2022, 13(12): 920-939.
SARS-CoV-2 infection causes complicated clinical manifestations with variable multi-organ injuries, however, the underlying mechanism, in particular immune responses in different organs, remains elusive. In this study, comprehensive transcriptomic alterations of 14 tissues from rhesus macaque infected with SARS-CoV-2 were analyzed. Compared to normal controls, SARS-CoV-2 infection resulted in dysregulation of genes involving diverse functions in various examined tissues/organs, with drastic transcriptomic changes in cerebral cortex and right ventricle. Intriguingly, cerebral cortex exhibited a hyperinflammatory state evidenced by significant upregulation of inflammation response-related genes. Meanwhile, expressions of coagulation, angiogenesis and fibrosis factors were also up-regulated in cerebral cortex. Based on our findings, neuropilin 1 (NRP1), a receptor of SARS-CoV-2, was significantly elevated in cerebral cortex post infection, accompanied by active immune response releasing inflammatory factors and signal transmission among tissues, which enhanced infection of the central nervous system (CNS) in a positive feedback way, leading to viral encephalitis. Overall, our study depicts a multi-tissue/organ transcriptomic landscapes of rhesus macaque with early infection of SARS-CoV-2, and provides important insights into the mechanistic basis for COVID-19-associated clinical complications.