Investigating the connection between stem cells and COVID-19

Since December 2019, Wuhan, China has been conducting surveillance for influenza and associated illnesses and quite a few circumstances of viral pneumonia have been detected, all identified as viral pneumonia or pulmonary an infection. The World Well being Group (WHO) categorized it as a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) on January 12, 2020.

The coronavirus analysis group dubbed the virus extreme acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and the WHO dubbed the situation it brought on coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19).

Examine: When Stem Cells Meet COVID-19: Present Advances, Challenges, and Future Prospects. Credit score: Giovanni Cancemi/Shutterstock

Immune management and therapeutic from tissue harm are vital capabilities of stem cells, particularly mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). MSCs and lung stem/progenitor cells (LSCs) have been used extensively within the remedy of viral infections and illnesses akin to acute lung harm (ALI) lately. For the reason that outbreak of COVID-19, MSC remedy has additionally been in focus. In current research, MSCs have been discovered to be efficient in attenuating the extreme inflammatory response in SARS-CoV-2 sufferers, enhancing lung operate, defending and repairing the lungs, and enjoying a optimistic position in assuaging pulmonary fibrosis in COVID-19 sufferers.

As well as, quite a few research have established a wide range of stem cell-derived organoids as an excellent and adequate mannequin to check the likelihood and mechanism of multi-organ an infection by SARS-CoV-2, which might help scientific remedy analysis.

A gaggle of researchers from a number of establishments handle the position of stem cells within the struggle in opposition to COVID-19 on this paper, which gives a scientific assessment and perspective of the research on stem cell-based remedy and illness modeling of COVID-19.

The usage of stem cells for COVID-19 remedy

There at the moment are quite a few purposes and research for experimental stem cell remedy in critically sick COVID-19 sufferers, particularly for MSC remedy. MSCs are produced from the mesoderm and ectoderm within the early phases of embryonic improvement and have acquired a lot press for his or her multidirectional differentiation capability, immunomodulatory talents, and lack of moral points. MSCs have been extracted from many tissues and used for particular tissue restore and regeneration with the advance of regenerative medication and precision medication. MSCs can at the moment be extracted from a wide range of human tissues together with bone marrow, umbilical wire blood, adipose tissue, endometrium, uterine blood, embryos and so forth.

The primary research of stem cell remedy in COVID-19 discovered that intravenous administration of clinical-grade MSCs to 7 COVID-19 sufferers improved their useful outcomes and promoted rehabilitation. From January 23, 2020 to February 16, 2020, Beijing YouAn Hospital in China recruited 7 COVID-19 sufferers. Every affected person acquired 1 x 106 MSCs per kg physique weight by intravenous infusion. No acute infusion-related hostile occasions or allergic occasions had been famous inside two hours of transplantation. Sufferers had excessive fever, weak spot, shortness of breath, and hypoxia previous to MSC transplantation. All signs had disappeared 2-4 days after transplantation and the lung operate of all sufferers had drastically improved. Moreover, in accordance with this research, the dearth of angiotensin changing enzyme 2 (ACE2) and the excessive expression of sure trophic components may symbolize the immunomodulatory mechanism of MSCs.

MSCs present the best potential as a cell-based remedy for COVID-19 as they’ve important immunoregulatory properties and may regulate each the innate and adaptive immune techniques. To scale back overactive immune responses and cytokine storm syndrome (CSS), MSCs can ship a wide range of soluble substances in addition to extracellular vesicles and exosomes (EXOs).

MSCs may have an effect on the depth and stability of the immune response by instantly interacting with immune cells akin to lymphocytic T cells, B cells, macrophages, neutrophils, and pure killer (NK) cells. As well as, research have discovered that grownup cells solely produce interferon when the virus invades, activating a whole lot of antiviral genes and recruiting immune cells to struggle the virus, whereas stem cells are impartial of interferon and may repeatedly activate many antiviral genes.


General, even if scientific stem cell analysis remains to be in its infancy, stem cell remedy presents intensive scientific purposes and far-reaching relevance because of ongoing exploration of scientific stem cell analysis and information mining. It is usually anticipated that as stem cell remedy advances, extra severely sick COVID-19 sufferers will probably be rescued and extra lives will probably be saved.

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