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Sci Rep ; 12(1): 11855, 2022 07 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1960495


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), remains to spread worldwide. COVID-19 is characterized by the striking high mortality in elderly; however, its mechanistic insights remain unclear. Systemic thrombosis has been highlighted in the pathogenesis of COVID-19, and lung microangiopathy in association with endothelial cells (ECs) injury has been reported by post-mortem analysis of the lungs. Here, we experimentally investigated the SARS-CoV-2 infection in cultured human ECs, and performed a comparative analysis for post-infection molecular events using early passage and replicative senescent ECs. We found that; (1) SARS-CoV-2 infects ECs but does not replicate and disappears in 72 hours without causing severe cell damage, (2) Senescent ECs are highly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, (3) SARS-CoV-2 infection alters various genes expression, which could cause EC dysfunctions, (4) More genes expression is affected in senescent ECs by SARS-CoV-2 infection than in early passage ECs, which might causes further exacerbated dysfunction in senescent ECs. These data suggest that sustained EC dysfunctions due to SARS-CoV-2 infection may contribute to the microangiopathy in the lungs, leading to deteriorated inflammation and thrombosis in COVID-19. Our data also suggest a possible causative role of EC senescence in the aggravated disease in elder COVID-19 patients.

COVID-19 , Thrombosis , Aged , Disease Susceptibility/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombosis/pathology