A study published in Nature neuroscience Shows how the spike protein crosses the blood – brain barrier.
More and more evidence is coming out that people are with COVID-19 The brain suffers from cognitive effects such as fog and fatigue.
And researchers are exploring why. SARS-CoV-2 Viruses, like many viruses before it, are bad news for the brain. In a study published on December 16, 2020, Nature neuroscience, Researchers found that the spike protein, often represented as the red arms of the virus, can cross the blood – brain barrier in mice.
This strongly suggests that SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COSID-19, can enter the brain.
The spike protein, often called the S1 protein, determines which cells the virus can enter. Typically, the virus performs the same function as its binding protein, said author William A. Banks, a professor of medicine University of Washington School of Medicine and a Paget Sound Veterans Affairs Healthcare System physician and researcher. Banks stated that binding proteins such as S1 usually harm themselves because they detach from the virus and cause inflammation.
“The S1 protein likely causes the brain to release cytokines and inflammatory products,” he said.
In science circles, acute inflammation caused by COVID-19 infection is called cytokine storm. After seeing the immune system, the virus and its proteins, the attacker escapes in his attempt to kill the virus. The infected person is left with brain fog, fatigue, and other cognitive issues.
Banks and his team observed this reaction with the HIV virus and wanted to see if the same was happening with SARS CoV-2.
Banks called the S1 protein in SARS-CoV2 and the gp 120 protein in HIV-1 function similarly. They are glycoproteins – proteins that have too much sugar on them, hallmarks of proteins that bind other receptors. Both of these proteins act as weapons and hands for their viruses by occupying other receptors. Both cross the blood-brain barrier and S1, like gp120, is toxic to brain tissue.
“It was like DAJA Vu, which has done extensive work on HIV-1, gp120 and the blood brain barrier,” Banks said.
Banks’ lab studies blood-brain barrier Alzheimer’s, Obesity, diabetes and HIV. But he stopped his work and all 15 people in the lab started their experiments on the S1 protein in April. He included long-time collaborator Jacob Raber, a professor in the Department of Behavior, Neurology and Radiation Medicine, and his teams at Oregon Health and Science University.
The study may explain several complications from COVID-19.
“We know that when you have a COVID infection you have trouble breathing and that’s because you have a lung infection, but an additional explanation is that the virus enters the respiratory centers of the brain and also with Only causes problems, ”Banks said.
Raber stated that in his experiments the transport of S1 was more rapid in the olfactory bulbs and kidneys of men than in women. This observation may be related to an increase in men’s susceptibility to more severe COVID-19 results.
For those taking the virus lightly, banks have a message:
“You don’t want to play with this virus,” he said. “Many of the effects of the COVID virus can be caused by the virus reaching or worsening in the brain, or even the virus itself and these effects can last for a very long time.”
Reference: Elizabeth M. Rhea, Arik F. Logsdon, Kim M. Henson, Lindsey M. Williams, May J. Reid, Kristen K. By “S1 protein of SARS-COV-2 crosses blood-brain barrier in mice”. Bauman, Sarah J. Holden, Jacob Raber, William A. Banks and Michelle A. Erikson, 16 December 2020, Nature neuroscience.
DOI: 10.1038 / s41593-020-00771-8
This study was partially supported by a National Institute on Aging-funded COVID-19 supplemented by a shared RF1 grant from banks and Raber.