Adipose tissue and the inflammatory factors that aggravate COVID-19

There is growing evidence that adipose tissue plays a key role in the aggravation of COVID-19. One of the theories under investigation is that fat cells (adipocytes) act as a reservoir for SARS-CoV-2 and increase viral load in obese or overweight individuals. Scientists also suspect that during infection, fat cells release substances into the bloodstream that boost the inflammatory reaction triggered by the virus in the organism.

Leptin plays a role in the development of obesity at a young age

Young children of African ancestry are more at risk of developing obesity if they possess a genetic variant that reduces their ability to produce the hormone leptin, according to a study, ‘Genetic Studies of Leptin Concentrations Implicate Leptin in the Regulation of Early Adiposity’, published in the journal Diabetes. Interestingly, adults with the variant do not have the same risk, suggesting that leptin plays a role in the development of obesity at a young age but the obesity does not continue into adulthood.