Brain Cells Act As Trojan Horses To Guide Viruses That Invade The Brain

 NEWS    |      2023-03-28


Coronavirus can infect pericytes, which is a local chemical factory that produces SARS-CoV-2.

These locally produced SARS-CoV-2 may spread to other cell types, causing widespread damage. Through this improved model system, they found that supporting cells called astrocytes are the main target of this secondary infection.

The results indicate that a potential way for SARS-CoV-2 to enter the brain is through blood vessels, where SARS-CoV-2 can infect pericytes, and then SARS-CoV-2 can spread to other types of brain cells.

Infected pericytes may cause inflammation of blood vessels, followed by clotting, stroke, or bleeding. These complications are observed in many SARS-CoV-2 patients admitted to the intensive care unit.

The researchers now plan to focus on developing improved combinations that contain not only pericytes, but also blood vessels that can pump blood to better mimic a complete human brain. Through these models, we can gain a deeper understanding of infectious diseases and other human brain diseases.