Molecular Mechanisms of Immunity to Infectious Viruses

A special issue of Cells (ISSN 2073-4409). This special issue belongs to the section "Cellular Immunology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 December 2023) | Viewed by 1370

Special Issue Editors

Center of Basic Research, Biomedical Research Foundation, Academy of Athens, 4 Soranou Ephessiou St., 11527 Athens, Greece
Interests: viral infections; epigenome architecture and function; inducible gene expression programs; genomics; evolution of cis-acting elements
School of Medicine, University of Patras, Rio, Greece
Interests: viral infections; immune cell biology; gene expression programs; epigenetics; chromatin architecture
Genetics Laboratory, Biotechnology Department, Agricultural University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Interests: functional role of long non-coding RNAs; stress mechanisms and homeostasis via nuclear receptors; computational and molecular virology under the prisms of genetics; computational biology; precision medicine
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

We are delighted to announce a Special Issue of Cells: "Molecular Mechanisms of Immunity to Infectious Viruses".

Viral infections dramatically impact human health and occasionally act as causal factors for morbidity and mortality among human populations that can lead to pandemic outbreaks. Immune responses are shaped as defense layers against viral life-cycle progression within human tissues. A hallmark of this function is the establishment of inducible expression programs. Much has been learned due to the advent of cell biology applications efficient in immunophenotyping and next-generation sequencing technologies, genomics applications, and computational biology tools applied to access the regulatory principles of gene expression, which can collectively illuminate the defense mechanisms that hosts utilize to combat viral infections. Advanced studies have characterized a plethora of cell types of the immune system and delineated diverse mechanistic principles, multiple layers of regulation, and cellular components, such as receptors, signal transduction cascades, transcriptional regulatory factors, chromatin complexes, and secreted effectors, committed in defense-specific responses at the cell- and tissue-level. Despite the essential knowledge that has emerged, it still remains challenging to comprehend how immune cells establish inducible gene-expression programs and shape efficient antiviral/defense responses within the heterogeneous 3D microenvironments of the human body. Hence, disentangling such perplexing phenomena is of paramount importance for an in-depth understanding of the mechanisms of human immunity, within and beyond the context of viral infections. 

For this Special Issue of Cells, research articles, research reports, and reviews focused on the molecular mechanisms of immunity to infectious viruses will be considered for publication.

Dr. Marios Agelopoulos
Dr. Tassos Georgakopoulos
Dr. Dimitrios Vlachakis
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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  • viral infections
  • immune cell biology
  • gene expression programs
  • epigenetics
  • chromatin architecture
  • cis-regulatory elements
  • functional genomics
  • computational biology applications

Published Papers (1 paper)

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23 pages, 6077 KiB  
Immunological Misfiring and Sex Differences/Similarities in Early COVID-19 Studies: Missed Opportunities of Making a Real IMPACT
Cells 2023, 12(22), 2591; - 08 Nov 2023
Viewed by 938
COVID-19-associated intensive care unit (ICU) admissions were recognized as critical health issues that contributed to morbidity and mortality in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. Severe symptoms in COVID-19 patients are often accompanied by cytokine release syndrome. Here, we analyzed publicly available data from the Yale IMPACT [...] Read more.
COVID-19-associated intensive care unit (ICU) admissions were recognized as critical health issues that contributed to morbidity and mortality in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. Severe symptoms in COVID-19 patients are often accompanied by cytokine release syndrome. Here, we analyzed publicly available data from the Yale IMPACT cohort to address immunological misfiring and sex differences in early COVID-19 patients. In 2020, SARS-CoV-2 was considered far more pathogenic and lethal than other circulating respiratory viruses, and the inclusion of SARS-CoV-2 negative patients in IMPACT cohorts confounds many findings. We ascertained the impact of several important biological variables such as days from symptom onset (DFSO); pre-existing risk factors, including obesity; and early COVID-19 treatments on significantly changed immunological measures in ICU-admitted COVID-19 patients that survived versus those that did not. Deceased patients had 19 unique measures that were not shared with ICU patients including increased granzyme-B-producing GzB+CD8+ T cells and interferon-γ. Male COVID-19 patients in ICU experienced many more changes in immunological and clinical measures than female ICU patients (25% vs. ~16%, respectively). A total of 13/124 measures including CCL5, CCL17, IL-18, IFNα2, Fractalkine, classical monocytes, T cells, and CD4Temra exhibited significant sex differences in female vs. male COVID-19 patients. A total of nine measures including IL-21, CCL5, and CD4Temra differed significantly between female and male healthy controls. Immunosuppressed patients experienced the most decreases in CD4Temra and CD8Tem cell numbers. None of the early COVID-19 treatments were effective in reducing levels of IL-6, a major component of the cytokine storm. Obesity (BMI >30) was the most impactful risk factor for COVID-19-related deaths and worst clinical outcomes. Our analysis highlights the contribution of biological sex, risk factors, and early treatments with respect to COVID-19-related ICU admission and progression to morbidity and mortality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Immunity to Infectious Viruses)
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