpha-producing CD4+ Tcells may play an important role in antibody maintenance following COVID-19.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.xcrm.2022.100640
View details for PubMedID 35588734