Deciphering a specific signature of the immunosenescence induced in COVID-19+ patients versus rheumatoid arthritis patients


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.

Facts and Figures

Project Lead
Y M Pers
CHU Montpellier
FOREUM research grant: € 75.000

Meet the Team

Project Lead

Y M Pers
CHU Montpellier
P Louis-Plence
J M Brondello
F Berenbaum
Université Pierre et Marie Curie
H Marotte
CHU Saint-Etienne
M Khoury
Clínica Universidad de los Andes
I Picot


  • Determine the senescence immunophenotyping in COVID-19+ patients
  • Compare the immunosenescence of COVID-19+ patients to a reference inflammatory disease with immunosenescence (active RA)
  • Specify the specific gene expression of the immunosenescence induced in patients infected by SARS-Cov-2


  • WP1: Recruitment of patients
  • WP2: Multiparametric cytometry experiments
  • WP3: Single Cell Analysis
  • WP4: Coordination and management of the project / reporting

Patient Voice

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.

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