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Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 1115-1125, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1799501


Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the most common underlying diseases that may aggravates COVID-19. In the present study, we explored islet function, the presence of SARS-CoV-2 and pathological changes in the pancreas of patients with COVID-19. Oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTTs) and the C-peptide release test demonstrated a decrease in glucose-stimulated C-peptide secretory capacity and an increase in HbA1c levels in patients with COVID-19. The prediabetic conditions appeared to be more significant in the severe group than in the moderate group. SARS-CoV-2 receptors (ACE2, CD147, TMPRSS2 and neuropilin-1) were expressed in pancreatic tissue. In addition to SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein and virus RNA, coronavirus-like particles were present in the autophagolysosomes of pancreatic acinar cells of a patient with COVID-19. Furthermore, the expression and distribution of various proteins in pancreatic islets of patients with COVID-19 were altered. These data suggest that SARS-CoV-2 in the pancreas may directly or indirectly impair islet function.

COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus , C-Peptide/metabolism , Diabetes Mellitus/metabolism , Humans , Pancreas , SARS-CoV-2
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-323677


Background: More and more studies showed pneumothorax is a complication of the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). But no autopsy findings of pneumothorax in COVID-19 decedent were reported, and direct relations between pneumothorax and lung pathology in these decedents were not discussed so far. Methods: A 62-year-old man with COVID-19 presenting with persistent hypoxemia and suddenly dead, who was treated by mechanical ventilation in the intensive care unit (ICU) for 5 days. A systemic autopsy examination of COVID-19 decedent, including histopathology study, was conducted and the medical record, chest computerized tomography (CT) image were reviewed by forensic pathologists and clinicians. Results: Severe pneumothorax, diffuse alveolar damage and airway obstruction were observed. Pneumothorax should be one of the causes of death. Conclusion: Pneumothorax, due to SARS-CoV-2 infection, is a fatal complication of COVID-19. Regular examination of chest CT or X-ray and airway management are important to clinical treatment.

EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-316032


Despite widespread interest in the pathophysiology of COVID-19 in respiratory and cardiovascular systems, little is known about the morphologic and molecular changes in the testis of patients with COVID-19 and the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on male fertility. We report here on the pathophysiology and molecular feature of testes obtained at autopsy from six men with COVID-19, as compared with those of testes from three men with age-matched, uninfected SARS-CoV-2. Our histopathological results showed that all COVID-19 patients had severe spermatogenesis damages compared with controls. Importantly, we detected the nuclear acid of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, viral particles, and SARS-CoV-2 spike S1 protein in COVID-19 patient testes, and we also found ACE2 and TMPRSS2 significantly elevated in the testes from COVID-19 patients. Furthermore, we observed a prominent leukocyte infiltration, including CD3+ T lymphocytes, CD20+ B lymphocytes, CD68+ macrophages, HLA-DR+ myeloid cells, and CD38+ plasma cells in the testes of COVID-19 patients. RNA-Seq analyses further revealed SARS-CoV-2 infection could lead to dysfunction of the genes that regulate the spermatogenesis and inflammation response-related pathways. Collectively, our pathological and molecular examination findings indicate that SARS-CoV-2 could directly attack testicular cells, thereby inducing the damage of testicular immune privilege and spermatogenesis defects.

Natl Sci Rev ; 7(12): 1868-1878, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1087785


Systematic autopsy and comprehensive pathological analyses of COVID-19 decedents should provide insights into the disease characteristics and facilitate the development of novel therapeutics. In this study, we report the autopsy findings from the lungs and lymphatic organs of 12 COVID-19 decedents-findings that evaluated histopathological changes, immune cell signature and inflammatory factor expression in the lungs, spleen and lymph nodes. Here we show that the major pulmonary alterations included diffuse alveolar damage, interstitial fibrosis and exudative inflammation featured with extensive serous and fibrin exudates, macrophage infiltration and abundant production of inflammatory factors (IL-6, IP-10, TNFα and IL-1ß). The spleen and hilar lymph nodes contained lesions with tissue structure disruption and immune cell dysregulation, including lymphopenia and macrophage accumulation. These findings provide pathological evidence that links injuries of the lungs and lymphatic organs with the fatal systematic respiratory and immune malfunction in critically ill COVID-19 patients.