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Inflammopharmacology . Neuropathophysiology of coronavirus disease 2019: neuroinflammation and blood brain barrier disruption are critical pathophysiological processes that contribute to the clinical symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection

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  • Inflammopharmacology . Neuropathophysiology of coronavirus disease 2019: neuroinflammation and blood brain barrier disruption are critical pathophysiological processes that contribute to the clinical symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection


    Inflammopharmacology


    . 2021 Apr 6.
    doi: 10.1007/s10787-021-00806-x. Online ahead of print.
    Neuropathophysiology of coronavirus disease 2019: neuroinflammation and blood brain barrier disruption are critical pathophysiological processes that contribute to the clinical symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection


    Menizibeya O Welcome 1 , Nikos E Mastorakis 2



    Affiliations

    Abstract

    Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by the novel SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) first discovered in Wuhan, Hubei province, China in December 2019. SARS-CoV-2 has infected several millions of people, resulting in a huge socioeconomic cost and over 2.5 million deaths worldwide. Though the pathogenesis of COVID-19 is not fully understood, data have consistently shown that SARS-CoV-2 mainly affects the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. Nevertheless, accumulating evidence has implicated the central nervous system in the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Unfortunately, however, the mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 induced impairment of the central nervous system are not completely known. Here, we review the literature on possible neuropathogenic mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 induced cerebral damage. The results suggest that downregulation of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) with increased activity of the transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) and cathepsin L in SARS-CoV-2 neuroinvasion may result in upregulation of proinflammatory mediators and reactive species that trigger neuroinflammatory response and blood brain barrier disruption. Furthermore, dysregulation of hormone and neurotransmitter signalling may constitute a fundamental mechanism involved in the neuropathogenic sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The viral RNA or antigenic peptides also activate or interact with molecular signalling pathways mediated by pattern recognition receptors (e.g., toll-like receptors), nuclear factor kappa B, Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription, complement cascades, and cell suicide molecules. Potential molecular targets and therapeutics of SARS-CoV-2 induced neurologic damage are also discussed.

    Keywords: Blood brain barrier disruption; COVID-19; Neuroinfection; Neuroinflammation; Neuropathogenesis; SARS-CoV-2.

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