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ACE2 and COVID-19 and the resulting ARDS
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  1. Xiaoqing Zhang1,2,
  2. Shuren Li1,
  3. Shaoqian Niu2
  1. 1 Department of Cardiology, Hebei General Hospital, Shijiazhuang, China
  2. 2 Graduate School of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, China
  1. Correspondence to Shuren Li, Hebei General Hospital, Shijiazhuang 050000, China; Lsr64{at}126.com

Abstract

This article reviews the correlation between ACE2 and COVID-19 and the resulting acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). ACE2 is a crucial component of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). The classical ACE-angiotensin Ⅱ (Ang II)-angiotensin type 1 receptor (AT1R) axis and the ACE2-Ang(1-7)-Mas counter-regulatory axis play an essential role in RAS system. ACE2 antagonises the activation of the classical RAS ACE-Ang II-AT1R axis and protects against lung injury. Similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus, 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) also uses ACE2 for cell entry. ARDS is a clinical high-mortality disease which is probably due to the excessive activation of RAS caused by 2019-nCoV infection, and ACE2 has a protective effect on ARDS caused by COVID-19. Because of these protective effects of ACE2 on ARDS, the development of drugs enhancing ACE2 activity may become one of the most promising approaches for the treatment of COVID-19 in the near future. In the meantime, however, the use of RAS blockers such as ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers that inhibit the damaging (ACE-Ang II) arm of the RAS cascade in the lung may also be promising. Trial registration number: NCT04287686.

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Footnotes

  • Contributors SL planned the study; SN searched literatures; XZ wrote and submitted the study.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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