SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza A Virus Induce Longitudinal Transcriptomic Changes in Hamster Spinal Cord Tissue.

Serafini RA, Frere JJ, tenOever B, Zachariou V.

10.1097/BRS.0000000000004765 28/06/2023

PMID: 37389976


Numerous clinical studies on post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 have identified persistent sensory abnormalities, including muscle aches, joint pain, and headache, as common features of long COVID. Furthermore, pre-clinical studies have shown that lasting gene expression perturbations in various central and peripheral nervous system regions post-COVID recovery may contribute to persistent behavioral and sensory symptomologies. To better assess how spinal processes may be involved in post-COVID sensory phenomena, we utilized the golden hamster model of SARS-CoV-2 infection, which accurately phenocopies substantial aspects of human COVID-19 disease and recapitulates post-COVID sensory abnormalities2. Here, we performed bulk RNA-sequencing of whole thoracic spinal cord (tSC) from golden hamsters infected with SARS-CoV-2 or influenza A virus (IAV) at 3- and 31-days post-infection (dpi) to determine whether maladaptive responses in the tSC contribute to unique long-lasting somatosensory perturbations in SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters.