A monocyte/dendritic cell molecular signature of SARS-CoV-2 related multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) with severe myocarditis. de Cevins et al.
SARS-CoV-2 infection in children is generally milder than in adults, yet a proportion of cases result in hyperinflammatory conditions often including myocarditis. To better understand these cases, we applied a multi-parametric approach to the study of blood cells of 56 children hospitalized with suspicion of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The most severe forms of MIS-C (multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children related to SARS-CoV-2), that resulted in myocarditis, were characterized by elevated levels of pro-angiogenesis cytokines and several chemokines. Single-cell transcriptomic analyses identified a unique monocyte/dendritic cell gene signature that correlated with the occurrence of severe myocarditis, characterized by sustained NF-kB activity, TNF-a signaling, associated with decreased gene expression of NF-kB inhibitors. We also found a weak response to type-I and type-II interferons, hyperinflammation and response to oxidative stress related to increased HIF-1a and VEGF signaling. These results provide potential for a better understanding of disease pathophysiology.