Purpose: SARS-COV-2 is a pathogenic agent belonging to the coronavirus family, responsible for the current global world pandemic. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) is the receptor for cellular entry of SARS-CoV-2. ACE-2 is a type I transmembrane metallo-carboxypeptidase involved in the Renin-Angiotensin pathway. By analyzing two independent databases, ACE-2 was identified in several human tissues including the thyroid. Although some cases of COVID-19-related subacute thyroiditis were recently described, direct proof for the expression of the ACE-2 mRNA in thyroid cells is still lacking. Aim of the present study was to investigate by RT-PCR whether the mRNA encoding for ACE-2 is present in human thyroid cells. Methods: RT-PCR was performed on in vitro ex vivo study on thyroid tissue samples (15 patients undergoing thyroidectomy for benign thyroid nodules) and primary thyroid cell cultures. Results: The ACE-2 mRNA was detected in all surgical thyroid tissue samples (n = 15). Compared with two reporter genes (GAPDH: 0.052 ± 0.0026 Cycles−1; β-actin: 0.044 ± 0.0025 Cycles−1; ACE-2: 0.035 ± 0.0024 Cycles−1), the mean level of transcript expression for ACE-2 mRNA was abundant. The expression of ACE-2 mRNA in follicular cells was confirmed by analyzing primary cultures of thyroid cells, which expressed the ACE-2 mRNA at levels similar to tissues. Conclusions: The results of the present study demonstrate that the mRNA encoding for the ACE-2 receptor is expressed in thyroid follicular cells, making them a potential target for SARS-COV-2 entry. Future clinical studies in patients with COVID-19 will be required for increase our understanding of the thyroid repercussions of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Detection of SARS-COV-2 receptor ACE-2 mRNA in thyroid cells: a clue for COVID-19-related subacute thyroiditis

Rotondi M.;Coperchini F.;Croce L.;Magri F.;Chiovato L.
2020-01-01

Abstract

Purpose: SARS-COV-2 is a pathogenic agent belonging to the coronavirus family, responsible for the current global world pandemic. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) is the receptor for cellular entry of SARS-CoV-2. ACE-2 is a type I transmembrane metallo-carboxypeptidase involved in the Renin-Angiotensin pathway. By analyzing two independent databases, ACE-2 was identified in several human tissues including the thyroid. Although some cases of COVID-19-related subacute thyroiditis were recently described, direct proof for the expression of the ACE-2 mRNA in thyroid cells is still lacking. Aim of the present study was to investigate by RT-PCR whether the mRNA encoding for ACE-2 is present in human thyroid cells. Methods: RT-PCR was performed on in vitro ex vivo study on thyroid tissue samples (15 patients undergoing thyroidectomy for benign thyroid nodules) and primary thyroid cell cultures. Results: The ACE-2 mRNA was detected in all surgical thyroid tissue samples (n = 15). Compared with two reporter genes (GAPDH: 0.052 ± 0.0026 Cycles−1; β-actin: 0.044 ± 0.0025 Cycles−1; ACE-2: 0.035 ± 0.0024 Cycles−1), the mean level of transcript expression for ACE-2 mRNA was abundant. The expression of ACE-2 mRNA in follicular cells was confirmed by analyzing primary cultures of thyroid cells, which expressed the ACE-2 mRNA at levels similar to tissues. Conclusions: The results of the present study demonstrate that the mRNA encoding for the ACE-2 receptor is expressed in thyroid follicular cells, making them a potential target for SARS-COV-2 entry. Future clinical studies in patients with COVID-19 will be required for increase our understanding of the thyroid repercussions of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1371010
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