COVID-19, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a global pandemic that might lead to very serious consequences. Notably, mental status change, brain confusion, and smell and taste disorders along with neurological complaints have been reported in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, human brain tissue autopsies from COVID-19 patients show the presence of SARS-CoV-2 neuroinvasion, which correlates with the manifestation of meningitis, encephalitis, leukocyte infiltration, and neuronal damage. The olfactory mucosa has been suggested as a way of entry into the brain. SARS-CoV-2 infection is also known to provoke a hyper-inflammatory reaction with an exponential increase in the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines leading to systemic responses, even in the absence of direct infection of brain cells. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the entry receptor of SARS-CoV-2, has been extensively demonstrated to be present in the periphery, neurons, and glial cells in different brain regions. To dissect the details of neurological complications and develop therapies helping COVID-19 survivors regain pre-infection quality of life, the development of robust clinical models is highly warranted. Several human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) transgenic mouse models have been developed and used for antiviral drug screening and vaccine development, as well as for better understanding of the molecular pathogenetic mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 infection. In this review, we summarize recent results from the studies involving two such mouse models, namely K18- and CAG-hACE2 transgenics, to evaluate the direct and indirect impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on the central nervous system.

K18- and CAG-hACE2 Transgenic Mouse Models and SARS-CoV-2: Implications for Neurodegeneration Research

Dedoni, Simona;Camoglio, Chiara;Siddi, Carlotta;Fratta, Walter;Scherma, Maria;Fadda, Paola
2022

Abstract

COVID-19, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a global pandemic that might lead to very serious consequences. Notably, mental status change, brain confusion, and smell and taste disorders along with neurological complaints have been reported in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, human brain tissue autopsies from COVID-19 patients show the presence of SARS-CoV-2 neuroinvasion, which correlates with the manifestation of meningitis, encephalitis, leukocyte infiltration, and neuronal damage. The olfactory mucosa has been suggested as a way of entry into the brain. SARS-CoV-2 infection is also known to provoke a hyper-inflammatory reaction with an exponential increase in the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines leading to systemic responses, even in the absence of direct infection of brain cells. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the entry receptor of SARS-CoV-2, has been extensively demonstrated to be present in the periphery, neurons, and glial cells in different brain regions. To dissect the details of neurological complications and develop therapies helping COVID-19 survivors regain pre-infection quality of life, the development of robust clinical models is highly warranted. Several human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) transgenic mouse models have been developed and used for antiviral drug screening and vaccine development, as well as for better understanding of the molecular pathogenetic mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 infection. In this review, we summarize recent results from the studies involving two such mouse models, namely K18- and CAG-hACE2 transgenics, to evaluate the direct and indirect impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on the central nervous system.
COVID-19; K18-transgenic mice; CAG-hACE2 transgenic mice; neuroinvasion; inflammation
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/345216
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