Russian scientists discovered that the emerging SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is capable of infecting stem cells, which makes it very dangerous and distinct from its “sisters” that only cause cold diseases.
And Scientific Reports reports that SARS-CoV-2 is not the only coronavirus that infects humans, because about 15% of all viral respiratory infections are caused by various coronaviruses. So what sets SARS-CoV-2 apart from the rest?
“It is interesting and at the same time it is necessary to understand,” says Yevgeny Sheval, head of the research team from Moscow University. “It is interesting and at the same time it is necessary to understand, what distinguishes corona viruses that do not cause mild colds, but serious diseases. Because this could also have practical significance, and not only in relation to it.” With the current epidemic, but also for infections that may appear in the future. ”
In order to understand what harm SARS-CoV-2 is, we must identify all types of cells that it can penetrate. But this is a very broad issue because the human body has many different types of cells. So the researchers decided to find out whether SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus could penetrate into the respiratory stem cells?
The researchers explain the reason for this choice, because the trachea, bronchi and alveoli are lined with epithelial tissue whose damaged cells are constantly renewed as a result of the presence of stem cells, which can transform into different types of cells, including epithelial cells.
As is known, SARS-CoV-2 can infect cells of the epithelial tissue in the respiratory tract and lungs (causing pneumonia). But can it infect stem cells that repair damage? If this is the case, then the virus in this case deals a double blow to the body. That is, in addition to damaging the epithelium, it also prevents its repair.
The researchers analyzed the information accumulated in the databases of different scientific groups, and focused their attention on the question of whether stem cells produce the proteins ACE2, TMPRSS2 and FURIN, which the virus uses to penetrate human cells.
The result obtained by biologists is disturbing, because stem cells, which are a natural reserve for the body, are actually vulnerable to infection with the emerging coronavirus.
Researcher Anna Valyaeva, from Moscow University, says, “Stem cells may often be more vulnerable than other cells surrounding them, in the face of viral infection, and infected stem cells can cause disruption of the epithelial cell regeneration process, and this, as we assume, may be one of the main causes of disease.” Severe SARS-CoV-2 virus.
It should be noted, that researchers have not conducted experiments on infection of human stem cells with the coronavirus. Because such experiences are a matter of the future. In light of its results, it will become clear if SARS-CoV-2 is actually able to infect important stem cells in the body.
Source: Vesti. Ru
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