Scientists are sure: their discovery can help discover more effective methods of treatment and diagnosis of coronavirus infection
TBILISI, Apr 24 - Sputnik. Scientists have established two types of cells in the nose with the highest concentration of proteins ACE2 and TMPRSS2 - according to experts, it is with their help that the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 enters the body.
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The results of the study, which was worked on by an international group of scientists, are published by the journal Nature Medicine . The research project was carried out as part of the international consortium Human Cell Atlas Lung Biological Network. The purpose of the program is the study of human cells.
Despite the fact that scientists know that SARS-CoV-2 practices the same method in order to penetrate the cells, like the coronavirus that caused the SARS epidemic in 2003, it has not yet been found out which cell types in a person’s nose is involved in its transmission.
© PHOTO: SPUTNIK / KIRILL KALLINIKOV
So, to find out, the researchers studied the RNA data of individual cells from 20 different tissues in non-infected people: lungs, nasal cavity, eyes, intestines, heart and liver. The experts set themselves the task of finding specific cells that are characterized by high expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 proteins.
"We were able to find that the ACE2 receptor protein and TMPRSS2 protease, which can activate SARS-CoV-2 penetration, are expressed in cells of various organs, including cells on the inner surface of the nose. After that we realized that of all cells of the respiratory tract, the concentration of both proteins is highest in the goblet cells that are involved in the production of mucus, and in the ciliary cells in the nose. This makes them the most likely initial pathway of infection, "- quotes the publication of the words of the lead author of the study, Varadona Sungnaka, who believes that the location of these cells in the nose may also help transmit the virus to other people.