Document Type


Publication Date



Understanding of the clinical, histological and molecular features of the novel coronavirus 2019 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)) has remained elusive. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by this virus has unusual clinical presentation with regard to other related coronaviruses. Recent reports suggest that SARS-CoV-2, unlike other related viruses, infects and replicates within endothelial cells, which may explain a significant portion of the observed clinical pathology. Likewise, mounting evidence associates vascular and endothelial cell dysfunction with increased mortality. This review focuses on understanding how endothelial cell pathology is caused by SARS-CoV-2 at the molecular and cellular levels and how these events relate to COVID-19. A detailed examination of current knowledge regarding canonical inflammatory reaction pathways as well as alteration of endothelial cell-derived exosomes and transdifferentiation by SARS-CoV-2 is included in this assessment. Additionally, given an understanding of endothelial contributions to COVID-19, potential therapeutic aims are discussed, particularly as would affect endothelial function and pathology.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.