The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by SARS-CoV-2, is a global pandemic which is primarily considered a respiratory illness. However, emerging reports show that the virus exhibits both pulmonary and extra-pulmonary manifestations in humans, with the kidney as a major extra-pulmonary target due to its abundant expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 and transmembrane protease serine 2, which facilitate entry of the virus into cells. Acute kidney injury has become prevalent in COVID-19 patients without prior any history of kidney dysfunction. In addition, the virus also worsens kidney conditions and increases mortality of COVID-19 patients with pre-existing chronic kidney disease, renal cancer, diabetic nephropathy, end-stage kidney disease as well as dialysis and kidney transplant patients. In the search for antiviral agents for the treatment of COVID-19, hydrogen sulfide (HS), the third established member of gasotransmitter family, is emerging as a potential candidate, possessing important therapeutic properties including antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic and antioxidant properties. A recent clinical study revealed higher serum HS levels in survivors of COVID-19 pneumonia with reduced interleukin-6 levels compared to fatal cases. In this review, we summarize the global impact of COVID-19 on kidney conditions and discuss the emerging role of HS as a potential COVID-19 therapy.
Copyright © 2022. Published by Elsevier Inc.