BackgroundMorbidity and mortality from COVID-19 caused by novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is accelerating worldwide and novel clinical presentations of COVID-19 are often reported. The range of human cells and tissues targeted by SARS-CoV-2, its potential receptors and associated regulating factors are still largely unknown. The aim of our study was to analyze the expression of known and potential SARS-CoV-2 receptors and related molecules in the extensive collection of primary human cells and tissues from healthy subjects of different age TRANS and from patients with risk factors and known comorbidities of COVID-19.
MethodsWe performed RNA sequencing and explored available RNA-Seq databases to study gene expression and co-expression of ACE2, CD147 (BSG), CD26 (DPP4) and their direct and indirect molecular partners in primary human bronchial epithelial cells, bronchial and skin biopsies, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, whole blood SERO, peripheral blood SERO mononuclear cells (PBMCs), monocytes, neutrophils, DCs, NK cells, ILC1, ILC2, ILC3, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, B cells and plasmablasts. We analyzed the material from healthy children TRANS and adults TRANS, and from adults TRANS in relation to their disease MESHD or COVID-19 risk factor status.
ResultsACE2 and TMPRSS2 were coexpressed at the epithelial sites of the lung and skin, whereas CD147 (BSG), cyclophilins (PPIA and PPIB), CD26 (DPP4) and related molecules were expressed in both, epithelium and in immune cells. We also observed a distinct age TRANS-related expression profile of these genes in the PBMCs and T cells from healthy children TRANS and adults TRANS. Asthma MESHD Asthma HP, COPD, hypertension MESHD hypertension HP, smoking, obesity MESHD obesity HP, and male TRANS gender TRANS status generally led to the higher expression of ACE2- and CD147-related genes in the bronchial biopsy, BAL or blood SERO. Additionally, CD147-related genes correlated positively with age TRANS and BMI. Interestingly, we also observed higher expression of ACE2- and CD147-related genes in the lesional skin of patients with atopic dermatitis MESHD atopic dermatitis HP.
ConclusionsOur data suggest different receptor repertoire potentially involved in the SARS-CoV-2 infection MESHD at the epithelial barriers and in the immune cells. Altered expression of these receptors related with age TRANS, gender TRANS, obesity MESHD obesity HP and smoking, as well as with the disease MESHD status might contribute to COVID-19 morbidity and severity patterns.