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Open AccessHypothesis

SARS-CoV-2 Infection: A Role for S1P/S1P Receptor Signaling in the Nervous System?

1
Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences “Mario Serio”, University of Firenze, Viale GB Morgagni 50, 50134 Firenze, Italy
2
Interuniversity Institute of Myology, University of Firenze, 50134 Firenze, Italy
3
Unit of Physiology, Department of Biology, University of Pisa, via S. Zeno 31, 56127 Pisa, Italy
4
Interdepartmental Research Center “Nutraceuticals and Food for Health”, University of Pisa, 56127 Pisa, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Equally contributes.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6773; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21186773
Received: 21 August 2020 / Revised: 7 September 2020 / Accepted: 11 September 2020 / Published: 15 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sphingolipids: Metabolic Functions and Disorders 2.0)
The recent coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is still spreading worldwide. The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus responsible for COVID-19, binds to its receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), and replicates within the cells of the nasal cavity, then spreads along the airway tracts, causing mild clinical manifestations, and, in a majority of patients, a persisting loss of smell. In some individuals, SARS-CoV-2 reaches and infects several organs, including the lung, leading to severe pulmonary disease. SARS-CoV-2 induces neurological symptoms, likely contributing to morbidity and mortality through unknown mechanisms. Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) is a bioactive sphingolipid with pleiotropic properties and functions in many tissues, including the nervous system. S1P regulates neurogenesis and inflammation and it is implicated in multiple sclerosis (MS). Notably, Fingolimod (FTY720), a modulator of S1P receptors, has been approved for the treatment of MS and is being tested for COVID-19. Here, we discuss the putative role of S1P on viral infection and in the modulation of inflammation and survival in the stem cell niche of the olfactory epithelium. This could help to design therapeutic strategies based on S1P-mediated signaling to limit or overcome the host–virus interaction, virus propagation and the pathogenesis and complications involving the nervous system. View Full-Text
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; sphingosine 1-phosphate; sphingosine 1-phosphate receptors; ACE2; olfactory epithelium SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; sphingosine 1-phosphate; sphingosine 1-phosphate receptors; ACE2; olfactory epithelium
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Meacci, E.; Garcia-Gil, M.; Pierucci, F. SARS-CoV-2 Infection: A Role for S1P/S1P Receptor Signaling in the Nervous System? Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 6773.

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