SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Accumulation in the Skull-Meninges-Brain Axis: Potential Implications for Long-Term Neurological Complications in Post-COVID-19

Zhouyi Rong et al.

In this study, we utilized mouse models and human post-mortem tissues to investigate the presence and distribution of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in the skull-meninges-brain axis.

Our results revealed the accumulation of the spike protein in the skull marrow, brain meninges, and brain parenchyma. The injection of the spike protein alone caused cell death in the brain, highlighting a direct effect on brain tissue. Furthermore, we observed the presence of spike protein in the skull of deceased long after their COVID-19 infection, suggesting that the spike’s persistence may contribute to long-term neurological symptoms.

… Overall, our findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 spike protein trafficking from CNS borders into the brain parenchyma and identified differentially regulated pathways may present insights into mechanisms underlying immediate and long-term consequences of SARS-CoV-2 and present diagnostic and therapeutic opportunities.

Image: Graphical Summary of study

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