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J Cardiovasc Transl Res ; 15(1): 38-48, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594479


Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is required for the cellular entry of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. ACE2, via the Ang-(1-7)-Mas-R axis, is part of the antihypertensive and cardioprotective effects of the renin-angiotensin system. We studied hospitalized COVID-19 patients with hypertension and hypertensive human(h) ACE2 transgenic mice to determine the outcome of COVID-19 with or without AT1 receptor (AT1R) blocker treatment. The severity of the illness and the levels of serum cardiac biomarkers (CK, CK-BM, cTnI), as well as the inflammation markers (IL-1, IL-6, CRP), were lesser in hypertensive COVID-19 patients treated with AT1R blockers than those treated with other antihypertensive drugs. Hypertensive hACE2 transgenic mice, pretreated with AT1R blocker, had increased ACE2 expression and SARS-CoV-2 in the kidney and heart, 1 day post-infection. We conclude that those hypertensive patients treated with AT1R blocker may be at higher risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, AT1R blockers had no effect on the severity of the illness but instead may have protected COVID-19 patients from heart injury, via the ACE2-angiotensin1-7-Mas receptor axis.

COVID-19 , Hypertension , Animals , Humans , Hypertension/complications , Hypertension/drug therapy , Inpatients , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Renin-Angiotensin System , SARS-CoV-2 , Virulence