Vascular underpinning of COVID-19

Open Biology
Vanessa WaznyChristine Cheung


COVID-19 management guidelines have largely attributed critically ill patients who develop acute respiratory distress syndrome, to a systemic overproduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Cardiovascular dysfunction may also represent a primary phenomenon, with increasing data suggesting that severe COVID-19 reflects a confluence of vascular dysfunction, thrombosis and dysregulated inflammation. Here, we first consolidate the information on localized microvascular inflammation and disordered cytokine release, triggering vessel permeability and prothrombotic conditions that play a central role in perpetuating the pathogenic COVID-19 cascade. Secondly, we seek to clarify the gateways which SARS-CoV-2, the causative COVID-19 virus, uses to enter host vascular cells. Post-mortem examinations of patients' tissues have confirmed direct viral endothelial infection within several organs. While there have been advances in single-cell RNA sequencing, endothelial cells across various vascular beds express low or undetectable levels of those touted SARS-CoV-2 entry factors. Emerging studies postulate alternative pathways and the apicobasal distribution of host cell surface factors could influence endothelial SARS-CoV-2 entry and replication...Continue Reading


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Mar 16, 2021·Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine·Johanna Hol FosseReidunn Edelmann
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electron microscopy

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