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Inflammatory cytokine storms severity may be fueled by interactions of micronuclei and RNA viruses such as COVID-19 virus SARS-CoV-2. A hypothesis
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
In this review we bring together evidence that (i) RNA viruses are a cause of chromosomal instability and micronuclei (MN), (ii) those individuals with high levels of lymphocyte MN have a weakened immune response and are more susceptible to RNA virus infection and (iii) both RNA virus infection and MN formation can induce inflammatory cytokine production. Based on these observations we propose a hypothesis that those who harbor elevated frequencies of MN within their cells are more prone to RNA virus infection and are more likely, through combined effects of leakage of self-DNA from MN and RNA from viruses, to escalate pro-inflammatory cytokine production via the cyclic GMP–AMP synthase (cGAS), stimulator of interferon genes (STING) and the Senescence Associated Secretory Phenotype (SASP) mechanisms to an extent that is unresolvable and therefore confers high risk of causing tissue damage by an excessive and overtly toxic immune response. The corollaries from this hypothesis are (i) those with abnormally high MN frequency are more prone to infection by RNA viruses; (ii) the extent of cytokine production and pro-inflammatory response to infection by RNA viruses is enhanced and possibly exceeds threshold levels that may be unresolvable in those with elevated MN levels in affected organs; (iii) reduction of MN frequency by improving nutrition and life-style factors increases resistance to RNA virus infection and moderates inflammatory cytokine production to a level that is immunologically efficacious and survivable.
Journal: Mutation Research - Reviews in Mutation Research