Publications by authors named "Melissa Querrey"

10 Publications

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Lung donation following SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Am J Transplant 2021 Jul 31. Epub 2021 Jul 31.

Division of Thoracic Surgery, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

There have been over 177 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide, many of whom could be organ donors. Concomitantly, there is an anticipated increase in the need for donor lungs due to expanding indications. Given that the respiratory tract is most commonly affected by COVID-19, there is an urgent need to develop donor assessment criteria while demonstrating safety and "efficacy" of lung donation following COVID-19 infection. Accordingly, we report an intentional transplant using lungs from a donor with recent, microbiologically confirmed, COVID-19 infection into a recipient suffering from COVID-19 induced ARDS and pulmonary fibrosis. In addition to the standard clinical assays, both donor and recipient lungs were analyzed using RNAscope, which confirmed that tissues were negative for SARS-CoV-2. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated colocalized KRT17+ basaloid-like epithelium and COL1A1+ fibroblasts, a marker suggestive of lung fibrosis in COVID-19 associated lung disease, in the explanted recipient lungs but absent in the donor lungs. We demonstrate that following a thorough assessment, lung donation following resolved COVID-19 infection is safe and feasible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ajt.16777DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8441925PMC
July 2021

Early outcomes after lung transplantation for severe COVID-19: a series of the first consecutive cases from four countries.

Lancet Respir Med 2021 05 31;9(5):487-497. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Background: Lung transplantation is a life-saving treatment for patients with end-stage lung disease; however, it is infrequently considered for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) attributable to infectious causes. We aimed to describe the course of disease and early post-transplantation outcomes in critically ill patients with COVID-19 who failed to show lung recovery despite optimal medical management and were deemed to be at imminent risk of dying due to pulmonary complications.

Methods: We established a multi-institutional case series that included the first consecutive transplants for severe COVID-19-associated ARDS known to us in the USA, Italy, Austria, and India. De-identified data from participating centres-including information relating to patient demographics and pre-COVID-19 characteristics, pretransplantation disease course, perioperative challenges, pathology of explanted lungs, and post-transplantation outcomes-were collected by Northwestern University (Chicago, IL, USA) and analysed.

Findings: Between May 1 and Sept 30, 2020, 12 patients with COVID-19-associated ARDS underwent bilateral lung transplantation at six high-volume transplant centres in the USA (eight recipients at three centres), Italy (two recipients at one centre), Austria (one recipient), and India (one recipient). The median age of recipients was 48 years (IQR 41-51); three of the 12 patients were female. Chest imaging before transplantation showed severe lung damage that did not improve despite prolonged mechanical ventilation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. The lung transplant procedure was technically challenging, with severe pleural adhesions, hilar lymphadenopathy, and increased intraoperative transfusion requirements. Pathology of the explanted lungs showed extensive, ongoing acute lung injury with features of lung fibrosis. There was no recurrence of SARS-CoV-2 in the allografts. All patients with COVID-19 could be weaned off extracorporeal support and showed short-term survival similar to that of transplant recipients without COVID-19.

Interpretation: The findings from our report show that lung transplantation is the only option for survival in some patients with severe, unresolving COVID-19-associated ARDS, and that the procedure can be done successfully, with good early post-transplantation outcomes, in carefully selected patients.

Funding: National Institutes of Health. VIDEO ABSTRACT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(21)00077-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8012035PMC
May 2021

Crosstalk between nonclassical monocytes and alveolar macrophages mediates transplant ischemia-reperfusion injury through classical monocyte recruitment.

JCI Insight 2021 03 22;6(6). Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Division of Thoracic Surgery and.

Primary graft dysfunction (PGD) is the predominant cause of early graft loss following lung transplantation. We recently demonstrated that donor pulmonary intravascular nonclassical monocytes (NCM) initiate neutrophil recruitment. Simultaneously, host-origin classical monocytes (CM) permeabilize the vascular endothelium to allow neutrophil extravasation necessary for PGD. Here, we show that a CCL2-CCR2 axis is necessary for CM recruitment. Surprisingly, although intravital imaging and multichannel flow cytometry revealed that depletion of donor NCM abrogated CM recruitment, single cell RNA sequencing identified donor alveolar macrophages (AM) as predominant CCL2 secretors. Unbiased transcriptomic analysis of murine tissues combined with murine KOs and chimeras indicated that IL-1β production by donor NCM was responsible for the early activation of AM and CCL2 release. IL-1β production by NCM was NLRP3 inflammasome dependent and inhibited by treatment with a clinically approved sulphonylurea. Production of CCL2 in the donor AM occurred through IL-1R-dependent activation of the PKC and NF-κB pathway. Accordingly, we show that IL-1β-dependent paracrine interaction between donor NCM and AM leads to recruitment of recipient CM necessary for PGD. Since depletion of donor NCM, IL-1β, or IL-1R antagonism and inflammasome inhibition abrogated recruitment of CM and PGD and are feasible using FDA-approved compounds, our findings may have potential for clinical translation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.147282DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8026186PMC
March 2021

Circuits between infected macrophages and T cells in SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia.

Nature 2021 02 11;590(7847):635-641. Epub 2021 Jan 11.

Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA.

Some patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) develop severe pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Distinct clinical features in these patients have led to speculation that the immune response to virus in the SARS-CoV-2-infected alveolus differs from that in other types of pneumonia. Here we investigate SARS-CoV-2 pathobiology by characterizing the immune response in the alveoli of patients infected with the virus. We collected bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples from 88 patients with SARS-CoV-2-induced respiratory failure and 211 patients with known or suspected pneumonia from other pathogens, and analysed them using flow cytometry and bulk transcriptomic profiling. We performed single-cell RNA sequencing on 10 bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples collected from patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) within 48 h of intubation. In the majority of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection, the alveolar space was persistently enriched in T cells and monocytes. Bulk and single-cell transcriptomic profiling suggested that SARS-CoV-2 infects alveolar macrophages, which in turn respond by producing T cell chemoattractants. These T cells produce interferon-γ to induce inflammatory cytokine release from alveolar macrophages and further promote T cell activation. Collectively, our results suggest that SARS-CoV-2 causes a slowly unfolding, spatially limited alveolitis in which alveolar macrophages containing SARS-CoV-2 and T cells form a positive feedback loop that drives persistent alveolar inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-03148-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7987233PMC
February 2021

Comparative Effectiveness of Surgical Approaches for Lung Cancer.

J Surg Res 2021 07 9;263:274-284. Epub 2020 Dec 9.

Division of Thoracic Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois. Electronic address:

Background: The magnitude of association and quality of evidence comparing surgical approaches for lung cancer resection has not been analyzed. This has resulted in conflicting information regarding the relative superiority of the different approaches and disparate opinions on the optimal surgical treatment. We reviewed and systematically analyzed all published data comparing near- (30-d) and long-term mortality for minimally invasive to open surgical approaches for lung cancer.

Methods: Comprehensive search of EMBASE, MEDLINE, and the Cochrane Library, from January 2009 to August 2019, was performed to identify the studies and those that passed bias assessment were included in the analysis utilizing propensity score matching techniques. Meta-analysis was performed using random-effects and fixed-effects models. Risk of bias was assessed via the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale and the ROBINS-I tool. The study was registered in PROSPERO (CRD42020150923) prior to analysis.

Results: Overall, 1382 publications were identified but 19 studies were included encompassing 47,054 patients after matching. Minimally invasive techniques were found to be superior with respect to near-term mortality in early and advanced-stage lung cancer (risk ratio 0.45, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.21-0.95, I = 0%) as well as for elderly patients (odds ratio 0.45, 95% CI 0.31-0.65, I = 30%), but did not demonstrate benefit for high-risk patients (odds ratio 0.74, 95% CI 0.06-8.73, I = 78%). However, no difference was found in long-term survival.

Conclusions: We performed the first systematic review and meta-analysis to compare surgical approaches for lung cancer which indicated that minimally invasive techniques may be superior to thoracotomy in near-term mortality, but there is no difference in long-term outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jss.2020.10.020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8169528PMC
July 2021

Lung transplantation for patients with severe COVID-19.

Sci Transl Med 2020 12 30;12(574). Epub 2020 Nov 30.

Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.

Lung transplantation can potentially be a life-saving treatment for patients with nonresolving COVID-19-associated respiratory failure. Concerns limiting lung transplantation include recurrence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the allograft, technical challenges imposed by viral-mediated injury to the native lung, and the potential risk for allograft infection by pathogens causing ventilator-associated pneumonia in the native lung. Additionally, the native lung might recover, resulting in long-term outcomes preferable to those of transplant. Here, we report the results of lung transplantation in three patients with nonresolving COVID-19-associated respiratory failure. We performed single-molecule fluorescence in situ hybridization (smFISH) to detect both positive and negative strands of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in explanted lung tissue from the three patients and in additional control lung tissue samples. We conducted extracellular matrix imaging and single-cell RNA sequencing on explanted lung tissue from the three patients who underwent transplantation and on warm postmortem lung biopsies from two patients who had died from COVID-19-associated pneumonia. Lungs from these five patients with prolonged COVID-19 disease were free of SARS-CoV-2 as detected by smFISH, but pathology showed extensive evidence of injury and fibrosis that resembled end-stage pulmonary fibrosis. Using machine learning, we compared single-cell RNA sequencing data from the lungs of patients with late-stage COVID-19 to that from the lungs of patients with pulmonary fibrosis and identified similarities in gene expression across cell lineages. Our findings suggest that some patients with severe COVID-19 develop fibrotic lung disease for which lung transplantation is their only option for survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.abe4282DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8050952PMC
December 2020

Lung transplantation for pulmonary fibrosis secondary to severe COVID-19.

medRxiv 2020 Oct 27. Epub 2020 Oct 27.

Lung transplantation can potentially be a life-saving treatment for patients with non-resolving COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome. Concerns limiting transplant include recurrence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the allograft, technical challenges imposed by viral-mediated injury to the native lung, and potential risk for allograft infection by pathogens associated with ventilator-induced pneumonia in the native lung. Additionally, the native lung might recover, resulting in long-term outcomes preferable to transplant. Here, we report the results of the first two successful lung transplantation procedures in patients with non-resolving COVID-19 associated acute respiratory distress syndrome in the United States. We performed smFISH to detect both positive and negative strands of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the explanted lung tissue, extracellular matrix imaging using SHIELD tissue clearance, and single cell RNA-Seq on explant and warm post-mortem lung biopsies from patients who died from severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Lungs from patients with prolonged COVID-19 were free of virus but pathology showed extensive evidence of injury and fibrosis which resembled end-stage pulmonary fibrosis. Single cell RNA-Seq of the explanted native lungs from transplant and paired warm post-mortem autopsies showed similarities between late SARS-CoV-2 acute respiratory distress syndrome and irreversible end-stage pulmonary fibrosis requiring lung transplantation. There was no recurrence of SARS-CoV-2 or pathogens associated with pre-transplant ventilator associated pneumonias following transplantation in either patient. Our findings suggest that some patients with severe COVID-19 develop fibrotic lung disease for which lung transplantation is the only option for survival.

Single Sentence Summary: Some patients with severe COVID-19 develop end-stage pulmonary fibrosis for which lung transplantation may be the only treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2020.10.26.20218636DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7605582PMC
October 2020

Residual endotoxin induces primary graft dysfunction through ischemia/reperfusion-primed alveolar macrophages.

J Clin Invest 2020 08;130(8):4456-4469

Division of Thoracic Surgery.

Despite the widespread use of antibiotics, bacterial pneumonias in donors strongly predispose to the fatal syndrome of primary graft dysfunction (PGD) following lung transplantation. We report that bacterial endotoxin persists in human donor lungs after pathogen is cleared with antibiotics and is associated with neutrophil infiltration and PGD. In mouse models, depletion of tissue-resident alveolar macrophages (TRAMs) attenuated neutrophil recruitment in response to endotoxin as shown by compartmental staining and intravital imaging. Bone marrow chimeric mice revealed that neutrophils were recruited by TRAM through activation of TLR4 in a MyD88-dependent manner. Intriguingly, low levels of endotoxin, insufficient to cause donor lung injury, promoted TRAM-dependent production of CXCL2, increased neutrophil recruitment, and led to PGD, which was independent of donor NCMs. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) increased in human donor lungs starting from the warm-ischemia phase and were associated with increased transcription and translocation to the plasma membrane of TLR4 in donor TRAMs. Consistently, scavenging ROS or inhibiting their production to prevent TLR4 transcription/translocation or blockade of TLR4 or coreceptor CD14 on donor TRAMs prevented neutrophil recruitment in response to endotoxin and ameliorated PGD. Our studies demonstrate that residual endotoxin after successful treatment of donor bacterial pneumonia promotes PGD through ischemia/reperfusion-primed donor TRAMs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI135838DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7410086PMC
August 2020

Genetic engineering of chimeric antigen receptors using lamprey derived variable lymphocyte receptors.

Mol Ther Oncolytics 2016 7;3:16026. Epub 2016 Dec 7.

Department of Molecular and Systems Pharmacology, Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Department of Pediatrics, Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) are used to redirect effector cell specificity to selected cell surface antigens. Using CARs, antitumor activity can be initiated in patients with no prior tumor specific immunity. Although CARs have shown promising clinical results, the technology remains limited by the availability of specific cognate cell target antigens. To increase the repertoire of targetable tumor cell antigens we utilized the immune system of the sea lamprey to generate directed variable lymphocyte receptors (VLRs). VLRs serve as membrane bound and soluble immune effectors analogous but not homologous to immunoglobulins. They have a fundamentally different structure than immunoglobulin (Ig)-based antibodies while still demonstrating high degrees of specificity and affinity. To test the functionality of VLRs as the antigen recognition domain of CARs, two VLR-CARs were created. One contained a VLR specific for a murine B cell leukemia and the other contained a VLR specific for the human T cell surface antigen, CD5. The CAR design consisted of the VLR sequence, myc-epitope tag, CD28 transmembrane domain, and intracellular CD3ζ signaling domain. We demonstrate proof of concept, including gene transfer, biosynthesis, cell surface localization, and effector cell activation for multiple VLR-CAR designs. Therefore, VLRs provide an alternative means of CAR-based cancer recognition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/mto.2016.26DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5142425PMC
December 2016
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