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Find out why older people and diabetics are more vulnerable to covid-19

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New Delhi: A new study by Chen-Yu Zhang’s group in Nanjing found that low numbers of endogenous non-coding small RNAs, peripheral blood microRNAs (miRNAs), caused elderly and diabetics to covid- It is more vulnerable to 19. University, China.

This research was supported by grants from China’s China Science and Technology Major Projects, China National Basic Research Program (973 Program), China National Natural Science Fund, and China National Natural Science Fund Major Research Program Training Program. , Jiangsu Natural Science Foundation and Chuo University Basic Research Fund.

The study, entitled “Reduced inhibition of exosome miRNAs for SARS-CoV-2 replication underlies poor outcomes in the elderly and diabetics,” was published last week in the Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy.

Serum exosomes containing these miRNAs from adolescents (the major vector of circulating RNA) may strongly inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication, but this inhibitory effect was diminished in older diabetic patients.

Clinical data worldwide show that elderly and comorbid patients are at increased risk of developing serious complications from covid-19 and have a higher mortality rate. However, there is no scientific explanation for this phenomenon.

Through high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics analysis, the group has four miRNAs (miR-7-5p, miR-24-3p, miR-145-5p, miR-223) that are significantly reduced in the elderly and diabetic groups. -3p) has been identified. These miRNAs, either exosomes or free, can directly inhibit S protein expression and SARS-CoV-2 replication. This phenomenon is significantly reduced in the elderly and diabetics.

In addition, three of the four circulating miRNAs were significantly increased in the sera of healthy volunteers after 8 weeks of continuous exercise. Serum exosomes isolated from these volunteers also showed a stronger inhibitory effect on S protein expression and SARS-CoV-2 replication, the authors said.

“This study shows for the first time that our own endogenous miRNAs can directly inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 virus. In a previous study by the group, about 89% of viruses that infect humans are targeted by human miRNAs. This is not surprising, as it has already been shown that it can be. ” They added “RNA protection” and protection of cells from foreign nucleic acids.

Classical immunology says that the mammalian immune system is protein-based and immunoprotection is provided by antibodies, cytokines, interferons, and more. Studies by the Zhang group show that miRNAs are an important component of the endogenous RNA-based immune system for combating viral infections.

“There are several factors that can increase the risk of covid-19 in older people, including poor organ function, diabetes, weakness, and weakened immunity. Age is also unlikely to be repaired. These important protective effects, miRNAs, have been attenuated in this study, which can lead to genetic damage, “said Anoop Mithra, president of the Fortis-C-DOC Center for Diabetes, Metabolic Diseases and Endocrinology. The doctor says.

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