Introduction: The respiratory illness triggered by severe acute respiratory syndrome virus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is often particularly serious or fatal amongst patients with pre-existing heart conditions. Although the mechanisms underlying SARS-CoV-2-related cardiac damage remain elusive, inflammation (i.e. ‘cytokine storm’) and oxidative stress are likely involved. Methods and Results: Here we sought to determine: 1) if cardiomyocytes are targeted by SARS-CoV-2 and 2) how inflammation and oxidative stress promote the viral entry into cardiac cells. We analysed pro-inflammatory and oxidative stress and its impact on virus entry and virus-associated cardiac damage from SARS-CoV-2 infected patients and compared it to left ventricular myocardial tissues obtained from non-infected transplanted hearts either from end stage heart failure or non-failing hearts (donor group). We found that neuropilin-1 potentiates SARS-CoV-2 entry into human cardiomyocytes, a phenomenon driven by inflammatory and oxidant signals. These changes accounted for increased proteases activity and apoptotic markers thus leading to cell damage and apoptosis. Conclusion: This study provides new insights into the mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 entry into the heart and defines promising targets for antiviral interventions for COVID-19 patients with pre-existing heart conditions or patients with co-morbidities.

Fuente: International Journal of Cardiology
Available online 26 May 2022