The coronavirus disease, which initially manifested itself in China and transformed into a global pandemic, does not cease to worry scientists. New research has shown that the ACE-2 receptor and the TMPRSS-2 gene are expressed on endothelial cells, which is why infection leads to widespread endothelial dysfunction.
The well-known coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can be present in the tissues of the reproductive system in men even after recovery, damaging the vascular endothelium and causing erectile dysfunction. This conclusion was made by experts representing the Miller College of Medicine at the University of Miami.
Previously, it was found that coronavirus infection damages the vascular endothelium of the lungs, kidneys, heart. Until now, nothing was known about violations of the cavernous tissue of the male genital organ with a rich vascular network. New research work of scientists has proven the existence of a relationship between COVID-19 and the subsequent development of complicated erectile dysfunction .
Urologist Ramasami, an employee of the specialized department at Miller College, together with colleagues, performed a biopsy of reproductive organ tissues in two male patients who had had coronavirus infection six months and eight months ago. One of the men was treated for COVID-19 in a hospital, and the second had a mild course of the disease and was treated at home. In addition, the scientists involved in the study two men who did not have an infection. All four patients underwent falloprosthetic intervention due to impaired erectile function.
The seized biological materials were analyzed for the content of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (an indicator of endothelial functionality) and the quality of expression of the coronavirus spike protein. In the course of electron microscopic analysis, extracellular viral particles with a size of about 100 nm with spike-like ends in the tissues of the vessels were detected. The expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase in the corpus cavernosum of recovered patients was lower than in men without COVID-19, indicating post-viral endothelial dysfunction.
To date, scientists are conducting a new study that should determine the molecular mechanism of potency impairment due to coronavirus infection.
Somewhat earlier, the same scientists have already carried out similar work and found that viral particles enter the testicular tissue in men, which can also have an adverse effect on fertility and promote sexual transmission.
Patients must be informed about possible complications after COVID-19. Any post-infectious changes, including on the part of erectile function, should be monitored by medical professionals - both for treatment and to facilitate further research.
Source of information: The world journal of men's health