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EBioMedicine ; 58: 102887, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-684307


The pathogenesis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be envisaged as the dynamic interaction between four vicious feedback loops chained or happening at once. These are the viral loop, the hyperinflammatory loop, the non-canonical renin-angiotensin system (RAS) axis loop, and the hypercoagulation loop. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-coronavirus (CoV)-2 lights the wick by infecting alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) and downregulating the angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE2)/angiotensin (Ang-1-7)/Mas1R axis. The viral feedback loop includes evading the host's innate response, uncontrolled viral replication, and turning on a hyperactive adaptative immune response. The inflammatory loop is composed of the exuberant inflammatory response feeding back until exploding in an actual cytokine storm. Downregulation of the ACE2/Ang-(1-7)/Mas1R axis leaves the lung without a critical defense mechanism and turns the scale to the inflammatory side of the RAS. The coagulation loop is a hypercoagulable state caused by the interplay between inflammation and coagulation in an endless feedback loop. The result is a hyperinflammatory and hypercoagulable state producing acute immune-mediated lung injury and eventually, adult respiratory distress syndrome.

Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Blood Coagulation , Coronavirus Infections/etiology , Cytokines/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/etiology , Renin-Angiotensin System , Animals , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Feedback, Physiological , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2