Drugs for multiple sclerosis activate natural killer cells: Do they protect against COVID-19 infection?

Mena Al-Ani, Noha Mousaad Elemam, Jennifer Elisabeth Hundt, Azzam A. Maghazachi*

*Korrespondierende/r Autor/-in für diese Arbeit


COVID-19 infection caused by the newly discovered coronavirus severe acute respiratory distress syndrome virus-19 (SARS-CoV-2) has become a pandemic issue across the globe. There are currently many investigations taking place to look for specific, safe and potent anti-viral agents. Upon transmission and entry into the human body, SARS-CoV-2 triggers multiple immune players to be involved in the fight against the viral infection. Amongst these immune cells are NK cells that possess robust antiviral activity, and which do not require prior sensitization. However, NK cell count and activity were found to be impaired in COVID-19 patients and hence, could become a potential therapeutic target for COVID-19. Several drugs, including glatiramer acetate (GA), vitamin D3, dimethyl fumarate (DMF), monomethyl fumarate (MMF), natalizumab, ocrelizumab, and IFN-β, among others have been previously described to increase the biological activities of NK cells especially their cytolytic potential as reported by upregulation of CD107a, and the release of perforin and granzymes. In this review, we propose that such drugs could potentially restore NK cell activity allowing individuals to be more protective against COVID-19 infection and its complications.

ZeitschriftInfection and Drug Resistance
Seiten (von - bis)3243-3254
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2020

Strategische Forschungsbereiche und Zentren

  • Forschungsschwerpunkt: Infektion und Entzündung - Zentrum für Infektions- und Entzündungsforschung Lübeck (ZIEL)


  • Forschung zu SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19


Untersuchen Sie die Forschungsthemen von „Drugs for multiple sclerosis activate natural killer cells: Do they protect against COVID-19 infection?“. Zusammen bilden sie einen einzigartigen Fingerprint.