BACKGROUND: Type I interferon (IFN-I) and IFN autoantibodies play a crucial role in controlling SARS-CoV-2 infection. The levels of these mediators have only rarely been studied in the alveolar compartment in patients with COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome (CARDS) but have not been compared across different ARDS etiologies, and the potential effect of dexamethasone (DXM) on these mediators is not known.

METHODS: We assessed the integrity of the alveolo-capillary membrane, interleukins, type I, II, and III IFNs, and IFN autoantibodies by studying the epithelial lining fluid (ELF) volumes, alveolar concentration of protein, and ELF-corrected concentrations of cytokines in two patient subgroups and controls.

RESULTS: A total of 16 patients with CARDS (four without and 12 with DXM treatment), eight with non-CARDS, and 15 healthy controls were included. The highest ELF volumes and protein levels were observed in CARDS. Systemic and ELF-corrected alveolar concentrations of interleukin (IL)-6 appeared to be particularly low in patients with CARDS receiving DXM, whereas alveolar levels of IL-8 were high regardless of DXM treatment. Alveolar levels of IFNs were similar between CARDS and non-CARDS patients, and IFNα and IFNω autoantibody levels were higher in patients with CARDS and non-CARDS than in healthy controls.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with CARDS exhibited greater alveolo-capillary barrier disruption with compartmentalization of IL-8, regardless of DXM treatment, whereas systemic and alveolar levels of IL-6 were lower in the DXM-treated subgroup. IFN-I autoantibodies were higher in the BALF of CARDS patients, independent of DXM, whereas IFN autoantibodies in plasma were similar to those in controls.

TidsskriftFrontiers in Immunology
Sider (fra-til)1353012
StatusUdgivet - 2024


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