Taste Bud Cells Might Not Be a Target of SARS-CoV-2

An intriguing early symptom among some COVID-19 patients is the loss of the sense of smell and/or taste, which has led to the suspicion that the virus that causes the illness, SARS-CoV-2, could be targeting taste buds. But as researchers report in ACS Pharmacology & Translational Science, initial data from mice suggest that might not be the case.

Viruses cause infection by invading specific cells in the body and reproducing, often damaging or killing those cells in the process. Research has shown that SARS-CoV-2 enters human cells through angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), a receptor on the surface of some cells, including those of the human tongue. Hong-Xiang Liu and colleagues wanted to find out whether ACE2 was expressed specifically in taste bud cells, as well as when this receptor first emerges on tongue cells during fetal development, by studying mice as a model organism. Although the mouse version of ACE2 isn't susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, studying where it's expressed in mice could help clarify what happens when people become infected and lose the sense of taste.

By analyzing data from oral cells of adult mice, the researchers found that ACE2 was enriched in cells that give the tongue its rough surface, but couldn't be found in most taste bud cells. That means the virus probably does not cause taste loss through direct infection of these cells, the researchers say. Instead, taste buds might be damaged by inflammation caused by the infection. The team also showed that other viruses that affect taste, including the flu virus, might affect different tongue cell types. Further, the researchers analyzed data from oral cells of mice at three developmental stages and found ACE2 in newborn mice but not in fetuses. Previous studies in humans that were not focused on oral cells suggest ACE2 could be expressed at an early fetal stage and then again at a later stage. Therefore, the team states that fetuses could have distinct susceptibilities to SARS-CoV-2 infection at different stages and more work is needed to determine the timing and location of human ACE2 expression.

Source: American Chemical Society

5 Comments on "Taste Bud Cells Might Not Be a Target of SARS-CoV-2"

  1. 749574 462436Very good post. I previousally to spend alot of my time water skiing and watching sports. It was quite possible the best sequence of my past and your content material kind of reminded me of that period of my life. Cheers 842116

  2. 95087 207715I always was interested in this topic and still am, thankyou for posting . 988605

  3. 28831 515154I adore what you guys are up too. Such clever function and exposure! Keep up the very very good works guys Ive incorporated you guys to my own blogroll. 912587

  4. 34177 988439Hey quite good weblog!! Man .. Beautiful .. Wonderful .. I will bookmark your web site and take the feeds alsoIm satisfied to seek out numerous beneficial info here within the post, we require develop far more techniques on this regard, thanks for sharing. 202004

  5. 749182 806837So will be the green tea i buy in cans exactly the same as the regular tea youd buy to put in your morning cup? Ive been told is just normal green tea produced to be cooler, but does it have any affect as far as not speeding up your metabolism as quickly as normal hot green tea? 410953

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*