Many diverse strategies allow and facilitate severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to evade antiviral innate immune mechanisms. Although the type I interferon (IFN) system has a critical role in restricting the dissemination of viral infection, suppression of IFN receptor signals by SARS-CoV-2 constitutes a checkpoint that plays an important role in the immune escape of the virus. Environmental pollution not only facilitates SARS-CoV-2 infection but also increases infection-associated fatality risk, which arises due to Systemic Aryl hydrocarbon Receptor (AhR) Activation Syndrome. The intracellular accumulation of endogenous kynurenic acid due to overexpression of the indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) by AhR activation induces AhR-interleukin-6 (IL-6)-signal transducers and activators of the transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling pathway. The AhR-IDO1-Kynurenine pathway is an important checkpoint, which leads to fatal consequences in SARS-CoV-2 infection and immune evasion in the context of Treg/Th17 imbalance and cytokine storm.
Keywords: Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2; Aryl hydrocarbon receptor; Environmental pollution; Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase; Interferons; Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.
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