Background: A new harmful respiratory disease, called COVID-19 emerged in China in December 2019 due to the infection of a novel coronavirus, called SARS-Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which belongs to the betacoronavirus genus, including SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV. SARS-CoV-2 shares almost 80% of the genome with SARS-CoV-1 and 50% with MERS-CoV. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2 proteins share a high degree of homology (approximately 95%) with SARS-CoV-1 proteins. Hence, the mechanisms of SARS-Cov-1 and SARS-Cov-2 infection are similar and occur via binding to ACE2 protein, which is widely distributed in the human body, with a predominant expression in endocrine tissues including testis, thyroid, adrenal and pituitary. Purpose: On the basis of expression pattern of the ACE2 protein among different tissues, similarity between SARS-Cov-1 and SARS-Cov-2 and the pathophysiology of COVID-19 disease, we aimed at discussing, after almost one-year pandemic, about the relationships between COVID-19 infection and the endocrine system. First, we discussed the potential effect of hormones on the susceptibility to COVID-19 infection; second, we examined the evidences regarding the effect of COVID-19 on the endocrine system. When data were available, a comparative discussion between SARS and COVID-19 effects was also performed. Methods: A comprehensive literature search within Pubmed was performed. This review has been conducted according to the PRISMA statements. Results: Among 450, 100 articles were selected. Tissue and vascular damages have been shown on thyroid, adrenal, testis and pituitary glands, with multiple alterations of endocrine function. Conclusion: Hormones may affect patient susceptibility to COVID-19 infection but evidences regarding therapeutic implication of these findings are still missing. SARS and COVID-19 may affect endocrine glands and their dense vascularization, impairing endocrine system function. A possible damage of endocrine system in COVID-19 patients should be investigated in both COVID-19 acute phase and recovery to identify both early and late endocrine complications that may be important for patient’s prognosis and well-being after COVID-19 infection.

Relationship between betacoronaviruses and the endocrine system: a new key to understand the COVID-19 pandemic—A comprehensive review

Piticchio T.;Le Moli R.;Tumino D.;Frasca F.
2021-01-01

Abstract

Background: A new harmful respiratory disease, called COVID-19 emerged in China in December 2019 due to the infection of a novel coronavirus, called SARS-Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which belongs to the betacoronavirus genus, including SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV. SARS-CoV-2 shares almost 80% of the genome with SARS-CoV-1 and 50% with MERS-CoV. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2 proteins share a high degree of homology (approximately 95%) with SARS-CoV-1 proteins. Hence, the mechanisms of SARS-Cov-1 and SARS-Cov-2 infection are similar and occur via binding to ACE2 protein, which is widely distributed in the human body, with a predominant expression in endocrine tissues including testis, thyroid, adrenal and pituitary. Purpose: On the basis of expression pattern of the ACE2 protein among different tissues, similarity between SARS-Cov-1 and SARS-Cov-2 and the pathophysiology of COVID-19 disease, we aimed at discussing, after almost one-year pandemic, about the relationships between COVID-19 infection and the endocrine system. First, we discussed the potential effect of hormones on the susceptibility to COVID-19 infection; second, we examined the evidences regarding the effect of COVID-19 on the endocrine system. When data were available, a comparative discussion between SARS and COVID-19 effects was also performed. Methods: A comprehensive literature search within Pubmed was performed. This review has been conducted according to the PRISMA statements. Results: Among 450, 100 articles were selected. Tissue and vascular damages have been shown on thyroid, adrenal, testis and pituitary glands, with multiple alterations of endocrine function. Conclusion: Hormones may affect patient susceptibility to COVID-19 infection but evidences regarding therapeutic implication of these findings are still missing. SARS and COVID-19 may affect endocrine glands and their dense vascularization, impairing endocrine system function. A possible damage of endocrine system in COVID-19 patients should be investigated in both COVID-19 acute phase and recovery to identify both early and late endocrine complications that may be important for patient’s prognosis and well-being after COVID-19 infection.
2021
Adrenal gland
COVID-19
Endocrine system
Pituitary
SARS
Thyroid
Betacoronavirus
COVID-19
Disease Susceptibility
Endocrine Glands
Endocrine System Diseases
Hormones
Humans
Pandemics
SARS-CoV-2
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/526844
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