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T-cell count and T-cell telomere length in patients with severe COVID-19.

Publication ,  Journal Article
Kraft, BD; Verhulst, S; Lai, T-P; Sullenger, BA; Wang, Y; Rountree, W; Chen, L; Woods, CW; Denny, TN; Aviv, A
Published in: Front Immunol
2024

Lymphocyte telomere length (TL) is highly variable and shortens with age. Short telomeres may impede TL-dependent T-cell clonal expansion with viral infection. As SARS-CoV-2 infection can induce prolonged and severe T-cell lymphopenia, infected adults, and particularly older adults with short telomeres, may display severe T-cell lymphopenia. To examine the relationship between T-cell TL parameters and T-cell counts, we studied 40 patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19. T-cells were isolated from lymphocytes, counted using flow cytometry, and their TL parameters were measured using the Telomere Shortest Length Assay. The cohort (median age = 62 years, 27% female) was racially and ethnically diverse (33% White, 35% Black, and 33% Other). On intensive care unit study day 1, T-cell count (mean=1.03 x109/L) was inversely related to age (p=0.007) and higher in females than males (p=0.025). Mean TL was 3.88 kilobases (kb), and 45.3% of telomeres were shorter than 3 kb. Using multiple regression analysis and adjusting for age and sex, T-cell count decreased with increased proportion of T-cell telomeres shorter than 3 kb (p=0.033) and increased with mean TL (p=0.052). Our findings suggest an association between the buildup of short telomeres within T-cells and explain in part reduced peripheral blood T-cell counts in patients with severe COVID-19. Shortened T-cell telomeres may be a risk factor for COVID-19-associated T-cell lymphopenia.

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Published In

Front Immunol

DOI

EISSN

1664-3224

Publication Date

2024

Volume

15

Start / End Page

1356638

Location

Switzerland

Related Subject Headings

  • Telomere
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Middle Aged
  • Male
  • Lymphopenia
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Humans
  • Female
  • COVID-19
 

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Kraft, B. D., Verhulst, S., Lai, T.-P., Sullenger, B. A., Wang, Y., Rountree, W., … Aviv, A. (2024). T-cell count and T-cell telomere length in patients with severe COVID-19. Front Immunol, 15, 1356638. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2024.1356638
Kraft, Bryan D., Simon Verhulst, Tsung-Po Lai, Bruce A. Sullenger, Yunfei Wang, Wes Rountree, Lingye Chen, Christopher W. Woods, Thomas N. Denny, and Abraham Aviv. “T-cell count and T-cell telomere length in patients with severe COVID-19.Front Immunol 15 (2024): 1356638. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2024.1356638.
Kraft BD, Verhulst S, Lai T-P, Sullenger BA, Wang Y, Rountree W, et al. T-cell count and T-cell telomere length in patients with severe COVID-19. Front Immunol. 2024;15:1356638.
Kraft, Bryan D., et al. “T-cell count and T-cell telomere length in patients with severe COVID-19.Front Immunol, vol. 15, 2024, p. 1356638. Pubmed, doi:10.3389/fimmu.2024.1356638.
Kraft BD, Verhulst S, Lai T-P, Sullenger BA, Wang Y, Rountree W, Chen L, Woods CW, Denny TN, Aviv A. T-cell count and T-cell telomere length in patients with severe COVID-19. Front Immunol. 2024;15:1356638.

Published In

Front Immunol

DOI

EISSN

1664-3224

Publication Date

2024

Volume

15

Start / End Page

1356638

Location

Switzerland

Related Subject Headings

  • Telomere
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Middle Aged
  • Male
  • Lymphopenia
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Humans
  • Female
  • COVID-19