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Mol Cell Biochem . Simulation of COVID-19 symptoms in a genetically engineered mouse model: implications for the long haulers

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  • Mol Cell Biochem . Simulation of COVID-19 symptoms in a genetically engineered mouse model: implications for the long haulers


    Mol Cell Biochem


    . 2022 Jun 22.
    doi: 10.1007/s11010-022-04487-0. Online ahead of print.
    Simulation of COVID-19 symptoms in a genetically engineered mouse model: implications for the long haulers


    Mahavir Singh # 1 , Sathnur Pushpakumar # 2 , Nia Bard # 2 , Yuting Zheng 2 , Rubens P Homme 2 , Sri Prakash L Mokshagundam 3 , Suresh C Tyagi 2



    Affiliations

    Abstract

    The ongoing pandemic (also known as coronavirus disease-19; COVID-19) by a constantly emerging viral agent commonly referred as the severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 or SARS-CoV-2 has revealed unique pathological findings from infected human beings, and the postmortem observations. The list of disease symptoms, and postmortem observations is too long to mention; however, SARS-CoV-2 has brought with it a whole new clinical syndrome in "long haulers" including dyspnea, chest pain, tachycardia, brain fog, exercise intolerance, and extreme fatigue. We opine that further improvement in delivering effective treatment, and preventive strategies would be benefited from validated animal disease models. In this context, we designed a study, and show that a genetically engineered mouse expressing the human angiotensin converting enzyme 2; ACE-2 (the receptor used by SARS-CoV-2 agent to enter host cells) represents an excellent investigative resource in simulating important clinical features of the COVID-19. The ACE-2 mouse model (which is susceptible to SARS-CoV-2) when administered with a recombinant SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (SP) intranasally exhibited a profound cytokine storm capable of altering the physiological parameters including significant changes in cardiac function along with multi-organ damage that was further confirmed via histological findings. More importantly, visceral organs from SP treated mice revealed thrombotic blood clots as seen during postmortem examination. Thus, the ACE-2 engineered mouse appears to be a suitable model for studying intimate viral pathogenesis thus paving the way for identification, and characterization of appropriate prophylactics as well as therapeutics for COVID-19 management.

    Keywords: Clinical symptoms; Disease management; Humanized mouse; Multi-organ damage; SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

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