Wednesday 26 August
Kilts Family Associate Professor, Director of Diabetes Program, Department of Surgery, Weill Cornell Medicine (United States of America)
Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Models for COVID-19 Disease Modeling and Drug Screening
SARS-CoV-2 has caused the COVID-19 pandemic. There is an urgent need for physiological models to study SARS-CoV-2 infection using human disease-relevant cells. COVID-19 pathophysiology includes respiratory failure but involves other organ systems including gut, liver, heart, and pancreas. We present an experimental platform comprised of cell and organoid derivatives from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). A Spike-enabled pseudo-entry virus infects lung organoids, colon organoids, pancreatic endocrine cells, liver organoids, cardiomyocytes, and dopaminergic neurons. SARS-CoV-2 infection caused striking expression of chemokines, as also seen in primary human COVID-19 pulmonary autopsy samples. hPSC-derived cells/organoids provide valuable models for understanding the cellular responses of human tissues to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and for disease modeling of COVID-19.