Hypertension is a major risk factor for Covid-19 extreme severity of illness and mortality.
Losartan (and other sartans) is an anti-hypertensive drug that acts by blocking the Angiotensin Type 1 Receptor (AT1R). AT1R promotes the endocytosis of the Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) which converts Angiotensin 2, a strong pro-inflammatory signal, into Angiotensin 1-7, which is anti-inflammatory. ACE2 also happens to be the receptor for SARS-COV-2, a finding which may explain the rapid, exacerbated inflammtory responses observed in some patients. In other words, AT1R supports both an increase in inflammation and the entry of the virus into the cell. Sartans may interfere with both pathological processes.
A clinical trial is under way at the University of Minnesota: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04312009
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