Stem Cell Rev Rep. 2020 Oct 7. doi: 10.1007/s12015-020-10048-z. Online ahead of print.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by novel coronavirus Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It was first time reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, China and thereafter quickly spread across the globe. Till September 19, 2020, COVID-19 has spread to 216 countries and territories. Severe infection of SARS-CoV-2 cause extreme increase in inflammatory chemokines and cytokines that may lead to multi-organ damage and respiratory failure. Currently, no specific treatment and authorized vaccines are available for its treatment. Renin angiotensin system holds a promising role in human physiological system specifically in regulation of blood pressure and electrolyte and fluid balance. SARS-CoV-2 interacts with Renin angiotensin system by utilizing angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a receptor for its cellular entry. This interaction hampers the protective action of ACE2 in the cells and causes injuries to organs due to persistent angiotensin II (Ang-II) level. Patients with certain comorbidities like hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease are under the high risk of COVID-19 infection and mortality. Moreover, evidence obtained from several reports also suggests higher susceptibility of male patients for COVID-19 mortality and other acute viral infections compared to females. Analysis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS) epidemiological data also indicate a gender-based preference in disease consequences. The current review addresses the possible mechanisms responsible for higher COVID-19 mortality among male patients. The major underlying aspects that was looked into includes smoking, genetic factors, and the impact of reproductive hormones on immune systems and inflammatory responses. Detailed investigations of this gender disparity could provide insight into the development of patient tailored therapeutic approach which would be helpful in improving the poor outcomes of COVID-19. Graphical abstract.