Neutrophil Dysregulation in COVID-19

Project Title: Role of neutrophil dysregulation and NET formation in complications of COVID-19

NIAMS Principal Investigator: Mariana J. Kaplan, M.D.
Chief, Systemic Autoimmunity Branch, LCTU, NIAMS

What is the role of neutrophils and NETs in the prognosis of and complications from COVID-19?

Emerging evidence implicates neutrophils and neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) in poorer outcomes and specific complications in COVID-19. Dysregulation in NET formation has been implicated in vasculopathy, thrombosis, and tissue damage in infectious and autoimmune conditions. There are also new therapeutic targets for these aberrant neutrophil processes that are currently being investigated in non-COVID-related diseases and could be potentially useful in COVID-19. The Systemic Autoimmunity Branch of the Lupus Clinical Trial Unit (LCTU) at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) propose to study in detail the role of neutrophil dysregulation and NETs in the induction of enhanced proinflammatory responses, tissue damage, vasculopathy, and prothrombotic manifestations. They will quantify NET complexes in circulation using validated enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methods and assess impairments in NET degradation in endothelial damage with fluorescence microscopy and functional assays.

Participating Groups


Sample Requirements

100 µL of serum or plasma is required. If more sample is available, it will allow for more functional studies. Ideally, samples would be taken 1) upon hospital admission, 2) during hospitalization, 3) at discharge, and 4) after discharge.

Contact Information for Collaboration

If you are involved in the care of COVID-19 patients and are interested in collaborating on this project, please contact Mariana J. Kaplan, M.D.    

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