Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has rapidly spread and led to global health crises. COVID-19 causes well-known respiratory failure and gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Thus, human gastrointestinal cell models are urgently needed for COVID-19 research; however, it is difficult to obtain primary human intestinal cells. In this study, we examined whether human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived small intestinal epithelial cells (iPSC-SIECs) could be used as a SARS-CoV-2 infection model. We observed that iPSC-SIECs, such as absorptive and Paneth cells, were infected with SARS-CoV-2, and remdesivir treatment decreased intracellular SARS-CoV-2 replication in iPSC-SIECs. SARS-CoV-2 infection decreased expression levels of tight junction markers, ZO-3 and CLDN1, and transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER), which evaluates the integrity of tight junction dynamics. In addition, SARS-CoV-2 infection increased expression levels of proinflammatory genes, which are elevated in patients with COVID-19. These findings suggest iPSC-SIECs as a useful in vitro model for elucidating COVID-19 pathology and drug development.

Fuente: Journal of Pharmacological Sciences
Available online 2 May 2022