Coronavirus Also Affects The Male Reproductive System

In December 2019 and January 2020, novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) – infected pneumonia (NCIP) occurred in Wuhan, and has already posed a serious threat to public health. ACE2 (Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2) has been shown to be one of the major receptors that mediate the entry of 2019-nCoV into human cells, which also happens in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS). Several researches have indicated that some patients have abnormal renal function or even kidney damage in addition to injury in respiratory system, and the related mechanism is unknown.

This arouses our interest in whether coronavirus infection will affect the urinary and male reproductive systems. Here in this study, we used the online datasets to analyze ACE2 expression in different human organs. The results indicate that ACE2 highly expresses in renal tubular cells, Leydig cells and cells in seminiferous ducts in testis. Therefore, virus might directly bind to such ACE2 positive cells and damage the kidney and testicular tissue of patients. Our results indicate that renal function evaluation and special care should be performed in 2019-nCoV patients during clinical work, because of the kidney damage caused by virus and antiviral drugs with certain renal toxicity. In addition, due to the potential pathogenicity of the virus to testicular tissues, clinicians should pay attention to the risk of testicular lesions in patients during hospitalization and later clinical follow-up, especially the assessment and appropriate intervention in young patients’ fertility.

1 Department of Urology, The Affiliated Suzhou Hospital of Nanjing Medical University
2 School of Nursing, Suzhou Vocational Health and Technical College

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