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Anti-cytokine therapy normalizes ACE2 expression in IBD, may protect against COVID-19

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Gastroenterology - AGA
Reuters Health - 23/11/2020 - Anti-cytokine therapy curbs inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) symptoms by normalizing reduced or elevated angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) levels, and could play a protective role in COVID-19 as well, researchers suggest. "ACE2, the enzyme that SARS-COV-2 virus uses to infect human cells, is highly expressed in the bowel (and) is increased with some of the demographic factors associated with worse outcomes in COVID-19, such as obesity and increasing age," Dr. Dermot P. B. McGovern of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles told Reuters Health by email. ACE2 expression is altered in IBD and is associated with response to the anti-cytokine drug, infliximab, he explained, raising the possibility that infliximab may have a role in treating COVID-19. This possibility is supported by a recent paper in Cell, he said, which "shows that people with COVID19 have high TNF levels and that mouse models were relatively protected from some of ...


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