Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access




Jennifer King

Committee Member

Samantha Wilner

Committee Member

Ellen Dawley

Committee Member

Anthony Lobo

Department Chair

Rebecca Lyczak

Project Description

The rapid and global spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) in late 2019 has resulted in a pandemic known as The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). While it is categorized by its respiratory and flu-like symptoms, severe cases of COVID-19 have shown to cause neurological symptoms. This virus has the ability to cross the blood brain barrier and uses the spike 1 protein (S1) to interact with angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) to result in different cellular responses. Once within the central nervous system, SARS-CoV-2 commonly results in an abundant release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, known as the cytokine storm, which can cause inflammation. Microglia are a key regulator in this inflammatory and immune response through the release of these cytokines. Our study utilizes BV-2 microglia cells to identify the modulation of cytokine release upon infection with the S1 glycoprotein. We analyzed trends of 23 different cytokines through a cytokine array. We have identified that the inflammatory response to the S1 glycoprotein can begin within as little as 1 hour post-infection and seems to reside within 72 hours. Investigating the release of these cytokines can aid in the understanding of microglia activation during the cytokine storm associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection.