- The virus that causes COVID-19 can infect and replicate in human kidney cells, but this usually does not lead to cell death.
- Kidney cells that already show lesion characteristics may be more easily infected and develop additional lesions.
Washington, DC (June 10, 2021) – Researchers have studied human kidney cells in the lab to examine the effects of COVID-19 on kidney health. The results appear in an upcoming issue of JASN.
Many people who develop COVID-19 also experience kidney damage, but it is not known whether this is a direct result of a viral infection or a consequence of another condition or the child’s response. body to infection. To investigate, a team led by Benjamin Dekel, MD, PhD (Sheba Medical Center, Israel) grew human kidney cells in lab dishes and infected them with the virus that causes COVID-19.
The researchers found that although the virus that causes COVID-19 can enter, infect, and replicate in human adult kidney cells, it does not usually lead to cell death. Prior to infection, cells contained high levels of interferon signaling molecules, and the infection stimulated an inflammatory response that increased these molecules. In contrast, infection of kidney cells deficient in these molecules resulted in cell death, suggesting a protective effect.
The cells from these experiments were grown as a three-dimensional spheroid that mimics a healthy kidney or a two-dimensional layer that mimics cells from a severely injured kidney. Cells that mimicked a severely injured kidney were more prone to infection and further injury, but not cell death.
âThe data indicate that the virus is unlikely to be a primary cause of acute kidney injury seen in COVID-19 patients. This implies that if such injury occurs in the kidney for any cause, the virus could jump on the wagon to step up Therefore, if we are able to limit the common scenario of acute kidney injury in the first place, then it might be possible to minimize the potential damage from the virus, âexplained Dr. Dekel.
Co-authors of the Sheba Medical Center and Israel Biological Research Institute study include Dorit Omer, PhD, Oren Pleniceanu, MD, PhD, Yehudit Gnatek, MSc, Michael Namestnikov, Osnat Cohen-Zontag, PhD, Sanja Goldberg, PhD, Yehudit Eden Friedman, MD, Nehemya Friedman, PhD, Michal Mandelboim, PhD, Einat B. Vitner, PhD, Hagit Achdout, PhD, Roy Avraham, PhD, Eran Zahavy, PhD, Tomer Israely, PhD, and Haim Mayan , MD.
Disclosures: Dr Dekel is co-founder and shareholder of KidneyCure Ltd.
The article, titled “Human Kidney Spheroids and Monolayers Provide Insights into SARS-CoV-2 Renal Interactions”, will appear online at http: // jasn.
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