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Cell Transplant ; 30: 9636897211054481, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1511642


Biological and cellular interleukin-6 (IL-6)-related therapies have been used to treat severe COVID-19 pneumonia with hyperinflammatory syndrome and acute respiratory failure, which prompted further exploration of the role of IL-6 in human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell (hUCMSC) therapy. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were responders cocultured with hUCMSCs or exogenous IL-6. A PBMC suppression assay was used to analyze the anti-inflammatory effects via MTT assay. The IL-6 concentration in the supernatant was measured using ELISA. The correlation between the anti-inflammatory effect of hUCMSCs and IL-6 levels and the relevant roles of IL-6 and IL-6 mRNA expression was analyzed using the MetaCore functional network constructed from gene microarray data. The location of IL-6 and IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) expression was further evaluated. We reported that hUCMSCs did not initially exert any inhibitory effect on PHA-stimulated proliferation; however, a potent inhibitory effect on PHA-stimulated proliferation was observed, and the IL-6 concentration reached approximately 1000 ng/mL after 72 hours. Exogenous 1000 ng/mL IL-6 inhibited PHA-stimulated inflammation but less so than hUCMSCs. The inhibitory effects of hUCMSCs on PHA-stimulated PBMCs disappeared after adding an IL-6 neutralizing antibody or pretreatment with tocilizumab (TCZ), an IL-6R antagonist. hUCMSCs exert excellent anti-inflammatory effects by inducing higher IL-6 levels, which is different from TCZ. High concentration of IL-6 cytokine secretion plays an important role in the anti-inflammatory effect of hUCMSC therapy. Initial hUCMSC therapy, followed by TCZ, seems to optimize the therapeutic potential to treat COVID-19-related acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , Interleukin-6/biosynthesis , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/metabolism , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/pharmacology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Cells, Cultured , Coculture Techniques , Combined Modality Therapy , DNA, Complementary/genetics , Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects , Humans , Inflammation , Interleukin-6/genetics , Interleukin-6/pharmacology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/cytology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/drug effects , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/metabolism , Lymphocyte Activation/drug effects , Phytohemagglutinins/pharmacology , RNA, Messenger/biosynthesis , RNA, Messenger/genetics , Receptors, Interleukin-6/antagonists & inhibitors , Receptors, Interleukin-6/biosynthesis , Receptors, Interleukin-6/genetics , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/drug therapy , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , Umbilical Cord/cytology