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Article

Vascular Inflammation Is Associated with Loss of Aquaporin 1 Expression on Endothelial Cells and Increased Fluid Leakage in SARS-CoV-2 Infected Golden Syrian Hamsters

1
Department of Pathology, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, 30559 Hannover, Germany
2
Department for Viral Zoonoses-One Health, Heinrich Pette Institute, Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology, 20251 Hamburg, Germany
3
Institute for Virology, University for Veterinary Medicine Hannover, 30559 Hannover, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Luis Martinez-Sobrido
Viruses 2021, 13(4), 639; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13040639
Received: 11 March 2021 / Revised: 1 April 2021 / Accepted: 6 April 2021 / Published: 8 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses and Endothelial Dysfunction)
Vascular changes represent a characteristic feature of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection leading to a breakdown of the vascular barrier and subsequent edema formation. The aim of this study was to provide a detailed characterization of the vascular alterations during SARS-CoV-2 infection and to evaluate the impaired vascular integrity. Groups of ten golden Syrian hamsters were infected intranasally with SARS-CoV-2 or phosphate-buffered saline (mock infection). Necropsies were performed at 1, 3, 6, and 14 days post-infection (dpi). Lung samples were investigated using hematoxylin and eosin, alcian blue, immunohistochemistry targeting aquaporin 1, CD3, CD204, CD31, laminin, myeloperoxidase, SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein, and transmission electron microscopy. SARS-CoV-2 infected animals showed endothelial hypertrophy, endothelialitis, and vasculitis. Inflammation mainly consisted of macrophages and lower numbers of T-lymphocytes and neutrophils/heterophils infiltrating the vascular walls as well as the perivascular region at 3 and 6 dpi. Affected vessels showed edema formation in association with loss of aquaporin 1 on endothelial cells. In addition, an ultrastructural investigation revealed disruption of the endothelium. Summarized, the presented findings indicate that loss of aquaporin 1 entails the loss of intercellular junctions resulting in paracellular leakage of edema as a key pathogenic mechanism in SARS-CoV-2 triggered pulmonary lesions. View Full-Text
Keywords: vasculitis; vasculopathy; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; aquaporin 1; hamster; perivascular edema; endothelium vasculitis; vasculopathy; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; aquaporin 1; hamster; perivascular edema; endothelium
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MDPI and ACS Style

Allnoch, L.; Beythien, G.; Leitzen, E.; Becker, K.; Kaup, F.-J.; Stanelle-Bertram, S.; Schaumburg, B.; Mounogou Kouassi, N.; Beck, S.; Zickler, M.; Herder, V.; Gabriel, G.; Baumgärtner, W. Vascular Inflammation Is Associated with Loss of Aquaporin 1 Expression on Endothelial Cells and Increased Fluid Leakage in SARS-CoV-2 Infected Golden Syrian Hamsters. Viruses 2021, 13, 639. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13040639

AMA Style

Allnoch L, Beythien G, Leitzen E, Becker K, Kaup F-J, Stanelle-Bertram S, Schaumburg B, Mounogou Kouassi N, Beck S, Zickler M, Herder V, Gabriel G, Baumgärtner W. Vascular Inflammation Is Associated with Loss of Aquaporin 1 Expression on Endothelial Cells and Increased Fluid Leakage in SARS-CoV-2 Infected Golden Syrian Hamsters. Viruses. 2021; 13(4):639. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13040639

Chicago/Turabian Style

Allnoch, Lisa, Georg Beythien, Eva Leitzen, Kathrin Becker, Franz-Josef Kaup, Stephanie Stanelle-Bertram, Berfin Schaumburg, Nancy Mounogou Kouassi, Sebastian Beck, Martin Zickler, Vanessa Herder, Gülsah Gabriel, and Wolfgang Baumgärtner. 2021. "Vascular Inflammation Is Associated with Loss of Aquaporin 1 Expression on Endothelial Cells and Increased Fluid Leakage in SARS-CoV-2 Infected Golden Syrian Hamsters" Viruses 13, no. 4: 639. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13040639

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