Circulating monocytes expressing senescence-associated features are enriched in COVID-19 patients with severe disease

Y Lin, D F Postma, L S Steeneken, L S Melo Dos Santos, J L Kirkland, J M Espindola-Netto, T Tchkonia, M Borghesan, H R Bouma, M Demaria*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Accurate biomarkers for predicting COVID-19 severity have remained an unmet need due to an incomplete understanding of virus pathogenesis and heterogeneity among patients. Cellular senescence and its pro-inflammatory phenotype are suggested to be a consequence of SARS-CoV-2 infection and potentially drive infection-dependent pathological sequelae. Senescence-associated markers in infected individuals have been identified primarily in the lower respiratory tract, while little is known about their presence in more easily accessible bio-specimens. Here, we measured the abundance of senescence-associated signatures in whole blood, plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of COVID-19 patients and patients without an infection. Bulk transcriptomic and targeted proteomic assays revealed that the level of senescence-associated markers, including the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP), is predictive of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Single-cell RNA-sequencing data demonstrated that a senescence signature is particularly enriched in monocytes of COVID-19 patients, partially correlating with disease severity. Our findings suggest that monocytes are prematurely induced to senescence by SARS-CoV-2 infection, might contribute to exacerbating a SASP-like inflammatory response and can serve as markers and predictors for COVID-19 and its sequelae.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14011
Number of pages5
JournalAging Cell
Volume22
Issue number12
Early online date15-Nov-2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2023

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