- Apr 16 2020, 16:11 ist
- updated: Apr 16 2020, 19:26 ist
Researchers have revealed intersections of the biological pathways behind coronavirus infection and type 2 diabetes, findings that may lead to new approaches in treatment for hospitalised COVID-19 patients.
According to the research, published in the journal Endocrine Reviews, individuals with obesity and diabetes are known to be at increased risk for complications arising from influenza, with the two conditions emerging as important comorbidities for disease severity in the context of COVID-19.
“We reviewed how the pathophysiology of diabetes and obesity might intersect with COVID-19 biology and found key shared pathways and mechanisms linked to the development and treatment of type 2 diabetes,” said the study’s author Daniel J. Drucker from Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.
Some cells in the lungs and the gut, the scientists said, are important sites for the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, to enter and infect hosts, causing inflammation in these regions.
They found that some of these cells produce specific proteins that are also expressed by cells during type 2 diabetes development.
“Cells within the lung and gut are major sites for coronavirus entry and inflammation. These cells express key proteins like Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) and Dipeptidyl Peptidase-4 (DPP4) that are also present in the development of type 2 diabetes,” Drucker said.
However, he added that more studies need to be conducted to understand the risks and benefits of commonly used diabetes medications in patients with severe coronavirus infections.
According to Drucker, the pandemic highlights the importance of expanding innovative delivery of diabetes care and regular communication between people with diabetes and their health care providers.