Unusual Cell Death Pathway Linked to Severe COVID-19 Lung Damage

Unusual Cell Death Pathway Linked to Severe COVID-19 Lung Damage

The current study points out that instead of a passive process of cell death, the disease triggers an active form of cell death known as programmed cell death (PCD), which substantially contributes to the respiratory distress syndrome associated with acute COVID-19 pneumonia. Research has also revealed that PCD pathways are involved in diverse cells throughout the infection with SARS-CoV-2, which causes the cell to die and exacerbates the severity of this illness. This cell death is not restricted to the immune only but is also seen in non-immune cells containing endothelial cells, cardiomyocytes, and platelets.  

Large virus replication in severe COVID-19 cases dysregulated PCD pathways resulted in apoptotic cell clearance and further intensified inflammation or tissue damage in the lungs. For example, the cell death of endothelial results in coagulopathy and thrombosis, and similarly, cell death of cardiomyocytes affects the contractility of the heart.   

PCD to COVID-19 is believed to be initiated directly by the virus and uncontrolled hypertyrosinemia that frequently underlies severe COVID-19 cases. Such viral control and host response interplay in the pathogenesis of dengue H/F infection would contribute to the different activation of PCD pathways in different cells at different time points, and this becomes difficult for the differential regulation and therapeutic targeting of various PCD cascades.   

Since PCD is implicated in much of the lung injury in severe COVID-19, researchers have considered selective strategies that could potentially block these pathways. For instance, some compounds that block caspases, a group of proteins critical to PCD, have demonstrated potential applicability in the modulation of T cell death and, therefore, the subsequent health evolution of the disease. “The findings of the current study indicate that there is more work to be done to investigate the presence of PCD in COVID-19 patients and to explore ways in which its impact on the lungs can be managed. 

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Nilanjana Basu
Nilanjana is a lawyer with a flair for writing. She has a certification in American Laws from Penn Law (Pennsylvania University). Along with this, she has been known to write legal articles that allow the audience to know about American laws and regulations at ease.

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