Whelan further reports that “ACE-2 receptor expression is highest in the microvasculature of the brain and subcutaneous fat, and to a lesser degree in the liver, kidney, and heart. They have further demonstrated that the coronavirus replicates almost exclusively in the septal capillary endothelial cells of the lungs and the nasopharynx, and that viral lysis and immune destruction of those cells releases viral capsid proteins (or pseudo-virions) that travel through the circulation and bind to ACE- 2 receptors in these other parts of the body leading to mannan-binding lectin complement pathway activation that not only damages the microvascular endothelium but also induces the production of many pro-inflammatory cytokines. Meinhardt et al. (Nature Neuroscience 2020, in press) show that the spike protein in brain endothelial cells is associated with formation of microthrombi (clots), and like Magro et al. do not find viral RNA in brain endothelium. In other words, viral proteins appear to cause tissue damage without actively replicating virus”. This implies that the spike, on its very own, could act like a pathogen, causing devastating morbidity and fatality.
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