The spatial and cell-type distribution of SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 in human and mouse brain

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
R. ChenZhenghao Xu

Abstract

By engaging angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2 or Ace2), the novel pathogenic SARS-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) may invade host cells in many organs, including the brain. However, the distribution of ACE2 in the brain is still obscure. Here we investigated the ACE2 expression in the brain by analyzing data from publicly available brain transcriptome databases. According to our spatial distribution analysis, ACE2 was relatively highly expressed in some important brain areas, such as the substantia nigra and brain ventricles. According to our cell-type distribution analysis, the expression of ACE2 were found in many neurons (both excitatory and inhibitory neurons) and some non-neuron cells (mainly astrocytes and oligodendrocytes) in human middle temporal gyrus and posterior cingulate cortex, but the ACE2-expressing cells was none in the prefrontal cortex and very few in the hippocampus. Except for the additional high expression of Ace2 in the olfactory bulb areas for spatial distribution as well as in the pericytes and endothelial cells for cell-type distribution, the distribution of Ace2 in mouse brain was similar to that in the human brain. Thus, our results reveal an outline of ACE2/Ace2 distribution in the human and mouse br...Continue Reading

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