Although the main route of infection for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the respiratory tract, liver injury is also commonly seen in many patients, as evidenced by deranged parenchymal liver enzymes. Furthermore, the severity of liver damage has been shown to correlate with higher mortality. Overall, the mechanism behind the liver injury remains unclear. We showed in this study that intra-hepatic bile duct cells could be grown using a human liver organoid platform. The cholangiocytes were not only susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, they also supported efficient viral replication. We also showed that SARS-CoV-2 replication was much higher than SARS-CoV. Our findings suggested direct cytopathic viral damage being a mechanism for SARS-CoV-2 liver injury.

Fuente: Scientific Reports

Published: 30 March 2022