COVID-19 (severe coronavirus disease) is linked to a dysregulation of the host’s innate and adaptive immune responses, which may lead to excessive inflammation and organ failure. Aside from generic antiviral medications and oxygen supplementation, immunomodulatory therapies like antibody therapy have shown to be moderately helpful in the treatment of severe COVID-19. However, the adverse effects of these therapies, especially when given to people who are infected with a different virus, often restrict their usefulness.
Mesenchymal stem cell therapy, which have previously been used to effectively treat influenza in animal models, are believed to be a far safer alternative to the medicines. Since the start of the pandemic, a number of clinical studies using MSC treatments against COVID-19 have started.
To that aim, the progress of these studies is discussed in a recent Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy study article. The researchers discovered that MSC therapy is well tolerated and effective in decreasing lung damage in COVID-19 patients and increasing their recovery prospects.
Arguments in favour of stem cells
The quantity and frequency of circulating CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells, as well as natural killer cells, are severely reduced in severe COVID-19. Increased interleukin (IL) responses cause acute inflammation and, as a consequence, increased T-cell migration, whereas innate immunity components become more disrupted as illness severity increases.
MSCs have shown regenerative capabilities in a variety of applications, including the release of hepatocyte growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, and keratinocyte growth factor towards type II alveolar epithelial cells. MSCs are drawn to inflammatory areas and have a modulatory impact on a range of immune cells, suggesting that they may be able to reduce the overactive immunological response seen in severe COVID-19.
The present research looked at seven Phase I clinical studies for MSCs in patients with moderate or severe COVID-19, as well as three trials for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome. The MSC therapy was shown to be well tolerated in each of these trials.