IL 33 Correlates With COVID-19 Severity, Radiographic and Clinical Finding
Objective: The increased level of interleukin (IL)-33 is considered as a predictor of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection, but its role at different stages of the disease is still unclear. Our goal was to analyze the correlation of IL-33 and other innate immunity cytokines with disease severity. Methods: In this study, 220 patients with COVID-19 were included and divided into two groups, mild/moderate and severe/critical. The value of the cytokines, clinical, biochemical, radiographic data was collected and their correlation with disease severity was analyzed. Results: Most patients in the severe/critical group were male (81.8%) and older (over 64.5 years). We found a statistically significant difference (p < 0.05) in these two groups between clinical features (dyspnea, dry cough, fatigue, and auscultatory findings); laboratory [(neutrophil count, lymphocyte count, monocyte count, hemoglobin, plasma glucose, urea, creatinine, total bilirubin (TBIL), direct bilirubin (DBIL), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), albumin (ALB), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), creatinine kinase (CK), D-dimer, C-reactive protein (CRP), procalcitonin (PCT), Fe, and Ferritin)], arterial blood gases (oxygen saturation-Sa02, partial pressure of oxygen -p02), and chest X-rays (CXR) lung findings (p = 0.000). We found a significantly higher serum concentration (p < 0.05) of TNF-a, IL-1b, IL-6, IL-12, IL-23, and IL-33 in patients with COVID-19 with severe disease. In the milder stage of COVID-19, a positive correlation was detected between IL-33 and IL-1b, IL-12 and IL-23, while a stronger positive correlation between the serum values of IL-33 and TNF-a, IL-1b, IL-6, and IL-12 and IL-23 was detected in patients with COVID-19 with severe disease. A weak negative correlation (p < 0.05) between pO2 and serum IL-1b, IL-12, and IL-33 and between SaO2 and serum IL-33 was noted. The positive relation (p < 0.05) between the serum values of IL-33 and IL-12, IL-33 and IL-6, and IL-6 and IL-12 is proven. Conclusion: In a more progressive stage of COVID-19, increased IL-33 facilitates lung inflammation by inducing the production of various innate proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1b, IL-6, TNF-a, IL-12, and IL-23) in several target cells leading to the most severe forms of the disease. IL-33 correlates with clinical parameters of COVID-19 and might represent a promising marker as well as a therapeutic target in COVID-19.
IL 33, COVID-19, disease severity, correlation, proinflammatory innate immune response