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Impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy on postnatal brain development: The potential role of glial cells

LARISSA DANIELE BOBERMIN1,*, LARA SCOPEL MEDEIROS2, FERNANDA WEBER2, GIANCARLO TOMAZZONI DE OLIVEIRA2, LUCÉLIA SANTI3,4,5, WALTER ORLANDO BEYS-DA-SILVA3,4,5, CARLOS-ALBERTO GONÇALVES1,2,6, ANDRÉ QUINCOZES-SANTOS1,2,6

1 Programa de Pós-Graduação em Neurociências, Instituto de Ciências Básicas da Saúde, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, 90050170, Brazil
2 Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Ciências Básicas da Saúde, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, 90035003, Brazil
3 Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, 90610000, Brazil
4 Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Porto Alegre, 90035903, Brazil
5 Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biologia Celular e Molecular, Centro de Biotecnologia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, 91501970, Brazil
6 Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Biológicas: Bioquímica, Instituto de Ciências Básicas da Saúde, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, 90035003, Brazil

* Corresponding Author: LARISSA DANIELE BOBERMIN. Email:

BIOCELL 2022, 46(12), 2517-2523. https://doi.org/10.32604/biocell.2022.021566

Abstract

Glial cells are crucial for maintaining central nervous system (CNS) homeostasis. They actively participate in immune responses, as well as form functional barriers, such as blood-brain barrier (BBB), which restrict the entry of pathogens and inflammatory mediators into the CNS. In general, viral infections during the gestational period can alter the embryonic and fetal environment, and the related inflammatory response may affect neurodevelopment and lead to behavioral dysfunction during later stage of life, as highlighted by our group for Zika virus infection. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) induces a cytokine storm and, during pregnancy, may be related to a more severe form of the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) and also to higher preterm birth rates. SARS-CoV-2 can also affect the CNS by inducing neurochemical remodeling in neural cells, which can compromise neuronal plasticity and synaptic function. However, the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy on postnatal CNS, including brain development during childhood and adulthood, remains undetermined. Our group has recently highlighted the impact of COVID-19 on the expression of molecular markers associated with neuropsychiatric disorders, which are strongly related to the inflammatory response. Thus, based on these relationships, we discussed the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection either during pregnancy or in critical periods of neurodevelopment as a risk factor for neurological consequences in the offspring later in life, focusing on the potential role of glial cells. Thus, it is important to consider future and long-term public health concerns associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy.

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Cite This Article

BOBERMIN, L. D., MEDEIROS, L. S., WEBER, F., TOMAZZONI, G., SANTI, L. et al. (2022). Impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy on postnatal brain development: The potential role of glial cells. BIOCELL, 46(12), 2517–2523.



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