Immune aging or immunosenescence is characterized by a loss of T cell clonal diversity and a contraction of naïve T cells with proliferative capacity associated with the functional impairment of many others immune cells as well as a chronic low degree of inflammation. It is not clear today if the association of COVID-19 disease severity with age is mainly related with the immunosenescence of infected patients. To better understand the immunological mechanisms involved in SARS-Cov-2 pathophysiology, this project aims at comparing the immunosenescence patterns observed during RA, aging and SARS-Cov-2 infected patients in order to design improved therapeutic interventions.
Patients with RA may be at particular risk for COVID-19 as they show an intrinsically higher risk for infections. On the other hand, among RA treatments, JAK inhibitors or IL-6 targeting drugs may counteract CRS and immunosenescence by protecting RA patients from deleterious outcomes. Thus, a better understanding of the mechanisms of immunosenescence observed in RA compared to the patterns associated with SARS-Cov-2 is important and may validate the use of senolytic drugs such as Jak inhibitors, already available in RA patients.