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Stem Cells ; 39(6): 707-722, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1121521


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has grown to be a global public health crisis with no safe and effective treatments available yet. Recent findings suggest that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the coronavirus pathogen that causes COVID-19, could elicit a cytokine storm that drives edema, dysfunction of the airway exchange, and acute respiratory distress syndrome in the lung, followed by acute cardiac injury and thromboembolic events leading to multiorgan failure and death. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), owing to their powerful immunomodulatory abilities, have the potential to attenuate the cytokine storm and have therefore been proposed as a potential therapeutic approach for which several clinical trials are underway. Given that intravenous infusion of MSCs results in a significant trapping in the lung, MSC therapy could directly mitigate inflammation, protect alveolar epithelial cells, and reverse lung dysfunction by normalizing the pulmonary microenvironment and preventing pulmonary fibrosis. In this review, we present an overview and perspectives of the SARS-CoV-2 induced inflammatory dysfunction and the potential of MSC immunomodulation for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 related pulmonary disease.

COVID-19/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/virology , Humans , Immunomodulation , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/virology , Pandemics , Pulmonary Fibrosis/immunology , Pulmonary Fibrosis/therapy , Pulmonary Fibrosis/virology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics