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1.
Cell ; 184(24): 5932-5949.e15, 2021 11 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1549679

ABSTRACT

Anosmia, the loss of smell, is a common and often the sole symptom of COVID-19. The onset of the sequence of pathobiological events leading to olfactory dysfunction remains obscure. Here, we have developed a postmortem bedside surgical procedure to harvest endoscopically samples of respiratory and olfactory mucosae and whole olfactory bulbs. Our cohort of 85 cases included COVID-19 patients who died a few days after infection with SARS-CoV-2, enabling us to catch the virus while it was still replicating. We found that sustentacular cells are the major target cell type in the olfactory mucosa. We failed to find evidence for infection of olfactory sensory neurons, and the parenchyma of the olfactory bulb is spared as well. Thus, SARS-CoV-2 does not appear to be a neurotropic virus. We postulate that transient insufficient support from sustentacular cells triggers transient olfactory dysfunction in COVID-19. Olfactory sensory neurons would become affected without getting infected.


Subject(s)
Autopsy/methods , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , Olfactory Bulb/virology , Olfactory Mucosa/virology , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , Aged , Anosmia , COVID-19/physiopathology , Endoscopy/methods , Female , Glucuronosyltransferase/biosynthesis , Humans , Immunohistochemistry , In Situ Hybridization , Male , Microscopy, Fluorescence , Middle Aged , Olfaction Disorders , Olfactory Receptor Neurons/metabolism , Respiratory System , SARS-CoV-2 , Smell
2.
Am J Pathol ; 191(12): 2064-2071, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1506649

ABSTRACT

Current understanding of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pathophysiology is limited by disease heterogeneity, complexity, and a paucity of studies assessing patient tissues with advanced molecular tools. Rapid autopsy tissues were evaluated using multiscale, next-generation RNA-sequencing methods (bulk, single-nuclei, and spatial transcriptomics) to provide unprecedented molecular resolution of COVID-19-induced damage. Comparison of infected/uninfected tissues revealed four major regulatory pathways. Effectors within these pathways could constitute novel therapeutic targets, including the complement receptor C3AR1, calcitonin receptor-like receptor, or decorin. Single-nuclei RNA sequencing of olfactory bulb and prefrontal cortex highlighted remarkable diversity of coronavirus receptors. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 was rarely expressed, whereas basigin showed diffuse expression, and alanyl aminopeptidase, membrane, was associated with vascular/mesenchymal cell types. Comparison of lung and lymph node tissues from patients with different symptoms (one had died after a month-long hospitalization with multiorgan involvement, and the other had died after a few days of respiratory symptoms) with digital spatial profiling resulted in distinct molecular phenotypes. Evaluation of COVID-19 rapid autopsy tissues with advanced molecular techniques can identify pathways and effectors, map diverse receptors at the single-cell level, and help dissect differences driving diverging clinical courses among individual patients. Extension of this approach to larger data sets will substantially advance the understanding of the mechanisms behind COVID-19 pathophysiology.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Autopsy , Disease Progression , Gene Expression Profiling , Heart/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Kidney/metabolism , Kidney/pathology , Kidney/virology , Liver/metabolism , Liver/pathology , Liver/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Myocardium/metabolism , Myocardium/pathology , Olfactory Bulb/metabolism , Olfactory Bulb/pathology , Olfactory Bulb/virology , Prefrontal Cortex/metabolism , Prefrontal Cortex/pathology , Prefrontal Cortex/virology , Respiratory System/metabolism , Respiratory System/pathology , Respiratory System/virology , Salivary Glands/metabolism , Salivary Glands/pathology , Salivary Glands/virology , Sequence Analysis, RNA , Signal Transduction/genetics
3.
Viruses ; 13(11)2021 11 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502532

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative pathogen of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). It is known as a respiratory virus, but SARS-CoV-2 appears equally, or even more, infectious for the olfactory epithelium (OE) than for the respiratory epithelium in the nasal cavity. In light of the small area of the OE relative to the respiratory epithelium, the high prevalence of olfactory dysfunctions (ODs) in COVID-19 has been bewildering and has attracted much attention. This review aims to first examine the cytological and molecular biological characteristics of the OE, especially the microvillous apical surfaces of sustentacular cells and the abundant SARS-CoV-2 receptor molecules thereof, that may underlie the high susceptibility of this neuroepithelium to SARS-CoV-2 infection and damages. The possibility of SARS-CoV-2 neurotropism, or the lack of it, is then analyzed with regard to the expression of the receptor (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2) or priming protease (transmembrane serine protease 2), and cellular targets of infection. Neuropathology of COVID-19 in the OE, olfactory bulb, and other related neural structures are also reviewed. Toward the end, we present our perspectives regarding possible mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 neuropathogenesis and ODs, in the absence of substantial viral infection of neurons. Plausible causes for persistent ODs in some COVID-19 convalescents are also examined.


Subject(s)
Anosmia/epidemiology , Anosmia/etiology , COVID-19/complications , Olfactory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Viral Tropism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Anosmia/physiopathology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Olfactory Bulb/pathology , Olfactory Bulb/virology , Olfactory Mucosa/metabolism , Olfactory Mucosa/ultrastructure , Prevalence , Receptors, Coronavirus/metabolism
4.
Front Immunol ; 12: 729776, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403478

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is caused by the novel coronavirus that has spread rapidly around the world, leading to high mortality because of multiple organ dysfunction; however, its underlying molecular mechanism is unknown. To determine the molecular mechanism of multiple organ dysfunction, a bioinformatics analysis method based on a time-order gene co-expression network (TO-GCN) was performed. First, gene expression profiles were downloaded from the gene expression omnibus database (GSE161200), and a TO-GCN was constructed using the breadth-first search (BFS) algorithm to infer the pattern of changes in the different organs over time. Second, Gene Ontology enrichment analysis was used to analyze the main biological processes related to COVID-19. The initial gene modules for the immune response of different organs were defined as the research object. The STRING database was used to construct a protein-protein interaction network of immune genes in different organs. The PageRank algorithm was used to identify five hub genes in each organ. Finally, the Comparative Toxicogenomics Database played an important role in exploring the potential compounds that target the hub genes. The results showed that there were two types of biological processes: the body's stress response and cell-mediated immune response involving the lung, trachea, and olfactory bulb (olf) after being infected by COVID-19. However, a unique biological process related to the stress response is the regulation of neuronal signals in the brain. The stress response was heterogeneous among different organs. In the lung, the regulation of DNA morphology, angiogenesis, and mitochondrial-related energy metabolism are specific biological processes related to the stress response. In particular, an effect on tracheal stress response was made by the regulation of protein metabolism and rRNA metabolism-related biological processes, as biological processes. In the olf, the distinctive stress responses consist of neural signal transmission and brain behavior. In addition, myeloid leukocyte activation and myeloid leukocyte-mediated immunity in response to COVID-19 can lead to a cytokine storm. Immune genes such as SRC, RHOA, CD40LG, CSF1, TNFRSF1A, FCER1G, ICAM1, LAT, LCN2, PLAU, CXCL10, ICAM1, CD40, IRF7, and B2M were predicted to be the hub genes in the cytokine storm. Furthermore, we inferred that resveratrol, acetaminophen, dexamethasone, estradiol, statins, curcumin, and other compounds are potential target drugs in the treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Multiple Organ Failure/genetics , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Brain/metabolism , Brain/virology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Gene Expression Profiling , Gene Ontology , Humans , Lung/metabolism , Lung/virology , Multiple Organ Failure/drug therapy , Multiple Organ Failure/etiology , Multiple Organ Failure/metabolism , Olfactory Bulb/metabolism , Olfactory Bulb/virology , Protein Interaction Maps , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Trachea/metabolism , Trachea/virology , Transcriptome
6.
J Med Virol ; 93(7): 4247-4257, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1269115

ABSTRACT

To provide instructive clues for clinical practice and further research of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, we analyzed the existing literature on viral neuroinvasion of SARS-CoV-2 in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. To date, SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) or brain parenchyma in quite a few patients, which provide undeniable evidence for the neuroinvasive potential of this novel coronavirus. In contrast with the cerebrum and cerebellum, the detection rate of SARS-CoV-2 was higher in the olfactory system and the brainstem, both of which also showed severe microgliosis and lymphocytic infiltrations. As compared with the number of patients who underwent viral testing in the central nervous system (CNS), the number of patients showing positive results seems very small. However, it seems too early to conclude that the neuroinvasion of SARS-CoV-2 is rare in COVID-19 patients because the detection methods or sampling procedures in some studies may not be suitable or sufficient to reveal the CNS infection induced by neurotropic viruses. Moreover, the primary symptoms and/or causes of death were distinctly different among examined patients, which probably caused more conspicuous pathological changes than those due to the direct infection that usually localized to specific brain areas. Unfortunately, most autopsy studies did not provide sufficient details about neurological symptoms or suspected diagnoses of the examined patients, and the documentation of neuropathological changes was often incomplete. Given the complex pathophysiology of COVID-19 and the characteristics of neurotropic viruses, it is understandable that any study of the CNS infection may inevitably have limitations.


Subject(s)
Brain/pathology , COVID-19/pathology , Cerebrospinal Fluid/virology , Olfactory Bulb/virology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/cerebrospinal fluid , Brain/virology , Humans , Nervous System Diseases/virology , Olfactory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
7.
Mol Neurobiol ; 58(9): 4477-4486, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1241710

ABSTRACT

The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of human COVID-19, not only causes flu-like symptoms and gut microbiome complications but a large number of infected individuals also experience a host of neurological symptoms including loss of smell and taste, seizures, difficulty concentrating, decreased alertness, and brain inflammation. Although SARS-CoV-2 infections are not more prevalent in Parkinson's disease patients, a higher mortality rate has been reported not only associated with older age and longer disease duration, but also through several mechanisms, such as interactions with the brain dopaminergic system and through systemic inflammatory responses. Indeed, a number of the neurological symptoms seen in COVID-19 patients, as well as the alterations in the gut microbiome, are also prevalent in patients with Parkinson's disease. Furthermore, biochemical pathways such as oxidative stress, inflammation, and protein aggregation have shared commonalities between Parkinson's disease and COVID-19 disease progression. In this review, we describe and compare the numerous similarities and intersections between neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease and RNA viral infections, emphasizing the current SARS-CoV-2 global health crisis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/physiopathology , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Parkinson Disease/physiopathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Cognition Disorders/etiology , Cytokines/physiology , Diet , Disease Progression , Dysbiosis/etiology , Dysbiosis/physiopathology , Humans , Inflammation , Metals, Heavy/toxicity , Models, Neurological , Nerve Degeneration , Olfactory Bulb/physiopathology , Olfactory Bulb/virology , Oxidative Stress , Parkinson Disease/etiology , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Protein Aggregation, Pathological/etiology , RNA Virus Infections/metabolism , RNA Virus Infections/physiopathology , Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism , Sensation Disorders/etiology , alpha-Synuclein/metabolism
8.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 169, 2021 04 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1199270

ABSTRACT

Neurological manifestations are frequently reported in the COVID-19 patients. Neuromechanism of SARS-CoV-2 remains to be elucidated. In this study, we explored the mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 neurotropism via our established non-human primate model of COVID-19. In rhesus monkey, SARS-CoV-2 invades the CNS primarily via the olfactory bulb. Thereafter, viruses rapidly spread to functional areas of the central nervous system, such as hippocampus, thalamus, and medulla oblongata. The infection of SARS-CoV-2 induces the inflammation possibly by targeting neurons, microglia, and astrocytes in the CNS. Consistently, SARS-CoV-2 infects neuro-derived SK-N-SH, glial-derived U251, and brain microvascular endothelial cells in vitro. To our knowledge, this is the first experimental evidence of SARS-CoV-2 neuroinvasion in the NHP model, which provides important insights into the CNS-related pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Brain Diseases/metabolism , Brain/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Olfactory Bulb/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Animals , Astrocytes/metabolism , Astrocytes/pathology , Astrocytes/virology , Brain/pathology , Brain/virology , Brain Diseases/pathology , Brain Diseases/virology , COVID-19/pathology , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Macaca mulatta , Microglia/metabolism , Microglia/pathology , Microglia/virology , Neurons/metabolism , Neurons/pathology , Neurons/virology , Olfactory Bulb/pathology , Olfactory Bulb/virology
9.
J Neurovirol ; 27(1): 171-177, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064632

ABSTRACT

The complete features of the neurological complications of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) still need to be elucidated, including associated cranial nerve involvement. In the present study we describe cranial nerve lesions seen in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of six cases of confirmed COVID-19, involving the olfactory bulb, optic nerve, abducens nerve, and facial nerve. Cranial nerve involvement was associated with COVID-19, but whether by direct viral invasion or autoimmunity needs to be clarified. The development of neurological symptoms after initial respiratory symptoms and the absence of the virus in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) suggest the possibility of autoimmunity.


Subject(s)
Abducens Nerve/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Cranial Nerve Diseases/diagnostic imaging , Facial Nerve/diagnostic imaging , Olfactory Bulb/diagnostic imaging , Optic Nerve/diagnostic imaging , Abducens Nerve/immunology , Abducens Nerve/pathology , Abducens Nerve/virology , Adult , Aged , Autoimmunity , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cranial Nerve Diseases/immunology , Cranial Nerve Diseases/pathology , Cranial Nerve Diseases/virology , Facial Nerve/immunology , Facial Nerve/pathology , Facial Nerve/virology , Female , Humans , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Male , Neuroimaging , Olfactory Bulb/immunology , Olfactory Bulb/pathology , Olfactory Bulb/virology , Optic Nerve/immunology , Optic Nerve/pathology , Optic Nerve/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
10.
Cells Tissues Organs ; 209(4-6): 155-164, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1042717

ABSTRACT

Usually, pandemic COVID-19 disease, caused by SARS-CoV2, presents with mild respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, but frequently also with anosmia and neurological symptoms. Virus-cell fusion is mediated by angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) with their organ expression pattern determining viral tropism. Clinical presentation suggests rapid viral dissemination to the central nervous system leading frequently to severe symptoms including viral meningitis. Here, we provide a comprehensive expression landscape of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 proteins across human postmortem nasal and olfactory tissue. Sagittal sections through the human nose complemented with immunolabelling of respective cell types represent different anatomically defined regions including olfactory epithelium, respiratory epithelium of the nasal conchae and the paranasal sinuses along with the hardly accessible human olfactory bulb. ACE2 can be detected in the olfactory epithelium as well as in the respiratory epithelium of the nasal septum, the nasal conchae, and the paranasal sinuses. ACE2 is located in the sustentacular cells and in the glandular cells in the olfactory epithelium as well as in the basal cells, glandular cells, and epithelial cells of the respiratory epithelium. Intriguingly, ACE2 is not expressed in mature or immature olfactory receptor neurons and basal cells in the olfactory epithelium. Similarly, ACE2 is not localized in the olfactory receptor neurons albeit the olfactory bulb is positive. Vice versa, TMPRSS2 can also be detected in the sustentacular cells and the glandular cells of the olfactory epithelium. Our findings provide the basic anatomical evidence for the expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 in the human nose, olfactory epithelium, and olfactory bulb. Thus, they are substantial for future studies that aim to elucidate the symptom of SARS-CoV2 induced anosmia via the olfactory pathway.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/analysis , COVID-19/pathology , Nasal Mucosa/pathology , Olfactory Bulb/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Serine Endopeptidases/analysis , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Nasal Mucosa/virology , Nose/pathology , Nose/virology , Olfactory Bulb/virology , Olfactory Mucosa/pathology , Olfactory Mucosa/virology
11.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(1): e1009153, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1006381

ABSTRACT

Neuropilin-1 (NRP-1), a member of a family of signaling proteins, was shown to serve as an entry factor and potentiate SARS Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infectivity in vitro. This cell surface receptor with its disseminated expression is important in angiogenesis, tumor progression, viral entry, axonal guidance, and immune function. NRP-1 is implicated in several aspects of a SARS-CoV-2 infection including possible spread through the olfactory bulb and into the central nervous system and increased NRP-1 RNA expression in lungs of severe Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Up-regulation of NRP-1 protein in diabetic kidney cells hint at its importance in a population at risk of severe COVID-19. Involvement of NRP-1 in immune function is compelling, given the role of an exaggerated immune response in disease severity and deaths due to COVID-19. NRP-1 has been suggested to be an immune checkpoint of T cell memory. It is unknown whether involvement and up-regulation of NRP-1 in COVID-19 may translate into disease outcome and long-term consequences, including possible immune dysfunction. It is prudent to further research NRP-1 and its possibility of serving as a therapeutic target in SARS-CoV-2 infections. We anticipate that widespread expression, abundance in the respiratory and olfactory epithelium, and the functionalities of NRP-1 factor into the multiple systemic effects of COVID-19 and challenges we face in management of disease and potential long-term sequelae.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Neuropilin-1/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Virus Internalization , COVID-19/pathology , Diabetic Nephropathies/immunology , Diabetic Nephropathies/pathology , Diabetic Nephropathies/virology , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Olfactory Bulb/immunology , Olfactory Bulb/pathology , Olfactory Bulb/virology , Respiratory Mucosa/immunology , Respiratory Mucosa/pathology , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/pathology
12.
Mol Neurobiol ; 58(3): 944-949, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-871560

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is a pandemic viral infection caused by a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV2, which is a global concern of the twenty-first century for its rapid spreading in a short period. Apart from its known acute respiratory involvements, the CNS manifestations of COVID-19 are common. These neurological symptoms are diverse and could range from mild nonspecific or specific symptoms such as the loss of various sensory perceptions, the worrying autoimmune Guillain-Barré syndrome, to the life-threatening acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, and the CNS-mediated respiratory distress. An autopsy report documented the presence of SARS-CoV2 in brain tissues of a COVID-19 patient. However, there is no definite conclusion on the mechanisms of SARS-CoV2 neuroinvasion. These proposed mechanisms include the direct viral invasion, the systemic blood circulation, or the distribution of infected immune cells. Concerning these different neuropathophysiologies, COVID-19 patients who are presenting with either the early-onset, multiple, and severe CNS symptoms or rapid respiratory deterioration should be suspected for the direct viral neuroinvasion, and appropriate management options should be considered. This article reviews the neurological manifestations, the proposed neuroinvasive mechanisms, and the potential neurological sequelae of SARS-CoV2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Nervous System Diseases/etiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Animals , Brain/virology , Brain Ischemia/epidemiology , Brain Ischemia/etiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Delirium/epidemiology , Delirium/etiology , Encephalitis, Viral/epidemiology , Encephalitis, Viral/etiology , Ethmoid Bone/virology , Guillain-Barre Syndrome/epidemiology , Guillain-Barre Syndrome/etiology , Humans , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Models, Neurological , Nervous System Diseases/epidemiology , Nervous System Diseases/virology , Olfactory Bulb/virology , Organ Specificity , Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate/antagonists & inhibitors , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/physiopathology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
14.
Brain Behav Immun ; 89: 579-586, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-656807

ABSTRACT

Anosmia is one of the most prevalent symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the cellular mechanism behind the sudden loss of smell has not yet been investigated. The initial step of odour detection takes place in the pseudostratified olfactory epithelium (OE) mainly composed of olfactory sensory neurons surrounded by supporting cells known as sustentacular cells. The olfactory neurons project their axons to the olfactory bulb in the central nervous system offering a potential pathway for pathogens to enter the central nervous system by bypassing the blood brain barrier. In the present study, we explored the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on the olfactory system in golden Syrian hamsters. We observed massive damage of the OE as early as 2 days post nasal instillation of SARS-CoV-2, resulting in a major loss of cilia necessary for odour detection. These damages were associated with infection of a large proportion of sustentacular cells but not of olfactory neurons, and we did not detect any presence of the virus in the olfactory bulbs. We observed massive infiltration of immune cells in the OE and lamina propria of infected animals, which may contribute to the desquamation of the OE. The OE was partially restored 14 days post infection. Anosmia observed in COVID-19 patient is therefore likely to be linked to a massive and fast desquamation of the OE following sustentacular cells infection with SARS-CoV-2 and subsequent recruitment of immune cells in the OE and lamina propria.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Olfactory Bulb/pathology , Olfactory Mucosa/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Animals , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Cilia/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Mesocricetus , Olfaction Disorders/pathology , Olfaction Disorders/physiopathology , Olfactory Bulb/virology , Olfactory Mucosa/virology , Olfactory Receptor Neurons/pathology , Olfactory Receptor Neurons/virology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Neuron ; 107(2): 219-233, 2020 07 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-623119

ABSTRACT

The main neurological manifestation of COVID-19 is loss of smell or taste. The high incidence of smell loss without significant rhinorrhea or nasal congestion suggests that SARS-CoV-2 targets the chemical senses through mechanisms distinct from those used by endemic coronaviruses or other common cold-causing agents. Here we review recently developed hypotheses about how SARS-CoV-2 might alter the cells and circuits involved in chemosensory processing and thereby change perception. Given our limited understanding of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis, we propose future experiments to elucidate disease mechanisms and highlight the relevance of this ongoing work to understanding how the virus might alter brain function more broadly.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Olfaction Disorders/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Smell/physiology , Taste Disorders/physiopathology , Taste/physiology , Animals , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Olfaction Disorders/epidemiology , Olfaction Disorders/virology , Olfactory Bulb/physiopathology , Olfactory Bulb/virology , Olfactory Mucosa/physiopathology , Olfactory Mucosa/virology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Taste Disorders/epidemiology , Taste Disorders/virology
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