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Estimating the viral loads of SARS-CoV-2 in the oral cavity when complicated with periapical lesions

Altaie, AM; Hamdy, R; Venkatachalam, T; Hamoudi, R; Soliman, SSM; (2021) Estimating the viral loads of SARS-CoV-2 in the oral cavity when complicated with periapical lesions. BMC Oral Health , 21 (1) , Article 567. 10.1186/s12903-021-01921-5. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: The oral cavity represents a main entrance of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2), neuropilin-1 (NRP-1), and transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) are essential for the entry of SARS-CoV-2 to the host cells. Both ACE-2 and NRP-1 receptors and TMPRSS2 have been identified in the oral cavity. However, there is limited knowledge about the impact of periapical lesions and their metabolites on the expression of these critical genes. This study aims to measure the impact of periapical lesions and their unique fatty acids (FAs) metabolites on the expression of the aforementioned genes, in addition to interleukin 6 (IL-6) gene and hence SARS-CoV-2 infection loads can be estimated. Methods: Gene expression of ACE-2, NRP-1, TMPRSS2, and IL-6 was performed in periapical lesions in comparison to healthy oral cavity. Since FAs are important immunomodulators required for the lipid synthesis essential for receptors synthesis and viral replication, comparative FAs profiling was determined in oral lesions and healthy pulp tissues using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS). The effect of major identified and unique FAs was tested on mammalian cells known to express ACE-2, NRP-1, and TMPRSS2 genes. Results: Gene expression analysis indicated that ACE-2, NRP-1, and TMPRSS2 were significantly upregulated in healthy clinical samples compared to oral lesions, while the reverse was true with IL-6 gene expression. Saturated and monounsaturated FAs were the major identified shared and unique FAs, respectively. Major shared FAs included palmitic, stearic and myristic acids with the highest percentage in the healthy oral cavity, while unique FAs included 17-octadecynoic acid in periapical abscess, petroselinic acid and l-lactic acid in periapical granuloma, and 1-nonadecene in the radicular cyst. Computational prediction showed that the binding affinity of identified FAs to ACE-2, TMPRSS2 and S protein were insignificant. Further, FA-treated mammalian cells showed significant overexpression of ACE-2, NRP-1 and TMPRSS2 genes except with l-lactic acid and oleic acid caused downregulation of NRP-1 gene, while 17-octadecynoic acid caused insignificant effect. Conclusion: Collectively, a healthy oral cavity is more susceptible to viral infection when compared to that complicated with periapical lesions. FAs play important role in viral infection and their balance can affect the viral loads. Shifting the balance towards higher levels of palmitic, stearic and 1-nonadecene caused significant upregulation of the aforementioned genes and hence higher viral loads. On the other hand, there is a reverse correlation between inflammation and expression of SARS-CoV-2 receptors. Therefore, a mouth preparation that can reduce the levels of palmitic, stearic and 1-nonadecene, while maintaining an immunomodulatory effect can be employed as a future protection strategy against viral infection.

Type: Article
Title: Estimating the viral loads of SARS-CoV-2 in the oral cavity when complicated with periapical lesions
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12903-021-01921-5
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12903-021-01921-5
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third-party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: COVID-19, Fatty acids, Infection load, Oleic acid, Oral lesions, SARS-CoV-2, Animals, COVID-19, Humans, Mouth, SARS-CoV-2, Viral Load
UCL classification: 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 Surgery and Interventional Sci
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10148928
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