Direct exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and cigarette smoke increases infection severity and alters the stem cell-derived airway repair response

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Arunima PurkayasthaBrigitte N Gomperts


Most demographic studies are now associating current smoking status with increased risk of severe COVID-19 and mortality from the disease but there remain many questions about how direct cigarette smoke exposure affects SARS-CoV-2 airway cell infection. We directly exposed mucociliary air-liquid interface (ALI) cultures derived from primary human nonsmoker airway basal stem cells (ABSCs) to short term cigarette smoke and infected them with live SARS-CoV-2. We found an increase in the number of infected airway cells after cigarette smoke exposure as well as an increased number of apoptotic cells. Cigarette smoke exposure alone caused airway injury that resulted in an increased number of ABSCs, which proliferate to repair the airway. But we found that acute SARS-CoV-2 infection or the combination of exposure to cigarette smoke and SARS-CoV-2 did not induce ABSC proliferation. We set out to examine the underlying mechanism governing the increased susceptibility of cigarette smoke exposed ALI to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Single cell profiling of the cultures showed that infected airway cells displayed a global reduction in gene expression across all airway cell types. Interestingly, interferon response genes were induced in SARS-CoV-2 ...Continue Reading

Methods Mentioned


Related Concepts

Related Feeds

BioRxiv & MedRxiv Preprints

BioRxiv and MedRxiv are the preprint servers for biology and health sciences respectively, operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Here are the latest preprint articles (which are not peer-reviewed) from BioRxiv and MedRxiv.