The kidney, COVID-19, and the chemokine network: an intriguing trio.
International urology and nephrology. 2021;(1):97-104
On December 30th 2019, some patients with pneumonia of unknown etiology were reported in the Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases (ProMED), a program run by the International Society for Infectious Diseases (ISID), hypothesized to be related to subjects who had had contact with the seafood market in Wuhan, China. Chinese authorities instituted an emergency agency aimed at identifying the source of infection and potential biological pathogens. It was subsequently named by the World Committee on Virus Classification as 2019-nCoV (2019-novel coronavirus) or severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). A number of studies have demonstrated that 2019-nCoV and the SARS-CoV shared the same cell entry receptor named angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). This is expressed in human tissues, not only in the respiratory epithelia, but also in the small intestines, heart, liver, and kidneys. Here, we examine the most recent findings on the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on kidney diseases, mainly acute kidney injury, and the potential role of the chemokine network.
Is the kidney a target of SARS-CoV-2?
American journal of physiology. Renal physiology. 2020;(6):F1454-F1462
The new disease produced by severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) represents a major pandemic event nowadays. Since its origin in China in December 2019, there is compelling evidence that novel SARS-CoV-2 is a highly transmissible virus, and it is associated to a broad clinical spectrum going from subclinical presentation to severe respiratory distress and multiorgan failure. Like other coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-2 recognizes human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 as a cellular receptor that allows it to infect different host cells and likely disrupts renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system homeostasis. Particularly, a considerable incidence of many renal abnormalities associated to COVID-19 has been reported, including proteinuria, hematuria, and acute kidney injury. Moreover, it has been recently demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 can infect podocytes and tubular epithelial cells, which could contribute to the development of the aforementioned renal abnormalities. In this review, we discuss the biological aspects of SARS-CoV-2 infection, how understanding current knowledge about SARS-CoV-2 infection may partly explain the involvement of the kidneys in the pathophysiology of COVID-19, and what questions have arisen and remain to be explored.