open access

Ahead of print
Review paper
Published online: 2021-05-05
Submitted: 2021-02-13
Accepted: 2021-02-15
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Endocrine and metabolic aspects of Covid–19

Marek Pawlikowski, Katarzyna Winczyk
DOI: 10.5603/EP.a2021.0023
·
Pubmed: 34010445

open access

Ahead of print
Review Article
Published online: 2021-05-05
Submitted: 2021-02-13
Accepted: 2021-02-15

Abstract

The paper presents the theoretical considerations on the role of endocrine and metabolic alterations accompanying Covid–19 infection. These alterations may be presumed on the basis of the following two observations. Firstly, the virus SARS–CoV–2 responsible for the Covid–19 infection uses an important renin–angiotensin system element – angiotensin–converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) – as a receptor protein for the entry into target cells and, in consequence, disturbs the function of the main (circulating) renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS) and of the local renin–angiotensin system (RAS) localized in different tissues and organs. The binding of SARS–CoV–2 to ACE2 leads to the down–regulation of this enzyme and, in the aftermath, to the excess of angiotensin II and aldosterone. Thus, in the later stage of Covid–19 infection, the beneficial effects of ACI and ARB could be presumed. It is hypothesized that the local RAS dysregulation in the adipose tissue is the main cause of the negative role of obesity as a risk factor of severe outcome of the Covid–19 infection. Secondly, the outcome of Covid–19 strongly depends on the age of a patient. The age–related hormonal deficiencies, especially that of melatonin and dehydroepiandrosterone may contribute to morbidity/mortality in older people. The usefulness of melatonin and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor 1 blockers (the latter only in later phases of the infection) as adjuvant drugs is probable but needs careful clinical trials.

Abstract

The paper presents the theoretical considerations on the role of endocrine and metabolic alterations accompanying Covid–19 infection. These alterations may be presumed on the basis of the following two observations. Firstly, the virus SARS–CoV–2 responsible for the Covid–19 infection uses an important renin–angiotensin system element – angiotensin–converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) – as a receptor protein for the entry into target cells and, in consequence, disturbs the function of the main (circulating) renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS) and of the local renin–angiotensin system (RAS) localized in different tissues and organs. The binding of SARS–CoV–2 to ACE2 leads to the down–regulation of this enzyme and, in the aftermath, to the excess of angiotensin II and aldosterone. Thus, in the later stage of Covid–19 infection, the beneficial effects of ACI and ARB could be presumed. It is hypothesized that the local RAS dysregulation in the adipose tissue is the main cause of the negative role of obesity as a risk factor of severe outcome of the Covid–19 infection. Secondly, the outcome of Covid–19 strongly depends on the age of a patient. The age–related hormonal deficiencies, especially that of melatonin and dehydroepiandrosterone may contribute to morbidity/mortality in older people. The usefulness of melatonin and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor 1 blockers (the latter only in later phases of the infection) as adjuvant drugs is probable but needs careful clinical trials.

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Keywords

SARS–CoV–2; Covid–19; renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system; local renin-angiotensin systems; obesity; aging; melatonin; dehydroepiandrosterone

About this article
Title

Endocrine and metabolic aspects of Covid–19

Journal

Endokrynologia Polska

Issue

Ahead of print

Article type

Review paper

Published online

2021-05-05

DOI

10.5603/EP.a2021.0023

Pubmed

34010445

Keywords

SARS–CoV–2
Covid–19
renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system
local renin-angiotensin systems
obesity
aging
melatonin
dehydroepiandrosterone

Authors

Marek Pawlikowski
Katarzyna Winczyk

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