Multi-organ complement deposition in COVID-19 patients

MedRxiv : the Preprint Server for Health Sciences
Paolo MacorFrancesco Tedesco

Abstract

Background: Increased levels of circulating complement activation products have been reported in COVID-19 patients, but only limited information is available on complement involvement at tissue level. The mechanisms and pathways of local complement activation remain unclear. Methods: We performed immunofluorescence analyses of autopsy specimens of lungs, kidney and liver from nine COVID-19 patients who died of acute respiratory failure. Snap-frozen samples embedded in OCT were stained with antibodies against complement components and activation products, IgG and spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. Findings: Lung deposits of C1q, C4, C3 and C5b-9 were localized in the capillaries of the interalveolar septa and on alveolar cells. IgG displayed a similar even distribution, suggesting classical pathway activation. The spike protein is a potential target of IgG, but its uneven distribution suggests that other viral and tissue molecules may be targeted by IgG. Factor B deposits were also seen in COVID-19 lungs and are consistent with activation of the alternative pathway, whereas MBL and MASP-2 were hardly detectable. Analysis of kidney and liver specimens mirrored findings observed in the lung. Complement deposits were seen on tubules and ...Continue Reading

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BETA
biopsy
glycosylation

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MedRxiv

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