How the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus attacks the heart
Numerous studies have already shown that it is serious COVID-19 courses associated with organ damage I am. Also heart complications are among the possible consequences of a Coronavirus infection. A German research team has now been able to trace the journey of the virus into the heart and show how the pathogen does it heart attacks.
researchers of Ruhr-University of Bochum a Dr. Nazha Hamdani discovered as in a recent study The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infects muscle cells in the human heart and that this heart infection is mainly promoted by inflammation and oxidative stress. The findings were recently presented in the International Journal of Cardiology.
Heart damage in coronavirus infections
Especially in people with underlying diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension, heart complications occur in severe COVID-19 courses. But so far it is unclear how exactly the corona virus damages the heart.
Using state-of-the-art technology, the Bochum University Hospital team has now analyzed the heart tissue structures of patients who had contracted COVID-19, some of whom have died from the infection.
SARS-Cov-2 can directly attack heart muscle cells
One of the team’s first key findings is that the virus is indeed capable of doing this which directly affects the heart muscle cells. SARS-Cov-2 was detected directly in the heart muscle cells of those affected.
“Our observations show that the virus exerts pressure on the heart muscle, attacking and weakening the contraction force, which is the pumping function of the heart.”explains the research director Hamdani.
How does corona virus get to the heart?
A key question that arises from this is how the virus gets to the heart and enters the organ. Researchers have uncovered a possible mechanism associated with heart muscle cell dysfunction in people with severe SARS-Cov-2 infections.
This leads to the activation of certain enzymes that break down proteins. The process is called in technical jargon as proteolytic activity designated.
Overall, the results indicate that SARS-Cov-2 enters cells via activation of the spike protein by enzymes responsible for breaking down the proteins and that entry into cells is dependent on these breakdown enzymes.
Heart cells are prompted to commit suicide by SARS-Cov-2
Special proteins are involved in the process which they are responsible for cellular suicide (apoptosis) they are responsible. “The findings imply that apoptosis contributes to the deterioration of cardiac contractility observed in Sars-Cov-2 patients”explained Dr. Hamdani.
As the research team was able to demonstrate at a later stage of the study, the processes described above were significantly aggravated when they took place in an environment that oxidative stress and inflammatory reactions is.
This appears to be why heart damage during a coronavirus infection is particularly common people with underlying diseases to appear.
Those responsible for the deterioration are the so-called Neutrophilic. These are primary cell types that play an essential role during inflammatory reactions and rapidly migrate from the bloodstream to damaged tissue.
SARS-Cov-2 can spread through the heart in several ways
Furthermore, the team was able to show that SAR-Cov-2 also contains the protein Neuropilin-1 (NRP-1) as a gateway to the cells. Consequently, according to Hamdani, they are equal to the coronavirus different mechanisms available to spread to the heart.
“Sars-Cov-2 is able to spread to the infected heart in a receptor-dependent and receptor-independent way”summary Dr. Hamdani. (vb)
Information on the author and source
This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialist medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by medical professionals.
Graduate Publisher (FH) Volker Blasek
- Ruhr University Bochum: How the corona virus attacks the heart (published: 29.06.2022), news.rub.de
- Melina Tangos, Heidi Budde, Nazha Hamdani et al .: Sars-Cov-2 infects human cardiomyocytes promoted by inflammation and oxidative stress; in: International Journal of Cardiology (2022), internationaljournalofcardiology.com
This article contains general advice only and is not to be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot replace a visit to the doctor.