Scientific article
Open access

Circulating extracellular particles from severe COVID-19 patients show altered profiling and innate lymphoid cell-modulating ability

Published inFrontiers in immunology, vol. 14, 1085610
Publication date2023-05-03
First online date2023-05-03


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) and particles (EPs) represent reliable biomarkers for disease detection. Their role in the inflammatory microenvironment of severe COVID-19 patients is not well determined. Here, we characterized the immunophenotype, the lipidomic cargo and the functional activity of circulating EPs from severe COVID-19 patients (Co-19-EPs) and healthy controls (HC-EPs) correlating the data with the clinical parameters including the partial pressure of oxygen to fraction of inspired oxygen ratio (PaO2/FiO2) and the sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score.


Peripheral blood (PB) was collected from COVID-19 patients (n=10) and HC (n=10). EPs were purified from platelet-poor plasma by size exclusion chromatography (SEC) and ultrafiltration. Plasma cytokines and EPs were characterized by multiplex bead-based assay. Quantitative lipidomic profiling of EPs was performed by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry combined with quadrupole time-of-flight (LC/MS Q-TOF). Innate lymphoid cells (ILC) were characterized by flow cytometry after co-cultures with HC-EPs or Co-19-EPs.


We observed that EPs from severe COVID-19 patients: 1) display an altered surface signature as assessed by multiplex protein analysis; 2) are characterized by distinct lipidomic profiling; 3) show correlations between lipidomic profiling and disease aggressiveness scores; 4) fail to dampen type 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2) cytokine secretion. As a consequence, ILC2 from severe COVID-19 patients show a more activated phenotype due to the presence of Co-19-EPs.


In summary, these data highlight that abnormal circulating EPs promote ILC2-driven inflammatory signals in severe COVID-19 patients and support further exploration to unravel the role of EPs (and EVs) in COVID-19 pathogenesis.

  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Extracellular vesicles and particles
  • Innate lymphoid cells
  • Lipidomic
  • Type 2 innate lymphoid cell
Citation (ISO format)
FORTE, Dorian et al. Circulating extracellular particles from severe COVID-19 patients show altered profiling and innate lymphoid cell-modulating ability. In: Frontiers in immunology, 2023, vol. 14, p. 1085610. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2023.1085610
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1664-3224

Technical informations

Creation08/13/2023 1:18:03 PM
First validation08/14/2023 8:01:43 AM
Update time08/14/2023 8:01:43 AM
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