Next Article in Journal
CD117 Is a Specific Marker of Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasms (IPMN) of the Pancreas, Oncocytic Subtype
Next Article in Special Issue
Existence of SARS-CoV-2 Entry Molecules in the Oral Cavity
Previous Article in Journal
Dermal Fibroblasts Internalize Phosphatidylserine-Exposed Secretory Melanosome Clusters and Apoptotic Melanocytes
Previous Article in Special Issue
HLA-B*44 and C*01 Prevalence Correlates with Covid19 Spreading across Italy

Obesity and COVID-19: Molecular Mechanisms Linking Both Pandemics

Division of Obstetrics and Prenatal Medicine, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Hospital Frankfurt, J.W. Goethe-University, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, D-60590 Frankfurt, Germany
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(16), 5793;
Received: 24 July 2020 / Revised: 8 August 2020 / Accepted: 10 August 2020 / Published: 12 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Molecular Studies in Biology and Chemistry)
The coronavirus disease 2019 COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly spreading worldwide and is becoming a major public health crisis. Increasing evidence demonstrates a strong correlation between obesity and the COVID-19 disease. We have summarized recent studies and addressed the impact of obesity on COVID-19 in terms of hospitalization, severity, mortality, and patient outcome. We discuss the potential molecular mechanisms whereby obesity contributes to the pathogenesis of COVID-19. In addition to obesity-related deregulated immune response, chronic inflammation, endothelium imbalance, metabolic dysfunction, and its associated comorbidities, dysfunctional mesenchymal stem cells/adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells may also play crucial roles in fueling systemic inflammation contributing to the cytokine storm and promoting pulmonary fibrosis causing lung functional failure, characteristic of severe COVID-19. Moreover, obesity may also compromise motile cilia on airway epithelial cells and impair functioning of the mucociliary escalators, reducing the clearance of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Obese diseased adipose tissues overexpress the receptors and proteases for the SARS-CoV-2 entry, implicating its possible roles as virus reservoir and accelerator reinforcing violent systemic inflammation and immune response. Finally, anti-inflammatory cytokines like anti-interleukin 6 and administration of mesenchymal stromal/stem cells may serve as potential immune modulatory therapies for supportively combating COVID-19. Obesity is conversely related to the development of COVID-19 through numerous molecular mechanisms and individuals with obesity belong to the COVID-19-susceptible population requiring more protective measures. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; obesity; adipose-derived mesenchymal stem/stromal cells; cytokine storm; immune response; inflammation COVID-19; obesity; adipose-derived mesenchymal stem/stromal cells; cytokine storm; immune response; inflammation
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Ritter, A.; Kreis, N.-N.; Louwen, F.; Yuan, J. Obesity and COVID-19: Molecular Mechanisms Linking Both Pandemics. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 5793.

AMA Style

Ritter A, Kreis N-N, Louwen F, Yuan J. Obesity and COVID-19: Molecular Mechanisms Linking Both Pandemics. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2020; 21(16):5793.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ritter, Andreas, Nina-Naomi Kreis, Frank Louwen, and Juping Yuan. 2020. "Obesity and COVID-19: Molecular Mechanisms Linking Both Pandemics" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 21, no. 16: 5793.

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Back to TopTop