Regeneration Profiles of Olfactory Epithelium after SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Golden Syrian Hamsters

Shinji Urata, Junki Maruyama, Megumi Kishimoto-Urata, Rachel A. Sattler, Rebecca Cook, Nantian Lin, Tatsuya Yamasoba, Tomoko Makishima, Slobodan Paessler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Olfactory dysfunction is one of the most frequent and specific symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Information on the damage and repair of the neuroepithelium and its impact on olfactory function after COVID-19 is still incomplete. While severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes the ongoing worldwide outbreak of COVID-19, little is known about the changes triggered by SARS-CoV-2 in the olfactory epithelium (OE) at the cellular level. Here, we report profiles of the OE after SARS-CoV-2 infection in golden Syrian hamsters, which is a reliable animal model of COVID-19. We observed severe damage in the OE as early as 3 days postinoculation and regionally specific damage and regeneration of the OE within the nasal cavity; the nasal septal region demonstrated the fastest recovery compared to other regions in the nasal turbinates. These findings suggest that anosmia related to SARS-CoV-2 infection may be fully reversible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalACS chemical neuroscience
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 17 2021


  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • anosmia
  • olfactory dysfunction
  • olfactory epithelium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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