Researchers have studied human kidney cells in the laboratory to examine the effects of COVID-19 on kidney health. The findings appear in an upcoming issue of JASN.
Many people who develop COVID-19 also experience it kidney damage, but it is unclear whether this is a direct result of a viral infection or a consequence of another condition or the body’s response to the infection. To investigate, a team led by Benjamin Dekel, MD, Ph.D. (Sheba Medical Center, Israel) cultivated human kidney cells to laboratory dishes and infected them with the virus that causes COVID-19.
The researchers found that although the virus that causes COVID-19 could enter, infect and replicate in the adult human kidney. cells, this does not usually lead to cell death. Prior to infection, cells contained high levels of interferon signaling molecules and the infection stimulated a inflammatory response which increased these molecules. In contrast, infection of kidney cells deficient in these molecules caused cell death, suggesting a protective effect.
The cells in these experiments were cultured as a three-dimensional spheroid that mimics the healthy kidney or as a two-dimensional layer that mimics the cells of a sharply injured kidney. Cells that mimicked a severely injured kidney were more prone to infection and additional injury, but not cell death.
“The data indicate that the virus is unlikely to be the leading cause of acute kidney injury seen in patients with COVID-19. It implies that if this injury occurs in the kidney for any reason, the virus can jump into the wagon to intensify. therefore, if in the first place we are able to limit the common scenario of acute kidney injury, there may be a possibility of minimizing the potential damage caused by the virus, ”explained Dr. Dekel.
“Human kidney spheroids and monolayers provide information on renal SARS-CoV-2 interactions.” JASN, DOI: 10.1681 / ASN.2020111546
American Society of Nephrology
Citation: Study Examines Effects of COVID-19 on Human Kidney Cells (2021, June 10) Retrieved June 10, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-effects-covid -human-kidney-cells.html
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