Single-cell transcriptomics reveal a hyperacute cytokine and immune checkpoint axis after cardiac arrest in patients with poor neurological outcome.

Publication date: Jul 14, 2023

Most patients hospitalized after cardiac arrest (CA) die because of neurological injury. The systemic inflammatory response after CA is associated with neurological injury and mortality but remains poorly defined. We determine the innate immune network induced by clinical CA at single-cell resolution. Immune cell states diverge as early as 6 h post-CA between patients with good or poor neurological outcomes 30 days after CA. Nectin-2 monocyte and Tim-3 natural killer (NK) cell subpopulations are associated with poor outcomes, and interactome analysis highlights their crosstalk via cytokines and immune checkpoints. Ex vivo studies of peripheral blood cells from CA patients demonstrate that immune checkpoints are a compensatory mechanism against inflammation after CA. Interferon γ (IFNγ)/interleukin-10 (IL-10) induced Nectin-2 on monocytes; in a negative feedback loop, Nectin-2 suppresses IFNγ production by NK cells. The initial hours after CA may represent a window for therapeutic intervention in the resolution of inflammation via immune checkpoints. This work was supported by funding from the American Heart Association, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Department of Medicine, the Evergreen Innovation Fund, and the National Institutes of Health.

Concepts Keywords
30days cardiac arrest
Arrest cytokine
Cardiac immune checkpoint
Poor inflammation
Transcriptomics interferon γ
natural killer cell
single-cell RNA sequencing
Translation to patients


Type Source Name
disease IDO cell
disease MESH cardiac arrest
disease IDO blood
disease MESH inflammation
drug DRUGBANK Interleukin-10
disease IDO production
disease IDO intervention
pathway REACTOME Translation

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