COVID-19 tissue atlases reveal SARS-CoV-2 pathology and cellular targets
April 29, 2021
Toni M. Delorey, Carly G. K. Ziegler, Graham Heimberg, Rachelly Normand, Yiming Yang, Åsa Segerstolpe, Domenic Abbondanza, Stephen J. Fleming, Ayshwarya Subramanian, Daniel T. Montoro, Karthik A. Jagadeesh, Kushal K. Dey, Pritha Sen, Michal Slyper, Yered H. Pita-Juárez, Devan Phillips, Jana Biermann, Zohar Bloom-Ackermann, Nick Barkas, Andrea Ganna, James Gomez, Johannes C. Melms, Igor Katsyv, Erica Normandin, Pourya Naderi, Yury V. Popov, Siddharth S. Raju, Sebastian Niezen, Linus T.-Y. Tsai, Katherine J. Siddle, Malika Sud, Victoria M. Tran, Shamsudheen K. Vellarikkal, Yiping Wang, Liat Amir-Zilberstein, Deepak S. Atri, Joseph Beechem, Olga R. Brook, Jonathan Chen, Prajan Divakar, Phylicia Dorceus, Jesse M. Engreitz, Adam Essene, Donna M. Fitzgerald, Robin Fropf, Steven Gazal, Joshua Gould, John Grzyb, Tyler Harvey, Jonathan Hecht, Tyler Hether, Judit Jané-Valbuena, Michael Leney-Greene, Hui Ma, Cristin McCabe, Daniel E. McLoughlin, Eric M. Miller, Christoph Muus, Mari Niemi, Robert Padera, Liuliu Pan, Deepti Pant, Carmel Pe’er, Jenna Pfiffner-Borges, Christopher J. Pinto, Jacob Plaisted, Jason Reeves, Marty Ross, Melissa Rudy, Erroll H. Rueckert, Michelle Siciliano, Alexander Sturm, Ellen Todres, Avinash Waghray, Sarah Warren, Shuting Zhang, Daniel R. Zollinger, Lisa Cosimi, Rajat M. Gupta, Nir Hacohen, Hanina Hibshoosh, Winston Hide, Alkes L. Price, Jayaraj Rajagopal, Purushothama Rao Tata, Stefan Riedel, Gyongyi Szabo, Timothy L. Tickle, Patrick T. Ellinor, Deborah Hung, Pardis C. Sabeti, Richard Novak, Robert Rogers, Donald E. Ingber, Z. Gordon Jiang, Dejan Juric, Mehrtash Babadi, Samouil L. Farhi, Benjamin Izar, James R. Stone, Ioannis S. Vlachos, Isaac H. Solomon, Orr Ashenberg, Caroline B. M. Porter, Bo Li, Alex K. Shalek, Alexandra-Chloé Villani, Orit Rozenblatt-Rosen & Aviv Regev
The pathogenesis of severe COVID-19 cases was further explored using the newly developed cross-body COVID-19 autopsy biobank, where samples of the COVID-19 victims’ lungs, heart, and liver tissue were collected for single cell and spatial analysis using RNA-seq protocols. This work was able to evaluate the effect of severe COVID-19 infections on distinct tissues and regions of the lung. The researchers noticed a decrease in AT2 cells and the presence of PATS and IPBLP-like cells in the lungs, which suggests that the cells were trying to re-establish alveolar epithelial cells lost during infection. The study elucidated the cell-specific inflammatory pathways upregulated during infection, which can help in the development of improved treatments. Spatial analysis also shows that there were high viral levels during the onset of the infection in the lungs. However, the researchers did not detect a large presence of viral RNA in the heart, liver, or kidney. The study can be improved with a widening atlas, as the current atlas has very few donors. Nonetheless, the methods outlined enable other researchers to study diverse diseases.
Delorey TM, Ziegler CGK, Heimberg G, et al. COVID-19 tissue atlases reveal SARS-CoV-2 pathology and cellular targets. Nature (2021).