Event Title

The Role of the Blood-Brain Barrier in Stopping the Spread of SARS-CoV-2 to the Brain and Brain Tumors

Session Number

Project ID: MEDH 24

Advisor(s)

Dr. Tibor Valyi-Nagy, University of Illinois at Chicago

Discipline

Medical and Health Sciences

Start Date

20-4-2022 10:45 AM

End Date

20-4-2022 11:00 AM

Abstract

The initial site for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is the upper respiratory system. In many patients, however, the virus finds a way to reach the lungs, which can result in serious infection. Coronavirus can also spread to various parts of the body causing multiorgan failure. Although over 80% of patients with severe COVID-19 demonstrate neurological symptoms, very little direct evidence exists to support the claim that the virus can cross the blood-brain barrier and actively infect the brain. Interestingly, we discovered lung cancer tissue spread to the brain of a COVID-19 patient to be positive for SARS-CoV-2 along with brain tissue adjacent to the metastatic tumor. These findings raise the possibility that metastatic tumors may bring the virus from alternative parts of the body to the brain or may break down the blood-brain barrier to allow for the virus to spread to the brain. In this project, based on extensive literature review, we discuss the role of the blood-brain barrier in limiting the spread of SARS-CoV-2 to the brain and possible mechanisms, which may allow SARS-CoV-2 to reach and infect the brain and brain tumors. We also provide detailed information about the pattern of SARS-CoV-2 detection in metastatic brain tumor and adjacent brain tissue. These findings are important for the understanding of mechanisms by which SARS-CoV-2 can cause brain disease.

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Apr 20th, 10:45 AM Apr 20th, 11:00 AM

The Role of the Blood-Brain Barrier in Stopping the Spread of SARS-CoV-2 to the Brain and Brain Tumors

The initial site for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is the upper respiratory system. In many patients, however, the virus finds a way to reach the lungs, which can result in serious infection. Coronavirus can also spread to various parts of the body causing multiorgan failure. Although over 80% of patients with severe COVID-19 demonstrate neurological symptoms, very little direct evidence exists to support the claim that the virus can cross the blood-brain barrier and actively infect the brain. Interestingly, we discovered lung cancer tissue spread to the brain of a COVID-19 patient to be positive for SARS-CoV-2 along with brain tissue adjacent to the metastatic tumor. These findings raise the possibility that metastatic tumors may bring the virus from alternative parts of the body to the brain or may break down the blood-brain barrier to allow for the virus to spread to the brain. In this project, based on extensive literature review, we discuss the role of the blood-brain barrier in limiting the spread of SARS-CoV-2 to the brain and possible mechanisms, which may allow SARS-CoV-2 to reach and infect the brain and brain tumors. We also provide detailed information about the pattern of SARS-CoV-2 detection in metastatic brain tumor and adjacent brain tissue. These findings are important for the understanding of mechanisms by which SARS-CoV-2 can cause brain disease.