COVID-19: Focusing on the Link between Inflammation, Vitamin D, MAPK Pathway and Oxidative Stress Genetics

Antioxidants (Basel). 2023 May 20;12(5):1133. doi: 10.3390/antiox12051133.


An uncontrolled inflammatory response during SARS-CoV-2 infection has been highlighted in several studies. This seems to be due to pro-inflammatory cytokines whose production could be regulated by vitamin D, ROS production or mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). Several genetic studies are present in the literature concerning genetic influences on COVID-19 characteristics, but there are few data on oxidative stress, vitamin D, MAPK and inflammation-related factors, considering gender and age. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the role of single nucleotide polymorphisms in these pathways, clarifying their impact in affecting COVID-19-related clinical features. Genetic polymorphisms were evaluated through real-time PCR. We prospectively enrolled 160 individuals: 139 patients were positive for SARS-CoV-2 detection. We detected different genetic variants able to affect the symptoms and oxygenation. Furthermore, two sub-analyses were performed considering gender and age, showing a different impact of polymorphisms according to these characteristics. This is the first study highlighting a possible contribution of genetic variants of these pathways in affecting COVID-19 clinical features. This may be relevant in order to clarify the COVID-19 etiopathogenesis and to understand the possible genetic contribution for further SARS infections.

Keywords: MAPK; SARS-CoV-2; vitamin D.