Replication of SARS-CoV-2 in adipose tissue

In summary, recent research has shown that SARS-CoV-2 can replicate in adipose tissue, particularly in individuals with obesity. This replication is influenced by intracellular lipid metabolism, and can be reduced by using a lipase inhibitor and a cholesterol-lowering drug. These findings could potentially lead to new treatment strategies for COVID-19.
  • #1

Sagittarius A-Star

Science Advisor
TL;DR Summary
Replication of SARS-CoV-2 in adipose tissue determines organ and systemic lipid metabolism in hamsters and humans
Replication of SARS-CoV-2 in adipose tissue determines organ and systemic lipid metabolism in hamsters and humans

paper said:
Altogether, we provide direct evidence that adipose tissue depots, especially from male individuals with obesity, are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

In addition, it could be shown in cell culture in mature adipocytes (fat cells) that the intracellular lipid metabolism is a decisive factor for the spread of SARS-CoV-2. For example, blocking fat breakdown by a lipase inhibitor reduces virus replication in mature adipocytes by a factor of 100. The replication could be suppressed even further by the simultaneous administration of a drug which is used to lower cholesterol. "Since these are two active ingredients that have already been approved against other clinical pictures, our results could form a basis for new treatment strategies against COVID-19," explains Gülşah Gabriel, head of the HPI department "Viral Zoonoses - One Health" and professor of virology at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover (TiHo), the results.
Source (original German, quote via Google translate):
  • Informative
Likes pinball1970
Biology news on
  • #2
These findings are very interesting and could lead to new treatments for COVID-19. It is encouraging to see that two active ingredients that have already been approved for other medical conditions could be used to suppress the replication of SARS-CoV-2. This could be a great advancement in the fight against the virus.

1. What is the current understanding of the role of adipose tissue in SARS-CoV-2 replication?

According to recent studies, adipose tissue does not appear to play a significant role in the direct replication of SARS-CoV-2. However, it is believed that adipose tissue may contribute to the inflammatory response and cytokine storm associated with severe COVID-19 cases.

2. Can SARS-CoV-2 infect and replicate within adipose tissue cells?

While there is no definitive answer yet, it is unlikely that SARS-CoV-2 can replicate within adipose tissue cells. This is because adipose tissue cells do not express the ACE2 receptor, which is the main target for the virus to enter and infect cells.

3. How does adipose tissue impact the severity of COVID-19 symptoms?

Adipose tissue is known to produce pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are involved in the immune response to viral infections. In individuals with excess adipose tissue, this can lead to an exaggerated inflammatory response and potentially worsen COVID-19 symptoms.

4. Are there any potential treatments targeting adipose tissue to mitigate COVID-19 severity?

Currently, there are no specific treatments targeting adipose tissue for COVID-19. However, managing obesity and reducing excess adipose tissue through diet and exercise may help reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms.

5. Are there any ongoing research studies investigating the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 and adipose tissue?

Yes, there are several ongoing studies looking at the role of adipose tissue in COVID-19. These studies aim to better understand the mechanisms behind the relationship between obesity and COVID-19 severity, and potentially identify new treatment strategies.

Suggested for: Replication of SARS-CoV-2 in adipose tissue