For the study, Costa and colleagues examined RNA and proteins to figure out whether cell cultures of human astrocytes and neurons revealed ACE2. The research studies validated that both astrocytes and nerve cells reveal the ACE2 receptor and that both cell types can end up being infected with SARS-CoV-2, though astrocytes were less most likely to end up being contaminated.
A single astrocyte contaminated with a modified version of SARS-CoV-2.” While astrocytes show a greater resistance to infection, neurons appear to be more prone,” stated Costa. “This suggests that only couple of astrocytes getting contaminated could be enough for the infection to quickly spread to neurons and increase quickly.
Study assists explain confusing neurological signs– and why theyre so unpredictable.
New research uses an up-close view of how SARS-CoV-2, the infection that causes COVID-19, can spread to the brain. The research study helps describe the worrying selection of neurological symptoms reported in some patients with COVID-19, in addition to why some patients suffer extreme neurological impacts while others experience none at all.
The scientists report proof that SARS-CoV-2 can contaminate both the nerve cells that power our brains (nerve cells) and the cells in the brain and spine that support and secure nerve cells (astrocytes).
A single astrocyte displaying expression of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor protein ACE2 in red. Credit: Ricardo Costa, LSUHS
” Our findings suggest that astrocytes are a path through which COVID-19 causes neurological damage,” stated Ricardo Costa, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at the Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Shreveport and the research studys first author. “This might discuss numerous of the neurologic signs we see in COVID-19 clients, which consist of loss of sense of smell and taste, stroke, disorientation, and psychosis.”
Costa will provide the research study at the American Physiological Society annual meeting during the Experimental Biology (EB) 2021 meeting, held essentially April 27-30. The research study is led by Diana Cruz-Topete, assistant teacher of cellular and molecular biology at LSU Health Shreveport, and consists of partners Oscar Gomez-Torres, PhD, and Emma Burgos-Ramos, PhD, from Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha in Spain.
A group of nerve cells (blue) and the dendrites that connect them (green). The ACE2 receptor (in red) is present in the neuronal primary body. Credit: Ricardo Costa, LSUHS; initial cells donated by Lynn Harrison, LSUHS
In the breathing system, SARS-CoV-2 is understood to contaminate a persons cells by grabbing hold of proteins on the cell surface called angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) receptors. It has actually been uncertain whether brain cells have this receptor.
For the research study, Costa and associates analyzed RNA and proteins to identify whether cell cultures of human astrocytes and neurons revealed ACE2. They then exposed the cells to a version of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that had been modified to be safe for researchers to handle. The studies verified that both astrocytes and nerve cells reveal the ACE2 receptor which both cell types can end up being infected with SARS-CoV-2, though astrocytes were less likely to end up being infected.
A single astrocyte contaminated with a modified version of SARS-CoV-2. The infection was customized to reveal a green fluorescent protein upon effective infection. Nearby astrocytes (not visible) were not contaminated. Credit: Ricardo Costa, LSUHS
Astrocytes are the main entrance to the brain, accountable for shuttling nutrients from the blood stream to the neurons while keeping damaging particles out. By resisting infection, astrocytes might help keep SARS-CoV-2 out of the brain, but when infected, they could easily pass the infection along to lots of nerve cells, according to researchers.
” While astrocytes display a greater resistance to infection, nerve cells appear to be more susceptible,” said Costa. “This suggests that just few astrocytes getting contaminated might be enough for the infection to rapidly spread out to nerve cells and multiply quickly. These observations could discuss why while some patients do not have any neurological signs, others appear to have serious ones.”
Meeting: Experimental Biology 2021