The COVID-19 outbreak has triggered a worldwide health emergency. Although the vaccination is now accessible, it does not obviate the need for further research into alternative treatment options. A cytokine storm and acute respiratory distress cause lung tissue failure as a result of SARS-CoV-2 exposure. Following then, the patient’s health may deteriorate, resulting in multiple organs failure and death. Stem cells have traditionally been the emphasis of regenerative medicine and cellular therapy, with MSCs receiving special consideration. MSCs have immunomodulatory effects and have been investigated as a possible therapeutic strategy.
Risks Associated with COVID-19
COVID-19 infection causes serious cytokine storm, hyper inflammation, and immunothrombosis in patients, and several of them have acute pneumonia. Acute respiratory distress can result in lung damage, which can lead to respiratory failure.
If a cytokine storm begins, it’s followed by more severe tissue-based immunity, which causes significant tissue damage. An overactive inflammatory response ensues, leading to an increase in immune cell aggregation in the lungs and further inflammation in lung tissue. A small fraction of COVID-19-induced respiratory distress patients develop multiple organ failure and die as a result of the cytokine storm’s impact. Because of neuromuscular weakening, myopathy, and persistent lung fibrosis, patients who overcome these problems have considerable morbidity. Such repercussions can last for up to five years following respiratory distress recovery, leading to increased healthcare costs and efficiency.
Immune System Regulation and Mesenchymal Stem Cells
MSCs are self-renewing multipotent cells that can develop into distinct mesenchymal cells. Bone marrow, adipose tissue, the umbilical cord, and the placenta can all be used to separate them. They have the ability to suppress hyperactive immunological and inflammatory activities, stimulate tissue healing and regeneration, and produce antimicrobial compounds while having low immunogenicity.
MSCs have been used to treat lung tissue and have been shown to decrease inflammation and fibrosis. MSCs – which tend to concentrate inside the lungs following administration – have been found to cause inconsistent, but significant effects in people with COVID-19-induced ARDS. In general, studies on stem cell therapy for COVID-19 patients indicate that the lung environment improved, the overactive immune response was inhibited, tissue healing was stimulated, and protracted pulmonary function was prevented.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have a wide range of immunoregulatory properties. MSCs have shown to be effective at preventing lung damage, reducing inflammation, suppressing the immune reaction, and assisting with alveolar fluid evacuation. Experiments on the utilization of MSCs and exosome cells produced from MSCs in the treatment of COVD-19 patients have yielded promising results and have demonstrated great potential. More than half of the patients who were given MSCs or exosomes produced from MSCs received them intravenously, indicating that these cells might be used as a COVID-19 treatment. While the trials have shortcomings, they do help pave the way in the quest for treatments that can save patients’ lives.
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