An Immediate and Long-Term Complication of COVID-19 May Be Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: The Central Role of β-Cell Dysfunction, Apoptosis and Exploration of Possible Mechanisms

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Abstract

The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) was declared a pandemic by the WHO on 19 March 2020. This pandemic is associated with markedly elevated blood glucose levels and a remarkable degree of insulin resistance, which suggests pancreatic islet β-cell dysfunction or apoptosis and insulin's inability to dispose of glucose into cellular tissues. Diabetes is known to be one of the top pre-existing co-morbidities associated with the severity of COVID-19 along with hypertension, cardiocerebrovascular disease, advanced age, male gender, and recently obesity. This review focuses on how COVID-19 may be responsible for the accelerated development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) as one of its acute and suspected long-term complications. These observations implicate an active role of metabolic syndrome, systemic and tissue islet renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, redox stress, inflammation, islet fibrosis, amyloid deposition along with β-cell dysfunction and apoptosis in those who develop T2DM. Utilizing light and electron microscopy in preclinical rodent models and human islets may help to better understand how COVID-19 accelerates islet and β-cell injury and remodeling to result in the long-term complications of T2DM.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCells
Volume9
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 13 Nov 2020

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