University of Georgia

Spiky COVID-19 particle no match for taste bud cells

First study to show taste bud cell immunity from contact with virus particle
10-Aug-2020 11:50 AM EDT, by University of Georgia

Newswise — A new study from the Regenerative Bioscience Center at the University of Georgia is the first to suggest that COVID-19 does not directly damage taste bud cells.

Contrary to previous studies that have shown damage may be caused directly by the virus particle, the researchers, led by Hongxiang Liu, associate professor of animal and dairy science in UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, found that taste loss is likely caused indirectly by events induced during COVID-19 inflammation.

An increasing number of COVID-19 patients have reported losses of smell and/or taste, prompting the CDC to add it to the growing list of symptoms for COVID-19. Recent research shows 20%-25% of patients now report a loss of taste.

“More alarming is the rate of patients reporting loss of taste at a later date, sometime after exposure to the virus,” said Liu. “This is something we need to keep a careful eye on.”

Published in ACS Pharmacology & Translational Science, the study further indicates that taste bud cells are not vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection, because most of them do not express ACE2, a gateway that the virus uses to enter the body.

“This study isn’t the first to study ACE2 expression in the oral cavity,” said Liu. “But it is the first to show, specifically in relation to coronavirus and taste bud cell survival, that there are likely other cell death mechanisms at play.”

Liu and her colleagues wanted to find out whether ACE2 was expressed specifically in taste bud cells, as well as when this receptor first emerges on oral tissue cells during fetal development, by studying mice as a model organism.

Although the mouse version of ACE2 isn’t susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, studying where it’s expressed in mice could still help clarify what’s happening when people become infected and lose the sense of taste, given that mouse and human share similar expression patterns of genes.

“Mice have a different cellular copy of ACE2, making them impervious to SARS-CoV-2 infection,” said Liu. “A logical first step was to genetically engineer a model to examine the ACE2 receptor expression in wild type mice, to provide insights into what happens in people.”

By analyzing data from oral cells of adult mice, the researchers found that ACE2 was enriched in cells that give the tongue its rough surface, but couldn’t be found in most taste bud cells. That means the virus probably does not affect taste loss through direct infection of these cells.

“It’s clear from the data, that future designs of therapeutics directed at ACE2 receptors would likely not be as effective in treating taste loss of patients suffering from COVID-19,” said Liu.

According to the team, more researchers have jumped into studying coronavirus and have published more data for smell loss than taste.

“Anosmia coronavirus research is being published at a faster pace,” said Liu. “This is the only COVID-19 research that we know of, that involves the mechanisms of taste loss. Taste loss in the tongue is more complex and harder to validate, because of the complexity of cells, tissue structures, and the limited expression level of the ACE2 receptor.”

###

 

Note to editors: The following photos are available online

https://news.uga.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Hongxiang_Liu.jpg

Cutline: Hongxiang Liu (UGA file photo)

https://news.uga.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/developing-taste-papillae.jpg

Cutline: Fungiform taste papillae, small structures or “bumps” found on the upper surface of the front two thirds of the tongue. (Photo courtesy of Liu Lab)

 

This release is available online at https://news.uga.edu/covid-19-taste-bud-cell-research/

SEE ORIGINAL STUDY




Filters close

Showing results

110 of 3321
Newswise: 243389_web.jpg
Released: 18-Sep-2020 10:55 AM EDT
Potential new drug to mitigate SARS-CoV-2 infection consequences
University of Malaga

Scientists from the Department of Cell Biology of the University of Malaga (UMA) and the Andalusian Centre for Nanomedicine and Biotechnology (BIONAND) have made progress in finding new rapid implementation therapies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, identifying a new drug that could prevent or mitigate the consequences derived from SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Newswise: 243400_web.jpg
Released: 18-Sep-2020 10:40 AM EDT
Most homemade masks are doing a great job, even when we sneeze, study finds
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Studies indicate that homemade masks help combat the spread of viruses like COVID-19 when combined with frequent hand-washing and physical distancing.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 23-Sep-2020 8:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 18-Sep-2020 10:00 AM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 23-Sep-2020 8:00 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Released: 18-Sep-2020 8:30 AM EDT
Immunotherapy Drug Development Pipeline Continues Significant Growth in 2020 Despite Global Pandemic Impact
Cancer Research Institute

Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across the globe, there has been a resurgence of interest in immuno-oncology (I-O) preclinical and clinical development, bringing hope to cancer patients and physicians who treat them.

Released: 17-Sep-2020 5:50 PM EDT
AERA and OECD to Co-Host Webinar on Education Research Worldwide in a Covid and Post-Covid World
American Educational Research Association (AERA)

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will co-host a webinar on “Education Research Worldwide in a Covid and Post-Covid World” at 9:30-11:00 am EDT Wednesday, September 23.

Newswise: 243232_web.jpg
Released: 17-Sep-2020 4:20 PM EDT
Study shows first proof that a safer UV light effectively kills virus causing COVID-19
Hiroshima University

A study conducted by Hiroshima University researchers found that using Ultraviolet C light with a wavelength of 222 nanometers which is safer to use around humans effectively kills SARS-CoV-2 -- the first research in the world to prove its efficacy against the virus that causes COVID-19.

Newswise:Video Embedded american-academy-of-dermatology-honors-detroit-physician-iltefat-h-hamzavi-with-national-patient-care-hero-award
VIDEO
Released: 17-Sep-2020 4:00 PM EDT
American Academy of Dermatology honors Detroit physician Iltefat H. Hamzavi with national “Patient Care Hero” award
American Academy of Dermatology

The American Academy of Dermatology has named board-certified dermatologist Iltefat H. Hamzavi, MD, FAAD, a Patient Care Hero for his innovative use of light therapy to sanitize masks needed by frontline health care workers.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 22-Sep-2020 11:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 17-Sep-2020 3:20 PM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 22-Sep-2020 11:00 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Released: 17-Sep-2020 3:05 PM EDT
New York State Department of Health Grants Emergency Use Authorization to Mount Sinai for Quantitative COVID-19 Antibody Test
Mount Sinai Health System

The Clinical Laboratories of The Mount Sinai Hospital has received emergency use authorization from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) for quantitative use of Mount Sinai’s COVID-19 antibody test, making Mount Sinai’s lab the first in the country to run an authorized, fully quantitative antibody test that can deliver a precise numeric measurement of the level of antibodies in a patient’s blood


Showing results

110 of 3321

close
1.04687