Gender-related response of body systems in COVID-19 affects outcome

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Abstract

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-like coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is the seventh member of the coronaviruses (CoVs) family that infects humans and causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is currently a global pandemic. Widespread secretion of cytokines has been shown to occur early in severe cases of the disease and can be an effective factor in the rapid progression of the disease. Systemic inflammation indicates an advanced stage of acute disease, which is characterized by multiple organ failure and elevated key inflammatory markers. Studies have shown a gender difference between the incidence and mortality of COVID-19. In this review, we investigated the gender difference in the systemic effects of COVID-19 and found that this gender difference exists especially in the respiratory, cardiovascular, liver, gastrointestinal and kidney systems. Due to the worse outcome of COVID in males, the role of female sex hormones in causing these gender differences is noticeable. There can be a systemic and local effect of female sex hormones, especially estrogen and possibly progesterone, on various cells. Among the effects of these hormones is the regulation of localized angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) levels. ACE2 is the route of entry for SARS-CoV-2 virus into the cell. It is hoped that this review would address gender differences for better management of COVID-19 treatment.

About the authors

M. Khaksari

Kerman University of Medical Sciences

Email: khaksari@kmu.ac.ir

MD, PhD, Professor of Physiology, Neuroscience Research Center, Institute of Neuropharmacology, Kerman University of Medical Sciences; Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Institute of Basic and Clinical Physiology Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences.

Kerman.

Iran, Islamic Republic of

N. Sabet

Kerman University of Medical Sciences

Email: nazanin_5157@yahoo.com

PhD (Physiology), Senior Assistant, Research Center of Tropical and Infectious Diseases, Kerman University of Medical Sciences; Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Institute of Basic and Clinical Physiology Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran; Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Afzalipour Faculty of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences.

Kerman.

Iran, Islamic Republic of

Z. Soltani

Kerman University of Medical Sciences

Author for correspondence.
Email: soltaniy@yahoo.com

Zahra Soltani - MD, PhD, Professor of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Institute of Basic and Clinical Physiology Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences; Research Center of Tropical and Infectious Diseases, Kerman University of Medical Sciences; Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Afzalipour Faculty of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences.

Kerman.

Phone/fax: +98 3433257581.

Iran, Islamic Republic of

H. Bashiri

Kerman University of Medical Sciences; Sirjan University of Medical Sciences

Email: bashiry_h@yahoo.com

MD, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology, Neuroscience Research Center, Institute of Neuropharmacology, Kerman University of Medical Sciences; Sirjan Faculty of Medicine, Sirjan University of Medical Sciences.

Kerman; Sirjan.

Iran, Islamic Republic of

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