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Human Erythroid Progenitors Are Directly Infected by SARS-CoV-2: Implications for Emerging Erythropoiesis in Severe COVID-19 Patients

Huerga Encabo, H; Grey, W; Garcia-Albornoz, M; Wood, H; Ulferts, R; Aramburu, IV; Kulasekararaj, AG; ... Bonnet, D; + view all (2021) Human Erythroid Progenitors Are Directly Infected by SARS-CoV-2: Implications for Emerging Erythropoiesis in Severe COVID-19 Patients. Stem Cell Reports 10.1016/j.stemcr.2021.02.001. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

We document here that intensive care COVID-19 patients suffer a profound decline in hemoglobin levels but show an increase of circulating nucleated red cells, suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 infection either directly or indirectly induces stress erythropoiesis. We show that ACE2 expression peaks during erythropoiesis and renders erythroid progenitors vulnerable to infection by SARS-CoV-2. Early erythroid progenitors, defined as CD34-CD117+CD71+CD235a-, show the highest levels of ACE2 and constitute the primary target cell to be infected during erythropoiesis. SARS-CoV-2 causes the expansion of colony formation by erythroid progenitors and can be detected in these cells after 2 weeks of the initial infection. Our findings constitute the first report of SARS-CoV-2 infectivity in erythroid progenitor cells and can contribute to understanding both the clinical symptoms of severe COVID-19 patients and how the virus can spread through the circulation to produce local inflammation in tissues, including the bone marrow.

Type: Article
Title: Human Erythroid Progenitors Are Directly Infected by SARS-CoV-2: Implications for Emerging Erythropoiesis in Severe COVID-19 Patients
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2021.02.001
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stemcr.2021.02.001
Language: English
Additional information: 2021 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; human hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells; erythropoiesis; anemia; hypoxia
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Renal Medicine
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10123182
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