Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease with fast spreading all over the world caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus which can culminate in a severe acute respiratory syndrome by the injury caused in the lungs. However, other organs can be also damaged. SARS-CoV-2 enter into the host cells using the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as receptor, like its ancestor SARS-CoV. ACE2 is then downregulated in lung tissues with augmented serum levels of ACE2 in SARS-CoV-2 patients. Interestingly, ACE2 organs reveal the symptomatic repercussions, which are signals of the infection such as dry cough, shortness of breath, heart failure, liver and kidney damage, anosmia or hyposmia, and diarrhea. ACE2 exerts a chief role in the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) by converting angiotensin II to angiotensin-(1-7) that activates Mas receptor, inhibits ACE1, and modulates bradykinin (BK) receptor sensitivity, especially the BK type 2 receptor (BKB2R). ACE2 also hydrolizes des-Arg-bradykinin (DABK), an active BK metabolite, agonist at BK type 1 receptors (BKB1R), which is upregulated by inflammation. In this opinion article, we conjecture a dialogue by the figure of Sérgio Ferreira which brought together basic science of classical pharmacology and clinical repercussions in COVID-19, then we propose that in the course of SARS-CoV-2 infection: i) downregulation of ACE2 impairs the angiotensin II and DABK inactivation; ii) BK and its metabolite DABK seems to be in elevated levels in tissues by interferences in kallikrein/kinin system; iii) BK1 receptor contributes to the outbreak and maintenance of the inflammatory response; iv) kallikrein/kinin system crosstalks to RAS and coagulation system, linking inflammation to thrombosis and organ injury. We hypothesize that targeting the kallikrein/kinin system and BKB1R pathway may be beneficial in SARS-CoV-2 infection, especially on early stages. This route of inference should be experimentally verified by SARS-CoV-2 infected mice.
Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.