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Potential Role of Vitamin D, ACE2 and the Proteases as TMPRSS2 and Furin on SARS-CoV-2 Pathogenesis and COVID-19 Severity

Arch Med Res. 2023 Feb 14:S0188-4409(23)00015-2. doi: 10.1016/j.arcmed.2023.02.002. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: COVID-19, the 21st century pandemic disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, has shown a wide clinical spectrum ranging from asymptomatic to deadly serious pneumonia.

OBJECTIVE: In our study, the relationship between the pathogenesis and clinical severity of COVID-19 and vitamin D, ACE2, Furin and TMPRSS2 was investigated.

METHODS: Serum 25(OH)D, 1,25(OH)2D and ACE2 protein were measured in 85 COVID-19 cases, divided into 5 groups, according to disease severity, from asymptomatic to severe and including a healthy control group. Expression levels of ACE2, VDR, TMPRSS2 and Furin mRNAs in PBMC were also measured. The relationship of the parameters within each group, the severity of the disease and the effect on the patients’ fate were investigated.

RESULTS: Statistically significant differences were found between the severity of COVID-19 and all study parameters, except for serum 25(OH)D. A strong negative correlation was found between serum ACE2 protein, 1,25(OH)2D, and ACE2 mRNA, and disease severity, length of hospital stay and death/survival rate. Vitamin D deficiency increased the death risk by 5.6-fold (95% CI 0.75-41.47), and the levels of 1,25(OH)2D lower than 1 ng/mL increased the risk of death by 3.8-fold (95% CI 1.07-13.30).

CONCLUSION: This study suggests that vitamin D supplementation could be beneficial in the treatment and/or prevention of COVID-19.

PMID:36914430 | DOI:10.1016/j.arcmed.2023.02.002

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