Association Between COVID-19 and Neurological Diseases: Evidence from Large-Scale Mendelian Randomization Analysis and Single-Cell RNA Sequencing Analysis.

Publication date: Feb 01, 2024

Observational studies have suggested that SARS-CoV-2 infection increases the risk of neurological diseases, but it remains unclear whether the association is causal. The present study aims to evaluate the causal relationships between SARS-CoV-2 infections and neurological diseases and analyzes the potential routes of SARS-CoV-2 entry at the cellular level. We performed Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis with CAUSE method to investigate causal relationship of SARS-CoV-2 infections with neurological diseases. Then, we conducted single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) analysis to obtain evidence of potential neuroinvasion routes by measuring SARS-CoV-2 receptor expression in specific cell subtypes. Fast gene set enrichment analysis (fGSEA) was further performed to assess the pathogenesis of related diseases. The results showed that the COVID-19 is causally associated with manic (delta_elpd, - 0. 1300, Z-score: - 2. 4; P = 0. 0082) and epilepsy (delta_elpd: - 2. 20, Z-score: - 1. 80; P = 0. 038). However, no significant effects were observed for COVID-19 on other traits. Moreover, there are 23 cell subtypes identified through the scRNA-seq transcriptomics data of epilepsy, and SARS-CoV-2 receptor TTYH2 was found to be specifically expressed in oligodendrocyte and astrocyte cell subtypes. Furthermore, fGSEA analysis showed that the cell subtypes with receptor-specific expression was related to methylation of lysine 27 on histone H3 (H3K27ME3), neuronal system, aging brain, neurogenesis, and neuron projection. In summary, this study shows causal links between SARS-CoV-2 infections and neurological disorders such as epilepsy and manic, supported by MR and scRNA-seq analysis. These results should be considered in further studies and public health measures on COVID-19 and neurological diseases.

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Concepts Keywords
Astrocyte COVID-19
Epilepsy Mendelian randomization
Fast Neurological diseases

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