Friday, 25 March 2022 11:35

Research with Organoids confirms Retinal Infection with SARS-Cov-2 Featured

There was already evidence that coronaviruses can enter the retina of the eye and cause damage. Therefore, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine and the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster have investigated the consequences of a SARS-Cov-2 infection with specially developed retinal organoids.

The retinal organoids were developed from human induced pluripotent stem cells by postdoctoral researcher Dr. Yotam Menuchin-Lasowski. The researchers, led by Dr. Thomas Rauen and Prof. Hans Schöler of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine as well as virologist Prof. Stephan Ludwig of the Westphalian Wilhelm University of Münster, have used the organoids to find out by quantitative PCR analysis that Sars-CoV-2 does indeed primarily infect retinal ganglion cells and light-sensing cells. In addition, they were able to show by fluorescence microscopy that the coronaviruses can also replicate themselves in these cell types.

Original publication:
Yotam Menuchin-Lasowski , André Schreiber , Aarón Lecanda, Angeles Mecate-Zambrano, Linda Brunotte, Olympia E. Psathaki, Stephan Ludwig, Thomas Rauen & Hans R. Schöler (2022). SARS-CoV-2 infects and replicates in photoreceptor and retinal ganglion cells of human retinal organoids. Stem Cell Reports, April 12, 2022, online advance publication March 24, 2022.

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