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SARS-CoV-2 Cell Entry Factors ACE2 and TMPRSS2 Are Expressed in the Microvasculature and Ducts of Human Pancreas but Are Not Enriched in ? Cells

ABSTRACT: Isolated reports of new-onset diabetes in individuals with COVID-19 have led to the hypothesis that SARS-CoV-2 is directly cytotoxic to pancreatic islet ? cells. This would require binding and entry of SARS-CoV-2 into ? cells via co-expression of its canonical cell entry factors, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2); however, their expression in human pancreas has not been clearly defined. We analyzed six transcriptional datasets of primary human islet cells and found that ACE2 and TMPRSS2 were not co-expressed in single ? cells. In pancreatic sections, ACE2 and TMPRSS2 protein was not detected in ? cells from donors with and without diabetes. Instead, ACE2 protein was expressed in islet and exocrine tissue microvasculature and in a subset of pancreatic ducts, whereas TMPRSS2 protein was restricted to ductal cells. These findings reduce the likelihood that SARS-CoV-2 directly infects ? cells in vivo through ACE2 and TMPRSS2. Graphical Abstract Highlights • ACE2 and TMPRSS2 mRNA are expressed in the human pancreas• ACE2 protein is expressed in some islet and exocrine capillaries and pericytes• ACE2 and TMPRSS2 proteins are co-expressed in some pancreatic ducts• ACE2 and TMPRSS2 protein is not detected in ? cells of the human pancreas Coate et al. examined expression of canonical SARS-CoV-2 entry proteins ACE2 and TMPRSS2 in the human pancreas and report ACE2 expression in the microvasculature, including islet pericytes, whereas both ACE2 and TMPRSS2 are expressed in some ducts. Conversely, neither protein is detected in ? cells, arguing against direct ? cell viral infection in vivo.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC7664344 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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