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Renin Angiotensin System, COVID-19 and Male Fertility: Any Risk for Conceiving?

1
Institute for Maternal and Child Health, IRCCS Burlo Garofolo, 34137 Trieste, Italy
2
Department of Medicine, Surgery and Health Sciences, University of Trieste, 34137 Trieste, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Microorganisms 2020, 8(10), 1492; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8101492
Received: 6 August 2020 / Revised: 8 September 2020 / Accepted: 25 September 2020 / Published: 28 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Focusing on Epidemiologic, Virologic, and Clinical Studies)
The current knowledge concerning the connection between severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the renin–angiotensin system (RAS) system in the male reproductive apparatus is still limited, so dedicated studies are urgently required. Concerns about the male fertility consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection have started to emerge, since epidemiologic studies observed that this coronavirus affects male patients more frequently and with increased severity, possibly because of the hormone-regulated expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. A disturbance in fertility is also expected based on studies of the previous SARS-CoV infection, which targets the same ACE2 receptor when entering the host cells. In addition, bioinformatics analyses reveal the abundant expression of ACE2 receptor in the male reproductive tissues, particularly in the testis. It has been proposed that pharmacological intervention favoring the angiotensin-(1–7)/ACE2/Mas receptor pathway and increasing ACE2 expression and activity could greatly prevent inflammatory lesions in this area. Finally, in laboratories performing assisted reproductive technologies it is recommended that more attention should be paid not only to sperm quality but also to safety aspects. Data about the potential infectivity of seminal fluid are in fact conflicting and do not exclude risks for both personnel and patients. The potential infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 in reproductive male tissues should be strongly considered and further investigated for the proper management of in vitro fertilization procedures. View Full-Text
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; male fertility SARS-CoV-2; male fertility
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pascolo, L.; Zito, G.; Zupin, L.; Luppi, S.; Giolo, E.; Martinelli, M.; De Rocco, D.; Crovella, S.; Ricci, G. Renin Angiotensin System, COVID-19 and Male Fertility: Any Risk for Conceiving? Microorganisms 2020, 8, 1492. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8101492

AMA Style

Pascolo L, Zito G, Zupin L, Luppi S, Giolo E, Martinelli M, De Rocco D, Crovella S, Ricci G. Renin Angiotensin System, COVID-19 and Male Fertility: Any Risk for Conceiving? Microorganisms. 2020; 8(10):1492. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8101492

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pascolo, Lorella, Gabriella Zito, Luisa Zupin, Stefania Luppi, Elena Giolo, Monica Martinelli, Daniela De Rocco, Sergio Crovella, and Giuseppe Ricci. 2020. "Renin Angiotensin System, COVID-19 and Male Fertility: Any Risk for Conceiving?" Microorganisms 8, no. 10: 1492. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8101492

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