Editor’s note: This article was originally published on December 9, 2021, after an earlier version of the study was posted to the preprint database. bioRxiv (Opens in a new tab). The article was updated on September 23, 2022 to reflect new information in the peer-reviewed journal.

The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 directly affects fat cells and certain immune cells in adipose tissue, triggering inflammation, which can then spread to nearby uninfected “bystander” cells.

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