Non-neuronal expression of SARS-CoV-2 entry genes in the olfactory system suggests mechanisms underlying COVID-19-associated anosmia
David H. Brann,
Koen Van den Berge,
Iain C Macaulay,
Hector Roux de Bézieux,
Elizabeth F Purdom,
Jonathan S Mill,
Ralph Abi Hachem,
Darren W. Logan,
Bradley J. Goldstein,
Matthew S Grubb,
Sandeep Robert Datta
Posted 27 Mar 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.03.25.009084 (published DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc5801)
Posted 27 Mar 2020
Altered olfactory function is a common symptom of COVID-19, but its etiology is unknown. A key question is whether SARS-CoV-2 (CoV-2) - the causal agent in COVID-19 - affects olfaction directly by infecting olfactory sensory neurons or their targets in the olfactory bulb, or indirectly, through perturbation of supporting cells. Here we identify cell types in the olfactory epithelium and olfactory bulb that express SARS-CoV-2 cell entry molecules. Bulk sequencing revealed that mouse, non-human primate and human olfactory mucosa expresses two key genes involved in CoV-2 entry, ACE2 and TMPRSS2. However, single cell sequencing and immunostaining demonstrated ACE2 expression in support cells, stem cells, and perivascular cells; in contrast, neurons in both the olfactory epithelium and bulb did not express ACE2 message or protein. These findings suggest that CoV-2 infection of non-neuronal cell types leads to anosmia and related disturbances in odor perception in COVID-19 patients. ### Competing Interest Statement DL is an employee of Mars, Inc. None of the other authors have competing interests to declare.
- Downloaded 32,869 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 166
- In neuroscience: 5
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 472
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: 475
Downloads over time
Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide
- 27 Nov 2020: The website and API now include results pulled from medRxiv as well as bioRxiv.
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!