SARS-CoV-2 virus enters the brain using the protein neuropilin-1. This was reported in a study published in the bioRxiv preprint library.
A group of European scientists found that the cellular protein neuropilin-1 (NRP1) is the cause of the penetration of coronavirus into the brain of the carrier. This was found by opening a patient who died from COVID-19, in the olfactory epithelium and bulb of which infected SARS-CoV-2 cells were found. Experts have concluded that coronavirus does not multiply in brain cells, but can contribute to their death.
The mouse experiment confirmed the hypothesis of scientists. Using the intranasal method of introducing the virus, they were able to infect COVID-19 experimental animals in the laboratory.
The researchers concluded that coronavirus uses the cellular proteins neuropilin-1 and ACE-2 to enter the body of a future carrier. With the help of the last component, virus particles are fixed in the upper respiratory tract and begin the process of reproduction. The report said that the findings will help in creating a vaccine against a deadly disease.
In May, Spanish neuroscientists explained why male mortality from coronavirus is higher than female. According to experts, men are more often dependent on tobacco smoking, which together with obstructive pulmonary disease can increase the volume of ACE-2 enzymes, with the help of which coronavirus is fixed in the body.