Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Identification of a Potential Mechanism of Acute Kidney Injury During the Covid-19 Outbreak: A Study Based on Single-Cell Transcriptome Analysis

Version 1 : Received: 19 February 2020 / Approved: 23 February 2020 / Online: 23 February 2020 (15:42:24 CET)

How to cite: Xu, D.; Zhang, H.; Gong, H.; Chen, J.; Ye, J.; Meng, T.; Gan, S.; Qu, F.; Chu, C.; Zhou, W.; Pan, X.; Wang, L.; Cui, X. Identification of a Potential Mechanism of Acute Kidney Injury During the Covid-19 Outbreak: A Study Based on Single-Cell Transcriptome Analysis. Preprints 2020, 2020020331 Xu, D.; Zhang, H.; Gong, H.; Chen, J.; Ye, J.; Meng, T.; Gan, S.; Qu, F.; Chu, C.; Zhou, W.; Pan, X.; Wang, L.; Cui, X. Identification of a Potential Mechanism of Acute Kidney Injury During the Covid-19 Outbreak: A Study Based on Single-Cell Transcriptome Analysis. Preprints 2020, 2020020331

Abstract

Purpose: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a severe symptom of the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), especially for patients in a critical condition.This study explored the potential mechanism of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on AKI at the single-cell level. Methods: 15 normal human kidney samples were collected and analyzed using single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq). Subsequently, we analyzed the components and proportions of kidney cells expressing the host cellular receptor ACE2 and the key protease TMPRSSs family, and analyzed the expression differences in Occidental and Asian populations. Results: We drafted the currently available world's largest human kidney cell atlas with 42,589 cells and identified 19 clusters through unsupervised hierarchical clustering analysis. ACE2 and TMPRSSs genes were significantly co-expressed in podocytes and proximal convoluted tubules as potential host cells targeted by SARS-CoV-2. Comparative analysis showed that ACE2 expression in kidney cells was no less than that in the lung, esophagus, small intestine and colon, suggesting that the kidney may be an important target organ for SARS-CoV-2. In addition, given the high expression of ACE2 and kidney disease-related genes in Occidental donors relative to Asian donors, Occidental populations with SARS-CoV-2 infection might be a higher risk of of kidney injury.

Subject Areas

SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; acute kidney injury; angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2); transmembrane serine protease (TMPRSSs)

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