COVID-19 in Joint Ageing and Osteoarthritis: Current Status and Perspectives

Marianne Lauwers, Man Ting Au, Shuofeng Yuan, Chunyi Wen

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


COVID-19 is a trending topic worldwide due to its immense impact on society. Recent trends have shifted from acute effects towards the long-term morbidity of COVID-19. In this review, we hy-pothesize that SARS-CoV-2 contributes to age-related perturbations in endothelial and adipose tissue, which are known to characterize the early aging process. This would explain the long-lasting symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 as the result of an accelerated aging process. Connective tissues such as adipose tissue and musculoskeletal tissue are the primary sites of aging. Therefore, current literature was ana-lyzed focusing on the musculoskeletal symptoms in COVID-19 patients. Hypovitaminosis D, increased fragility, and calcium deficiency point towards bone aging, while joint and muscle pain are typical for joint and muscle aging, respectively. These characteristics could be classified as early oste-oarthritis-like phenotype. Exploration of the impact of SARS-CoV-2 and osteoarthritis on endothelial and adipose tissue, as well as neuronal function, showed similar perturbations. At a molecular level, this could be attributed to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 expression, renin-angiotensin system dysfunction, and inflammation. Finally, the influence of the nicotinic cholinergic system is being evaluated as a new treatment strategy. This is combined with the current knowledge of musculoskeletal aging to pave the road towards the treatment of long-term COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Article number720
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • long-COVID
  • Musculoskeletal aging
  • Osteoarthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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