Pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic, fibrotic lung disease affecting 3 million people worldwide. The ACE2/Ang-(1–7)/MasR axis is of interest in pulmonary fibrosis due to evidence of its anti-fibrotic action. Current scientific evidence supports that inhibition of ACE2 causes enhanced fibrosis. ACE2 is also the primary receptor that facilitates the entry of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the current COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 is associated with a myriad of symptoms ranging from asymptomatic to severe pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) leading to respiratory failure, mechanical ventilation, and often death. One of the potential complications in people who recover from COVID-19 is pulmonary fibrosis. Cigarette smoking is a risk factor for fibrotic lung diseases, including the idiopathic form of this disease (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis), which has a prevalence of 41% to 83%. Cigarette smoke increases the expression of pulmonary ACE2 and is thought to alter susceptibility to COVID-19. Cannabis is another popular combustible product that shares some similarities with cigarette smoke, however, cannabis contains cannabinoids that may reduce inflammation and/or ACE2 levels. The role of cannabis smoke in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis remains unknown. This review aimed to characterize the ACE2-Ang-(1–7)-MasR Axis in the context of pulmonary fibrosis with an emphasis on risk factors, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus and exposure to environmental toxicants. In the context of the pandemic, there is a dire need for an understanding of pulmonary fibrotic events. More research is needed to understand the interplay between ACE2, pulmonary fibrosis, and susceptibility to coronavirus infection.

Matéria original


Advances in the development of therapeutic strategies against COVID-19 and perspectives in the drug design for emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants


Fluoxetine use is associated with improved survival of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia: A retrospective case-control study