Int Immunopharmacol 2021 Sep 13;100:108150. Epub 2021 Sep 13.
Graduate Program in Medical Sciences, Federal University of Fronteira Sul, Chapecó, SC, Brazil. Electronic address:
The etiological agent of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is the new member of the Coronaviridae family, a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 virus (SARS-CoV-2), responsible for the pandemic that is plaguing the world. The single-stranded RNA virus is capable of infecting the respiratory tract, by binding the spike (S) protein on its viral surface to receptors for the angiotensin II-converting enzyme (ACE2), highly expressed in the pulmonary tissue, enabling the interaction of the virus with alveolar epithelial cells promoting endocytosis and replication of viral material. The infection triggers the activation of the immune system, increased purinergic signaling, and the release of cytokines as a defense mechanism, but the response can become exaggerated and prompt the so-called "cytokine storm", developing cases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Read More