Scientists have discovered a new feature of COVID-19 that changes the perception of the disease
American scientists from the University of Cincinnati have published the results of a new study that is changing the understanding of how COVID-19 affects the body. This is stated in the video "Voices of America".
Earlier, Chinese researchers stated that a number of complications from coronavirus are associated with its effect on the human hormonal system, or in medical language - the renin-angiotensin system.
“The renin-angiotensin system is responsible for blood pressure and fluid and electrolyte levels in the body. Many drugs for the treatment of hypertension work on this system, ”says Brandon Gurney, a physician at the University of Cincinnati.
The fact is that the SARS-CoV-2 virus enters target cells through interaction with the APF-2 protein. This protein regulates the amount of the hormone Angiotensin-2 in the blood, which plays a key role in the human cardiovascular system, which is responsible for blood pressure.
“Angiotensin-2 causes vasoconstriction. According to a Chinese study, the coronavirus destroys an enzyme that metabolizes this peptide. As a result, the regulation of Angiotensin-2 stops and it is produced in very large quantities by the body, ”says Gurney.
A study by Chinese scientists has led to the hypothesis that some drugs, such as the popular pressure drug enalapril, reduce the concentration of Angiotensin-2 in the body, and can affect the course of COVID-19.
American scientists, having examined 190 people, came to the opposite conclusion.
“In the emergency department where I worked, we created an area called the emergency room for respiratory help. All patients who had cough, shortness of breath and fever came there. But we did not know which of them is sick with COVID-19 and who is not. Therefore, when we conducted the research, we took blood samples from all patients, ”says doctor Stephanie Benoit.
Blood tests of patients with COVID-19 and those in whom the coronavirus was not confirmed did not record an increased level of the hormone Angiotensin-2 in the body. The conclusion of the scientists is that drugs for hypertension do not harm COVID-19 patients, but they also do not help in its treatment. This refutes the previously stated hypotheses.
Doctors are also close to unraveling why blood clots form in a number of patients with coronavirus. It is also related to the hormone derivative Angiotensin present in the blood.
"Angiotensin-1,7 - the peptide, which is present in the blood in extremely small quantities, has an antithrombotic effect. We hope that in clinical trials we will be able to replace this peptide with a synthetic analogue of Angiotensin-1,7, which will lead to a decrease in the formation of blood clots, ”says Gurney.
Scientists believe that normalizing the level of Angiotensin-1,7 in the blood can also prevent the development of respiratory failure, which is the worst side effect of the coronavirus. Doctors at the University of Cincinnati are hoping their research will help resuscitators cope with the acute form of COVID-19.
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