Despite the major target of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of COVID-19, being the respiratory system, clinical evidence suggests that the male reproductive system may represent another viral target organ. Revealing the effect of SARS-CoV-2 infection on testis and sperm is a priority for reproductive biology, as well as for reproductive medicine. Here, we confirmed that the SARS-CoV-2 receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is highly expressed on human testis and ejaculated sperm; moreover, we provide evidence for the expression of the co-receptors transmembrane protease/serine (TMPRSS2), Basigin (BSG), and Catepsin L (CTSL). Human sperm were readily infected, both in vivo and in vitro, by SARS-CoV-2, as demonstrated by confocal and electron microscopy. The demonstration that the seminiferous epithelium and sperm support SARS-CoV-2 viral replication suggests the possibility that the spermatogenetic process may be detrimentally affected by the virus, and at the same time, supports the need to implement safety measures and guidelines to ensure specific care in reproductive medicine.

Luddi, A., Luongo, F.P., Dragoni, F., Fiaschi, L., Vicenti, I., Lupetti, P., et al. (2022). Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of In Vivo and In Vitro SARS-CoV-2 Infection: A Lesson from Human Sperm. CELLS, 11(17) [10.3390/cells11172631].

Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of In Vivo and In Vitro SARS-CoV-2 Infection: A Lesson from Human Sperm

Luddi, Alice;Luongo, Francesca Paola;Dragoni, Filippo;Fiaschi, Lia;Vicenti, Ilaria;Lupetti, Pietro;Gentile, Mariangela;Paccagnini, Eugenio;Haxhiu, Alesandro;Governini, Laura;Zazzi, Maurizio;Piomboni, Paola
2022-01-01

Abstract

Despite the major target of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of COVID-19, being the respiratory system, clinical evidence suggests that the male reproductive system may represent another viral target organ. Revealing the effect of SARS-CoV-2 infection on testis and sperm is a priority for reproductive biology, as well as for reproductive medicine. Here, we confirmed that the SARS-CoV-2 receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is highly expressed on human testis and ejaculated sperm; moreover, we provide evidence for the expression of the co-receptors transmembrane protease/serine (TMPRSS2), Basigin (BSG), and Catepsin L (CTSL). Human sperm were readily infected, both in vivo and in vitro, by SARS-CoV-2, as demonstrated by confocal and electron microscopy. The demonstration that the seminiferous epithelium and sperm support SARS-CoV-2 viral replication suggests the possibility that the spermatogenetic process may be detrimentally affected by the virus, and at the same time, supports the need to implement safety measures and guidelines to ensure specific care in reproductive medicine.
Luddi, A., Luongo, F.P., Dragoni, F., Fiaschi, L., Vicenti, I., Lupetti, P., et al. (2022). Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of In Vivo and In Vitro SARS-CoV-2 Infection: A Lesson from Human Sperm. CELLS, 11(17) [10.3390/cells11172631].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11365/1219357