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Cytokine induced modulation of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression in primary human nasal epithelial cells
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  • Mahnaz Ramezanpour,
  • Harrison Bolt,
  • Karen Hon,
  • George Bouras,
  • Alkis Psaltis,
  • Peter John Wormald,
  • Sarah Vreugde
Mahnaz Ramezanpour
The University of Adelaide
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Harrison Bolt
Flinders University College of Medicine and Public Health
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Karen Hon
The University of Adelaide
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George Bouras
The University of Adelaide Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
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Alkis Psaltis
University of Adelaide
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Peter John Wormald
University of Adelaide
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Sarah Vreugde
University of Adelaide
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Abstract

Viral entry of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) via the spike protein enables endocytosis into host cells using the ACE2 receptor and TMPRSS2. The frequent upper respiratory tract symptoms of COVID-19 and the localization of the virus to the nasopharynx, the most common site of swabbing, indicate that the sinonasal mucosa may play an important role in SARS-CoV2 infection and viral replication. This paper investigates the presence of ACE2 Receptor and TMPRESS2 expression in the primary human nasal epithelial cells (HNECs) from Control, CRSsNP, and CRSwNP and maps the expression changes when exposed to Th1, Th2, Th17 associated cytokines. We found that ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression is higher in control HNECs than CRSwNP HNECs, and that both ACE2 and TMPRSS2 are downregulated further by Th2 cytokines in CRSwNP HNECs. This indicates an immune dysregulated state of CRSwNP mucosa, which normally contributes to a chronic inflammatory state, might support an altered susceptibility to SARS-CoV2 infection and transmission.

Peer review status:UNDER REVIEW

13 Jan 2021Submitted to Allergy
13 Jan 2021Assigned to Editor
13 Jan 2021Submission Checks Completed
14 Jan 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned