Excess of the inflammatory molecule bradykinin may explain the fluid build-up in the lungs of patients with coronavirus infections. Clinical trials of inhibitors are putting this hypothesis to the test.
Excerpt from: The-Scientist.com
“n a Sunday afternoon in mid-April this year, Daniel Jacobson, a computational systems biologist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, was looking at gene expression data from the lung fluid of COVID-19 patients on his computer screen when he spotted something striking—the expression of genes for key enzymes in the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), involved in blood pressure regulation and fluid balance, was askew.
Jacobson followed this abnormal RAS in the lung fluid samples to the kinin cascade, an inflammatory pathway that is tightly regulated by the RAS. He found that the kinin system—in which a key peptide, bradykinin, causes blood vessels to leak and fluid to accumulate in tissues and organs—was thrown out of balance as well in COVID-19 patients. Infected individuals showed heightened expression of genes for the bradykinin receptors, as well as for enzymes called kallikreins that activate the kinin pathway, compared with controls.”
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View the study publication here» A mechanistic model and therapeutic interventions for COVID-19 involving a RAS-mediated bradykinin storm