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Despite the international scientific community's commitment to improve clinical knowledge about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), knowledge regarding molecular details remains limited. In this review, we discuss hypoxia's potential role in the pathogenesis of the maladaptive immune reaction against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). The state of infection, with serious respiratory dysfunction, causes tissues to become hypoxic due to a discrepancy between cellular O2 uptake and consumption similar to that seen within tumor tissue during the progression of numerous solid cancers. In this context, the heterogeneous clinical behavior and the multiorgan deterioration of COVID-19 are discussed as a function of the upregulated expression of the hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) and of the metabolic reprogramming associated with HIF-1 and with a proinflammatory innate immune response activation, independent of the increase in the viral load of SARS-CoV-2. Possible pharmacological strategies targeting O2 aimed to improve prognosis are suggested. Copyright © 2021 Elisabetta Ferraro et al.


Elisabetta Ferraro, Maria Germanò, Rocco Mollace, Vincenzo Mollace, Natalia Malara. HIF-1, the Warburg Effect, and Macrophage/Microglia Polarization Potential Role in COVID-19 Pathogenesis. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity. 2021;2021:8841911

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PMID: 33815663

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