Rxivist logo

Elevated ACE2 expression in the olfactory neuroepithelium: implications for anosmia and upper respiratory SARS-CoV-2 entry and replication

By Mengfei Chen, Wenjuan Shen, Nicholas R. Rowan, Heather Kulaga, Alexander Hillel, Murugappan Ramanathan, Andrew P Lane

Posted 09 May 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.05.08.084996 (published DOI: 10.1183/13993003.01948-2020)

The site of SARS-CoV-2 entry and replication critically impacts strategies for COVID-19 diagnosis, transmission mitigation, and treatment. We determined the cellular location of the SARS-CoV-2 target receptor protein, ACE2, in the human upper airway, finding striking enrichment (200-700 fold) in the olfactory neuroepithelium relative to nasal respiratory or tracheal epithelial cells. This cellular tropism of SARS-CoV-2 may underlie its high transmissibility and association with olfactory dysfunction, while suggesting a viral reservoir potentially amenable to intranasal therapy. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

Download data

  • Downloaded 1,590 times
  • Download rankings, all-time:
    • Site-wide: 11,973
    • In molecular biology: 324
  • Year to date:
    • Site-wide: 38,894
  • Since beginning of last month:
    • Site-wide: 50,828

Altmetric data

Downloads over time

Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide