STING is redundant for host defense and pathology of COVID-19-like disease in mice

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Critical COVID-19 is characterized by lack of early type I interferon-mediated host defense and subsequent hyper-inflammation in the lungs. Aberrant activation of macrophages and neutrophils has been reported to lead to excessive activation of innate immunological pathways. It has recently been suggested that the DNA-sensing cGAS-STING pathway drives pathology in the SARS-CoV-2-infected lungs, but mechanistic understanding from in vivo models is needed. Here, we tested whether STING is involved in COVID-19-like disease using the K18-hACE2 mouse model. We report that disease development after SARS-CoV-2 infection is unaltered in STING-deficient K18-hACE2 mice. In agreement with this, STING deficiency did not affect control of viral replication or production of interferons and inflammatory cytokines. This was accompanied by comparable profiles of infiltrating immune cells into the lungs of infected mice. These data do not support a role for STING in COVID-19 pathology and calls for further investigation into the pathogenesis of critical COVID-19.

TidsskriftLife science alliance
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2023


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