Covid-19 infection’s impact human kidney explained


Getting infected with Coronavirus not only impacts your lungs and heart but kidney cells can also be impacted in a way. In a latest study published in the American Society of Nephrology (JASN), researchers have noted some kidney damage. To study the effects, some human kidney cells were examined in the lab. According to the study, researchers were looking at the real cause of kidney damage which could be a direct result of the Coronavirus infection or maybe a consequence of another body condition in response to the infection.

Benjamin Dekel (Sheba Medical Center, Israel) led a team of researchers where they cultivated human kidney cells in lab dishes and then these cells were infected with SARS-CoV-2. The results showed that the SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19 causing virus) was able to infect the human kidney cells as well as replicate. However, this cannot cause the kidney cells to die. Another finding included that kidney cells having any features of injury were more easily infected and developed additional injury.

The study explained that before the cells were infected, they contained high levels of interferon signalling molecules. As soon as infection increased, an inflammatory response was simulated that led to increase in these molecules.

Further, the study drew a contrast, where it was found that the infection of kidney cells that are deficient in such molecules will result in cell death. This was suggested as a protective effect. According to the study, the cells in these experiments grew as a three-dimensional spheroid that can imitate the healthy kidney or as a two-dimensional layer that can mimic the cells of an acutely injured kidney. Notably, cells mimicking an acutely injured kidney were found to be more prone to infection and additional injury. But the cell did not die.

The study showed that the virus being the primary cause of acute kidney injury was unlikely in Covid-19 patients. However, if that patient’s kidney already has any kind of injury due to any cause, the virus can intensify it further causing more problems. “Therefore, if we’re able to limit the common scenario of acute kidney injury in the first place, then there might be the possibility to minimize potential damage caused by the virus,” the report quoted Dr Dekel as saying.

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