Apoptosis consists of the ability of the cells of the human body to self-destruct with the activation of a suicide program. This phenomenon is essential for the regulation of tissue and organ development during the formation of the fetus and for cell turnover in the adult individual. “Every day in our body, billions of cells are eliminated in a controlled manner through apoptosis.”
This process can be activated when a cell receptor (called Fas) binds with its activator (called FasL). Recently this research group had found that the amount of apoptosis, assessed by the blood concentration of Fas, was associated with the mortality of patients with sepsis or severe infection. However, there was no data, until now, on apoptosis in Covid-19 patients.
The work has been carried out in people admitted to the ICU, determining the blood levels of Fas at admission. Patients with serum Fas levels higher than 846 ng / mL showed a higher mortality rate in the first 30 days than those with lower levels.
«It is the fifth publication of our group on Covid-19 patients. In previous publications, we found that genetics, red cell shape, blood nitrate levels, and oxidative DNA damage are associated with mortality. In this latest publication it is determined that there is an association between apoptosis and mortality ”.
In studies with animals that have caused sepsis (severe infection), the administration of antiapoptotic drugs has reduced mortality. Leonardo Lorente, coordinator of the work, points out that “research on the use of antiapoptotic agents in Covid-19 patients could be interesting.”