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J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2020 Feb 4;34(1). doi: 10.23812/20-Editorial-Kritas. [Epub ahead of print]

Mast cells contribute to coronavirus-induced inflammation: new anti-inflammatory strategy.

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Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, School of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Greece.
Clinica dei Pazienti del Territorio, Fondazione Policlinico Gemelli, Rome, Italy.
School of Pharmacy, University of Camerino, Camerino, Italy.
Department of Biomedical Sciences and Specialist Surgery, Section of Ophthalmology, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy.
University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Postgraduate Medical School, University of Chieti, Chieti, Italy.


Coronavirus can cause respiratory syndrome which to date has affected about twelve thousand individuals, especially in China. Coronavirus is interspecies and can also be transmitted from man to man, with an incubation ranging from 1 to 14 days. Human coronavirus infections can induce not only mild to severe respiratory diseases, but also inflammation, high fever, cough, acute respiratory tract infection and dysfunction of internal organs that may lead to death. Coronavirus infection (regardless of the various types of corona virus) is primarily attacked by immune cells including mast cells (MCs), which are located in the submucosa of the respiratory tract and in the nasal cavity and represent a barrier of protection against microorganisms. Viral activate MCs release early inflammatory chemical copounds including histamine and protease; while late activation provoke the generation of pro-inflammatory IL-1 family members including IL-1, IL-6 and IL-33. Here, we propose for the first time that inflammation by coronavirus maybe inhibited by anti-inflammatory cytokines belonging to the IL-1 family members.


Coronavirus; immunity; infection; inflammation; mast cell

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