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Biochem Biophys Res Commun ; 528(3): 413-419, 2020 07 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-436643


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a worldwide pandemic. It has a high transmission rate among humans, and is a threat to global public health. However, there are no effective prophylactics or therapeutics available. It is necessary to identify vulnerable and susceptible groups for adequate protection and care against this disease. Recent studies have reported that COVID-19 has angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a functional receptor, which may lead to the development of severe cerebrovascular diseases (CVD), including strokes, in patients with risk factors for CVD such as diabetes and smoking. Thus, the World Health Organization (WHO) advised caution against COVID-19 for smokers and patients with underlying clinical symptoms, including cardiovascular diseases. Here, we observed ACE2 expression in the brain of rat middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model and evaluated the effects of cigarette smoke extract (CSE) and diabetes on ACE2 expression in vessels. We showed that the levels of ACE2 expression was increased in the cortex penumbra after ischemic injuries. CSE treatment significantly elevated ACE2 expression in human brain vessels. We found that ACE2 expression was upregulated in primary cultured human blood vessels with diabetes compared to healthy controls. This study demonstrates that ACE2 expression is increased in ischemic brains and vessels exposed to diabetes or smoking, makes them vulnerable to COVID-19 infection.

Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Brain Ischemia/virology , Brain/blood supply , Diabetes Mellitus , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/biosynthesis , Receptors, Virus/biosynthesis , Smokers , Stroke/virology , Up-Regulation , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Brain/drug effects , Brain Ischemia/genetics , Brain Ischemia/metabolism , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Diabetes Mellitus/genetics , Diabetes Mellitus/metabolism , Disease Models, Animal , Disease Susceptibility , Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery/complications , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Rats , Rats, Sprague-Dawley , Receptors, Virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Smoke/adverse effects , Stroke/genetics , Stroke/metabolism , Up-Regulation/drug effects