Home Cellular health Several studies illustrate the widespread damage caused by COVID-19

Several studies illustrate the widespread damage caused by COVID-19


Typically, whatever a person’s condition, COVID-19 makes it worse. But COVID-19 also causes certain conditions or is implicated in their early onset. Type 1 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease are prime examples. Now researchers report that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can also cause fetal inflammation, even when the placenta itself is not inflamed.

Nardhy Gomez-Lopez and his colleagues from Wayne State University, editing in Nature Communication, reported the link between the virus and fetal inflammation. The group also noted that pregnant women who were infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus during pregnancy had a higher risk of serious illness resulting from the virus, as well as a higher risk of premature delivery, stillbirth and preeclampsia.

Researchers examined 23 pregnant women, 12 of whom tested positive for COVID-19. Of these, eight were asymptomatic, one had mild symptoms and three had severe symptoms. Comparing those with COVID-19 to those without infection, researchers noted changes in antibodies, immune cell types, and inflammatory markers in maternal blood, umbilical cord blood, and placental tissues among the COVID-19 group. 19, whether the mothers were symptomatic or not. or asymptomatic.

Specifically, mothers with COVID-19 grew fewer T cells, developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 that were found in umbilical cord blood, and had more cytokines (specifically IL-8, IL -15 and IL-10) in their blood – regardless of symptoms.

“We found that in pregnant mothers who contract the virus, SARS-CoV-2 induces a fetal immune response even in the absence of placental infection or symptoms in the newborn,” Gomez-Lopez said in a declaration. Their babies had an inflammatory response that was evidenced by higher levels of IL-8, even though the fetus did not have COVID-19. Similarly, although the SARS-CoV-2 virus was not present in the placentas, the placentas of the infected mothers had altered ratios of immune cell types.

Although this study suggests that placental infections associated with COVID-19 are rare, pregnant women are at increased risk of hospitalization, need for mechanical ventilation, admission to intensive care and preterm delivery, but not mortality. , the researchers noted.

“The potential long-term effects of this inflammatory process on infants require further study,” Gomez-Lopez said.

In other research late last year, Slav A. Semerdzhiev and his colleagues at the University of Twente in the Netherlands showed, in vitro, that the SARS-CoV-2 virus causes early-onset Parkinson’s disease. the articlePosted in ACS Chemistry Neurosciences, explained that this occurs when the N protein of SARS-CoV-2 interacts with a neuronal protein called α-synuclein, which then accelerates the formation of amyloid fibrils. These fibrils are a defining feature of Parkinson’s disease.

In this study, previously reported in BioSpace, aggregation started as early as 9 a.m. and usually peaked at around 20 a.m., depending on the concentration (which ranged from 0.1 μM to 1 μM) of protein N injected into the 10 mM NaCl sample. Without the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, aggregation began at 240 hours and peaked around 280 hours. This rapid acceleration of the formation of multiprotein complexes and their aggregation into amyloid fibrils indicates that “protein N facilitates the formation of a core critical for aggregation,” the researchers concluded.

By mid-2021, it had become clear that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was also causing – and not accelerating – type 1 diabetes. newly diagnosed diabetic patients were at greater risk of death from COVID-19 than known diabetics.

the National Institutes of Health cited two studies in which people developed type 1 diabetes after acute COVID-19 infections. As these studies have reported, the SARS-CoV-2 virus can kill pancreatic beta cells (which produce insulin), alter their productivity and/or reprogram them.

Their knowledge shows that the SARS-CoV-2 virus infects beta cells more frequently than other cells. The infection is linked to the interaction of the virus with neuropilin, which is found in greater abundance on the surface of pancreatic beta cells than on other pancreatic cells. Blocking the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and neuropilin prevented the virus from infecting beta cells, and thus prevented people who contracted COVID-19 from also developing diabetes.

Xuming Tang’s study of Weill Cornell Medicine and colleagues, published in Cell metabolism in 2021 detected the SARS-CoV-2 viral antigen in pancreatic beta cells taken from autopsy specimens of people who contracted COVID-19. “Several types of pancreatic islet cells were susceptible to SARS-CoV-2,” the researchers pointed out, but the presence of neuropilin on beta cells made them particularly susceptible. Such infection led to cellular stress and induction of chemokines. As a result, beta cells expressed less insulin but more alpha and acinar cell markers. Consequently, some of the beta cells produced glucagon (which raises blood sugar) rather than hypoglycemic insulin.

Further analysis showed that the virus induced elF2 pathway-mediated beta cell transdifferentiation. This change in cell fate could be reversed with trans-Built-in stress response inhibitor (trans-ISRIB), they found, after testing about 400 FDA-approved drugs. Trans-ISRIB…decreased polyhormonal level in a dose-dependent manner, they wrote, and blocked beta-cell transdifferentiation upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. “Additionally, genes associated with cellular stress were down-regulated.”

Another studyby Chien-Ting Wu and colleagues, all from Stanford University, published in Cell metabolism, also reported infection via interactions of the virus with neuropilin. He further found that infecting cells cultured in the lab with the SARS-CoV-2 virus induced apoptosis such that the cells simply died.

What these studies and others show is that COVID-19 is more than a respiratory or lung disease. It not only affects many areas of the body, but also plays a role in causing other seemingly unrelated conditions. Therefore, despite the increasingly mild symptoms of some recent variations, COVID-19 should still be taken seriously.