New Research Explains Multipronged SARS-CoV-2 Attack and Widepread COVID-19 Infection

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Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

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Transmission electron micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 infection particles, separated from a client. Image recorded and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Credit: NIAID

A research study of an entrance receptor for SARS-CoV-2 led by Walter J. Lukiw, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience, Neurology and Ophthalmology at LSU Health New Orleans’ Neuroscience Center of Excellence and School of Medicine, might assist discuss the wide array of signs and organs included with SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19. The results recommend that a multi-organ infection with SARS-CoV-2 might be by means of the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, which is discovered nearly all over throughout the body. The findings are released in the journal Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology.

To much better comprehend the system and paths of SARS-CoV-2 infection and vulnerability to particular cell and tissue types along with organ systems, the research study group evaluated 85 human tissues for the existence of ACE2 receptors. ACE2 is a protein that is discovered on the surface area of lots of immune and nonimmune cell types. An enzyme, it becomes part of the system that manages high blood pressure and fluid and electrolyte balance. It might likewise assist control cardiovascular, neurovascular and kidney function, along with fertility. ACE2 receptors imitate locks on cells, and the SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins imitate secrets that open the locks letting the infection go into cells to quickly increase. As well as controls, tissues evaluated consisted of lung, gastrointestinal, renal-excretory, reproductive, eye tissues, and 21 various areas of the brain.

“Besides strong ACE2 expression in respiratory, digestive, renal-excretory and reproductive cells, high ACE2 expression was also found in the amygdala, cerebral cortex and brainstem,” reports Dr. Lukiw. “This may help explain cognitive deficits associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Some of the highest ACE2 expression levels were found in the pons and medulla oblongata in the human brainstem, an anatomical region of the brain containing the medullary respiratory centers, and this may in part explain the susceptibility of many CoV-19 patients to severe respiratory distress.”

The group even more kept in mind that ACE2 receptor activity was likewise quickly spotted in the eye, recommending that the visual system might supply an extra entry point for SARS-CoV-2 intrusion which under particular conditions, spectacles or face guards might be as crucial as face masks in minimizing SARS-CoV-2 transmission and infection.

“Several important research gaps remain,” Lukiw concludes. “A real danger of SARS-CoV-2 infection is not only its highly transmissible and contagious nature and lethality, but also its simultaneous and multipronged attack on many human cell and tissue types involving vital and critical respiratory, immunological, vascular, renal-excretory and neural systems as well as an unprecedented coordinated disruption of the complex neurophysiology, neurochemistry, neurobiology and neurology of the cells of the brain and central nervous system (CNS) that normally regulate these multiple physiological systems.”

Reference: “SARS-CoV-2 Infectivity and Neurological Targets in the Brain” by Walter J. Lukiw, Aileen Pogue and James M. Hill, 25 August 2020, Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology.
DOI: 10.1007/s10571-020-00947-7

The authors credit the late Dr. James M. Hill (previously a Professor in the Departments of Microbiology, Ophthalmology and Pharmacology at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine) with whom they had a longstanding research study cooperation on the expression of the ACE2 receptors, consisting of those discovered in the Alzheimer’s illness brain. Aileen Pogue, from Alchem Biotech Research in Toronto, likewise took part in the research study information inventory, bioinformatics and analytical analysis.

The research study was supported by grants from Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB); the Louisiana Biotechnology Research Network (LBRN); and NIH grants NEI EY006311, NIA AG18031 and NIA AG038834.



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