High cholesterol in lung tissue opens door for coronavirus infection and could lead to deadly ‘cytokine storm’: preliminary study
Nobody who did not have COVID-19[female[feminine knows how their body would react to it.
Some people are badly affected 400,000 worldwide have died of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus – while others have relatively minor symptoms or not at all.
Now, researchers at the Scripps Research Institute’s Florida campus have focused on what could be an important factor in determining how much damage the virus does to a person: their cholesterol levels.
In a preliminary study, which was conducted on cells in a lab and has not yet gone through the peer review process, researchers found that high levels of cholesterol in lung tissue – but not in the blood – provide the coronavirus with considerably more “Entry points” into cells. “Additionally,” the study says, “we show that cholesterol enhances the binding of SARS-CoV-2 to the cell surface.”
So high tissue cholesterol, the study found, not only increases the likelihood of infection, but could also trigger a deadly “cytokine storm”, where the immune system overdrives, sending out a flood of cells. immune system in the lungs and causing severe respiratory distress.
“The role that high cholesterol plays in this process, if confirmed, would clarify why obesity, hypertension, respiratory and cardiovascular disease, and diabetes are such high risk factors for severity and disease. COVID-19 mortality ”, David Templeton reports for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
High cholesterol in tissue, but not in the blood, is associated with chronic inflammation.
The researchers hope that further work will confirm the results of the study and potentially lead to better treatment for COVID-19.
The study, “The role of hypercholesterolemia in the age-related lethality of COVID 19”, is available on bioRxiv, a “preprint server for biology”. The website clearly states in a banner that the articles on the site are work in progress and “should not be taken as conclusive.”
– Douglas Perry