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1.
Placenta ; 117: 161-168, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1557002

ABSTRACT

The emergence of COVID-19 has created a major health crisis across the globe. Invasion of SARS-CoV-2 into the lungs causes acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) that result in the damage of lung alveolar epithelial cells. Currently, there is no standard treatment available to treat the disease and the resultant lung scarring is irreversible even after recovery. This has prompted researchers across the globe to focus on developing new therapeutics and vaccines for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have emerged as an efficient drug screening platform and MSC-derived organoids has found applications in disease modeling and drug discovery. Perinatal tissue derived MSC based cell therapies have been explored in the treatment of various disease conditions including ARDS because of their enhanced regenerative and immunomodulatory properties. The multi-utility properties of MSCs have been described in this review wherein we discuss the potential use of MSC-derived lung organoids in screening of novel therapeutic compounds for COVID-19 and also in disease modeling to better understand the pathogenesis of the disease. This article also summarizes the rationale behind the development of MSC-based cell- and cell-free therapies and vaccines for COVID-19 with a focus on the current progress in this area. With the pandemic raging, an important necessity is to develop novel treatment strategies which will not only alleviate the disease symptoms but also avoid any off-target effects which could further increase post infection sequelae. Naturally occurring mesenchymal stem cells could be the magic bullet which fulfil these criteria.


Subject(s)
Amnion/cytology , COVID-19/therapy , Mesenchymal Stem Cells , Placenta/cytology , SARS-CoV-2 , Umbilical Cord/cytology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy , Exosomes/transplantation , Female , Humans , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/ultrastructure , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Wharton Jelly/cytology
2.
Cell Transplant ; 30: 9636897211054481, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1511642

ABSTRACT

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).


Subject(s)
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
3.
Stem Cells Dev ; 30(15): 773-781, 2021 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1303889

ABSTRACT

Previously, we demonstrated the therapeutic effects of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stromal cells (hUC-MSCs) in severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. In this 3-month follow-up study, we examined discharged patients who had received hUC-MSC therapy to assess the safety of this therapy and the health-related quality of life (HRQL) of these patients. The follow-up cohort consisted of 28 discharged severe COVID-19 patients who received either the standard treatment (the control group) or the standard treatment plus hUC-MSC therapy. We examined liver function, kidney function, pulmonary function, coagulation, tumor markers, and vision. We also conducted electrocardiography (ECG) analysis, let the patients answer the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), and performed computed tomography (CT) imaging for assessing the lung changes. No obvious adverse effects were observed in the hUC-MSC group after 3 months. Measurements of blood routine index, C-reactive protein and procalcitonin, liver and kidney function, coagulation, ECG, tumor markers, and vision were almost within the normal ranges in both the treatment and control groups. Forced expiratory volumes in 1 s (FEV1) (% of predicted) were 71.88% ± 8.46% and 59.45% ± 27.45% in the hUC-MSC and control groups (P < 0.01), respectively, and FEV1/forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC) ratios were 79.95% ± 8.00% and 58.97% ± 19.16% in the hUC-MSC and control groups, respectively (P < 0.05). SGRQ scores were lower in the hUC-MSC group than in the control group (15.25 ± 3.69 vs. 31.9 ± 8.78, P < 0.05). The rate of wheezing in the hUC-MSC group was also significantly lower than that in the control group (37.5% vs. 75%, P < 0.05). There were no significant differences in CT scores between the two groups (0.60 ± 0.88 vs. 1.00 ± 1.31, P = 0.917). Overall, the intravenous transplantation of hUC-MSCs accelerated partial pulmonary function recovery and improved HRQL, indicating relative safety and preliminary efficacy of this treatment for patients with severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Cord Blood Stem Cell Transplantation , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/pathology , Case-Control Studies , China/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Comorbidity , Cord Blood Stem Cell Transplantation/statistics & numerical data , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Male , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Patient Discharge , Respiratory Function Tests , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Severity of Illness Index , Treatment Outcome , Umbilical Cord/cytology
4.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 25(12): 4435-4438, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1296356

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: We aimed at explaining the mechanism of therapeutic effect of Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells (UC-MSC) in subjects with COVID-19 Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). Patients with COVID-19 ARDS present with a hyperinflammatory response characterized by high levels of circulating pro-inflammatory mediators, including tumor necrosis factor α and ß (TNFα and TNFß). Inflammatory functions of these TNFs can be inhibited by soluble TNF Receptor 2 (sTNFR2). In patients with COVID-19 ARDS, UC-MSC appear to impart a robust anti-inflammatory effect, and treatment is associated with remarkable clinical improvements. We investigated the levels of TNFα, TNFß and sTNFR2 in blood plasma samples collected from subjects with COVID-19 ARDS enrolled in our trial of UC-MSC treatment. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We analyzed plasma samples from subjects with COVID-19 ARDS (n=24) enrolled in a Phase 1/2a randomized controlled trial of UC-MSC treatment. Plasma samples were obtained at Day 0 (baseline, before UC-MSC or control infusion), and Day 6 post infusion. Plasma concentrations of sTNFR2, TNFα, and TNFß were evaluated using a quantitative multiplex protein array. RESULTS: Our data indicate that at Day 6 after infusion, UC-MSC recipients develop significantly increased levels of plasma sTNFR2 and significantly decreased levels of TNFα and TNFß, compared to controls. CONCLUSIONS: These observations suggest that sTNFR2 plays a mechanistic role in mediating UC-MSC effect on TNFα and TNFß plasma levels, determining a decrease in inflammation in COVID-19 ARDS.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Lymphotoxin-alpha/blood , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation/methods , Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type II/blood , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/blood , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/blood , Umbilical Cord/transplantation , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/therapy , Double-Blind Method , Humans , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , Umbilical Cord/cytology
5.
Stem Cells Transl Med ; 10(9): 1279-1287, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1260571

ABSTRACT

One of the main causes of acute respiratory distress syndrome in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is cytokine storm, although the exact cause is still unknown. Umbilical cord mesenchymal stromal cells (UC-MSCs) influence proinflammatory T-helper 2 (Th2 ) cells to shift to an anti-inflammatory agent. To investigate efficacy of UC-MSC administration as adjuvant therapy in critically ill patients with COVID-19, we conducted a double-blind, multicentered, randomized controlled trial at four COVID-19 referral hospitals in Jakarta, Indonesia. This study included 40 randomly allocated critically ill patients with COVID-19; 20 patients received an intravenous infusion of 1 × 106 /kg body weight UC-MSCs in 100 ml saline (0.9%) solution (SS) and 20 patients received 100 ml 0.9% SS as the control group. All patients received standard therapy. The primary outcome was measured by survival rate and/or length of ventilator usage. The secondary outcome was measured by clinical and laboratory improvement, with serious adverse events. Our study showed the survival rate in the UC-MSCs group was 2.5 times higher than that in the control group (P = .047), which is 10 patients and 4 patients in the UC-MSCs and control groups, respectively. In patients with comorbidities, UC-MSC administration increased the survival rate by 4.5 times compared with controls. The length of stay in the intensive care unit and ventilator usage were not statistically significant, and no adverse events were reported. The application of infusion UC-MSCs significantly decreased interleukin 6 in the recovered patients (P = .023). Therefore, application of intravenous UC-MSCs as adjuvant treatment for critically ill patients with COVID-19 increases the survival rate by modulating the immune system toward an anti-inflammatory state.


Subject(s)
Mesenchymal Stem Cells/cytology , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Umbilical Cord/cytology , COVID-19 , Double-Blind Method , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index
6.
Cell Transplant ; 30: 9636897211021008, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1255859

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus pandemic is one of the most significant public health events in recent history. Currently, no specific treatment is available. Some drugs and cell-based therapy have been tested as alternatives to decrease the disease's symptoms, length of hospital stay, and mortality. We reported the case of a patient with a severe manifestation of COVID-19 in critical condition who did not respond to the standard procedures used, including six liters of O2 supplementation under a nasal catheter and treatment with dexamethasone and enoxaparin in prophylactic dose. The patient was treated with tocilizumab and an advanced therapy product based on umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (UC-MSC). The combination of tocilizumab and UC-MSC proved to be safe, with no adverse effects, and the results of this case report prove to be a promising alternative in the treatment of patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome due to SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , COVID-19/therapy , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Combined Modality Therapy , Humans , Immunophenotyping , Karyotyping , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/cytology , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/metabolism , Middle Aged , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Thorax/diagnostic imaging , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Umbilical Cord/cytology , Viral Load
7.
Stem Cells Dev ; 30(15): 758-772, 2021 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1254367

ABSTRACT

Cytokine storm is recognized as one of the factors contributing to organ failures and mortality in patients with COVID-19. Due to chronic inflammation, COVID-19 patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) or renal disease (RD) have more severe symptoms and higher mortality. However, the factors that contribute to severe outcomes of COVID-19 patients with DM and RD have received little attention. In an effort to investigate potential treatments for COVID-19, recent research has focused on the immunomodulation functions of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). In this study, the correlation between DM and RD and the severity of COVID-19 was examined by a combined approach with a meta-analysis and experimental research. The results of a systematic review and meta-analysis suggested that the odd of mortality in patients with both DM and RD was increased in comparison to those with a single comorbidity. In addition, in the experimental research, the data showed that high glucose and uremic toxins contributed to the induction of cytokine storm in human lung adenocarcinoma epithelial cells (Calu-3 cells) in response to SARS-CoV Peptide Pools. Of note, the incorporation of Wharton's jelly MSC-derived extracellular vesicles (WJ-EVs) into SARS-CoV peptide-induced Calu-3 resulted in a significant decrease in nuclear NF-κB p65 and the downregulation of the cytokine storm under high concentrations of glucose and uremic toxins. This clearly suggests the potential for WJ-EVs to reduce cytokine storm reactions in patients with both chronic inflammation diseases and viral infection.


Subject(s)
Cytokine Release Syndrome/prevention & control , Extracellular Vesicles/physiology , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/cytology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Wharton Jelly/cytology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/therapy , Cells, Cultured , Coculture Techniques , Cytokine Release Syndrome/genetics , Cytokine Release Syndrome/metabolism , Cytokine Release Syndrome/virology , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/metabolism , Diabetes Complications/blood , Diabetes Complications/metabolism , Diabetes Complications/therapy , Diabetes Complications/virology , Diabetes Mellitus/blood , Diabetes Mellitus/metabolism , Diabetes Mellitus/therapy , Diabetes Mellitus/virology , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Female , Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects , Glucose/metabolism , Glucose/pharmacology , Humans , Inflammation Mediators/metabolism , Male , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/physiology , Pregnancy , Toxins, Biological/metabolism , Toxins, Biological/pharmacology , Umbilical Cord/cytology , Uremia/blood , Uremia/complications , Uremia/metabolism , Uremia/therapy
8.
Stem Cell Res Ther ; 12(1): 91, 2021 01 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1054839

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a fatal complication of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). There are a few reports of allogeneic human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as a potential treatment for ARDS. In this phase 1 clinical trial, we present the safety, feasibility, and tolerability of the multiple infusions of high dose MSCs, which originated from the placenta and umbilical cord, in critically ill COVID-19-induced ARDS patients. METHODS: A total of 11 patients diagnosed with COVID-19-induced ARDS who were admitted to the intensive care units (ICUs) of two hospitals enrolled in this study. The patients were critically ill with severe hypoxemia and required mechanical ventilation. The patients received three intravenous infusions (200 × 106 cells) every other day for a total of 600 × 106 human umbilical cord MSCs (UC-MSCs; 6 cases) or placental MSCs (PL-MSCs; 5 cases). FINDINGS: There were eight men and three women who were 42 to 66 years of age. Of these, six (55%) patients had comorbidities of diabetes, hypertension, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and cardiomyopathy (CMP). There were no serious adverse events reported 24-48 h after the cell infusions. We observed reduced dyspnea and increased SpO2 within 48-96 h after the first infusion in seven patients. Of these seven patients, five were discharged from the ICU within 2-7 days (average: 4 days), one patient who had signs of acute renal and hepatic failure was discharged from the ICU on day 18, and the last patient suddenly developed cardiac arrest on day 7 of the cell infusion. Significant reductions in serum levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α; P < 0.01), IL-8 (P < 0.05), and C-reactive protein (CRP) (P < 0.01) were seen in all six survivors. IL-6 levels decreased in five (P = 0.06) patients and interferon gamma (IFN-γ) levels decreased in four (P = 0.14) patients. Four patients who had signs of multi-organ failure or sepsis died in 5-19 days (average: 10 days) after the first MSC infusion. A low percentage of lymphocytes (< 10%) and leukocytosis were associated with poor outcome (P = 0.02). All six survivors were well with no complaints of dyspnea on day 60 post-infusion. Radiological parameters of the lung computed tomography (CT) scans showed remarkable signs of recovery. INTERPRETATION: We suggest that multiple infusions of high dose allogeneic prenatal MSCs are safe and can rapidly improve respiratory distress and reduce inflammatory biomarkers in some critically ill COVID-19-induced ARDS cases. Patients that develop sepsis or multi-organ failure may not be good candidates for stem cell therapy. Large randomized multicenter clinical trials are needed to discern the exact therapeutic potentials of MSC in COVID-19-induced ARDS.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , Adult , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , Comorbidity , Critical Care , Critical Illness , Female , Humans , Hypoxia/virology , Inflammation , Intensive Care Units , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Male , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/cytology , Middle Aged , Patient Safety , Placenta/cytology , Pregnancy , Respiration, Artificial , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , Sepsis/virology , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Transplantation, Homologous , Treatment Outcome , Umbilical Cord/cytology
9.
Stem Cells Transl Med ; 10(5): 660-673, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1008163

ABSTRACT

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in COVID-19 is associated with high mortality. Mesenchymal stem cells are known to exert immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects and could yield beneficial effects in COVID-19 ARDS. The objective of this study was to determine safety and explore efficacy of umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell (UC-MSC) infusions in subjects with COVID-19 ARDS. A double-blind, phase 1/2a, randomized, controlled trial was performed. Randomization and stratification by ARDS severity was used to foster balance among groups. All subjects were analyzed under intention to treat design. Twenty-four subjects were randomized 1:1 to either UC-MSC treatment (n = 12) or the control group (n = 12). Subjects in the UC-MSC treatment group received two intravenous infusions (at day 0 and 3) of 100 ± 20 × 106 UC-MSCs; controls received two infusions of vehicle solution. Both groups received best standard of care. Primary endpoint was safety (adverse events [AEs]) within 6 hours; cardiac arrest or death within 24 hours postinfusion). Secondary endpoints included patient survival at 31 days after the first infusion and time to recovery. No difference was observed between groups in infusion-associated AEs. No serious adverse events (SAEs) were observed related to UC-MSC infusions. UC-MSC infusions in COVID-19 ARDS were found to be safe. Inflammatory cytokines were significantly decreased in UC-MSC-treated subjects at day 6. Treatment was associated with significantly improved patient survival (91% vs 42%, P = .015), SAE-free survival (P = .008), and time to recovery (P = .03). UC-MSC infusions are safe and could be beneficial in treating subjects with COVID-19 ARDS.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/therapy , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation/methods , Cytokines/blood , Double-Blind Method , Female , Humans , Male , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation/adverse effects , Mesenchymal Stem Cells , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Severity of Illness Index , Treatment Outcome , Umbilical Cord/cytology
10.
Cell Prolif ; 53(12): e12947, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-933976

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We aim to explore the safety and feasibility of umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (UC-MSCs) transplantation in patients with severe and critically severe coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). METHODS: We conducted a small sample, single arm, pilot trial. In addition to standard therapy, we performed four rounds of transplantation of UC-MSCs in sixteen patients with severe and critically severe COVID-19. We recorded adverse events from enrolment to Day 28. We evaluated the oxygenation index, inflammatory biomarkers, radiological presentations of the disease and lymphocyte subsets count on the 7th day (D7 ± 1 day), the 14th day (D14 ± 1 day) and the 28th day (D28 ± 3 days). RESULTS: There were no infusion-related or allergic reactions. The oxygenation index was improved after transplantation. The mortality of enrolled patients was 6.25%, whereas the historical mortality rate was 45.4%. The level of cytokines estimated varied in the normal range, the radiological presentations (ground glass opacity) were improved and the lymphocyte count and lymphocyte subsets (CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells and NK cells) count showed recovery after transplantation. CONCLUSIONS: Intravenous transplantation of UC-MSCs was safe and feasible for treatment of patients with severe and critically severe COVID-19 pneumonia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/cytology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adult , Feasibility Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pilot Projects , Safety , Umbilical Cord/cytology
11.
Cell Transplant ; 29: 963689720965980, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-846569

ABSTRACT

Novel therapies are urgently needed to combat the severe cytokine storm syndromes induced by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). An increasing number of preclinical and clinical investigations of stem cell and derivatives therapy for COVID-19 were being carried out, among which several studies have preliminarily demonstrated the safety and possible efficacy of stem cell transplantation therapy, providing a hint to solve the tricky situation of anti-COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Cytokines/metabolism , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Lymphocytes/cytology , Lymphocytes/metabolism , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Umbilical Cord/cytology
12.
Hum Cell ; 34(1): 1-13, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-842102

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed an unprecedented burden on health care systems and economies around the globe. Clinical evidences demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 infection produces detrimental levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines that can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and significant systemic organ damage. Currently, there is no definitive therapy for COVID-19 or associated complications, and with the hope of a safe and effective vaccine in the distant future, the search for an answer is paramount. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) provide a viable option due to their immunomodulatory effects and tissue repair and regeneration abilities. Studies have demonstrated that compassionate use of MSCs can reduce symptoms associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection, eliminate fluid buildup, and act as a regenerative technique for alveolar damage; all in a safe and effective way. With multiple autologous sources available for MSCs, each with their own respective limitations, allogenic umbilical cord (UC) and/or UC-derived Wharton's jelly (WJ) seem to be best positioned source to harvest MSCs to treat COVID-19 and associated symptoms. As an allogenic source, UC is readily available, easily obtainable, and is rich in immunomodulatory and regenerative factors. In this manuscript, we reviewed the current evidences and explored the potential therapeutic use of allogenic UC and/or WJ-derived MSCs for the treatment of COVID-19. Although, preliminary preclinical and clinical studies indicate that their use is safe and potentially effective, more multi-center, randomized, controlled trials are needed to adequately assess the safety and efficacy of UC and/or WJ-derived MSCs for the treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation , Umbilical Cord/cytology , Wharton Jelly/cytology , Clinical Trials as Topic , Humans , Immunomodulation , Mesenchymal Stem Cells , Pandemics , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology
13.
Stem Cell Res Ther ; 11(1): 361, 2020 08 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-719615

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 is a highly infectious respiratory disease. No therapeutics have yet been proven effective for treating severe COVID-19. OBJECTIVES: To determine whether human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell infusion may be effective and safe for the treatment of severe COVID-19. METHODS: Patients with severe COVID-19 were randomly divided into 2 groups: the standard treatment group and the standard treatment plus hUC-MSC infusion group. The incidence of progression from severe to critical illness, 28-day mortality, clinical symptom improvement, time to clinical symptom improvement, hematologic indicators including C-reactive protein, lymphocyte number, and interleukin 6, and imaging changes were observed and compared between the two groups. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The incidence of progression from severe to critical illness and the 28-day mortality rate were 0 in the hUC-MSC treatment group, while 4 patients in the control group deteriorated to critical condition and received invasive ventilation; 3 of them died, and the 28-day mortality rate was 10.34%. In the hUC-MSC treatment group, the time to clinical improvement was shorter than that in the control group. Clinical symptoms of weakness and fatigue, shortness of breath, and low oxygen saturation obviously improved beginning on the third day of stem cell infusion and reached a significant difference on day 7. CRP and IL-6 levels were significantly lower from day 3 of infusion, the time for the lymphocyte count to return to the normal range was significantly faster, and lung inflammation absorption was significantly shorter on CT imaging in the hUC-MSC group than in the control group. CONCLUSIONS: Intravenous transplantation of hUC-MSCs is a safe and effective method that can be considered a salvage and priority treatment option for severe COVID-19. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Chinese Clinical Trial Registration; ChiCTR2000031494; Registered on 2 April 2020; http:// www.medresman.org.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Umbilical Cord/cytology , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , C-Reactive Protein/metabolism , COVID-19 , China , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/cytology , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/metabolism , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Survival Rate , Thorax/diagnostic imaging , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Transplantation, Homologous , Treatment Outcome
15.
Stem Cell Res Ther ; 11(1): 207, 2020 05 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-381721

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has grown to be a global public health emergency since patients were first detected in Wuhan, China. Thus far, no specific drugs or vaccines are available to cure the patients with COVID-19 infection. The immune system and inflammation are proposed to play a central role in COVID-19 pathogenesis. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been shown to possess a comprehensive powerful immunomodulatory function. Intravenous infusion of MSCs has shown promising results in COVID-19 treatment. Here, we report a case of a severe COVID-19 patient treated with human umbilical cord Wharton's jelly-derived MSCs (hWJCs) from a healthy donor in Liaocheng People's Hospital, China, from February 24, 2020. The pulmonary function and symptoms of the patient with COVID-19 pneumonia was significantly improved in 2 days after hWJC transplantation, and recovered and discharged in 7 days after treatment. After treatment, the percentage and counts of lymphocyte subsets (CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+ T cell) were increased, and the level of IL-6, TNF-α, and C-reactive protein is significantly decreased after hWJC treatment. Thus, the intravenous transplantation of hWJCs was safe and effective for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, especially for the patients in a critically severe condition. This report highlights the potential of hWJC infusions as an effective treatment for COVID-19 pneumonia.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation/methods , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/cytology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Betacoronavirus/genetics , C-Reactive Protein/immunology , C-Reactive Protein/metabolism , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Humans , Immunomodulation , Infusions, Intravenous , Interleukin-6/blood , Interleukin-6/immunology , Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , Lymphocyte Subsets/virology , Male , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/immunology , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/blood , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/immunology , Umbilical Cord/cytology , Umbilical Cord/immunology , Wharton Jelly/cytology , Wharton Jelly/immunology
16.
Pain Physician ; 23(2): E71-E83, 2020 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-18426

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has affected the United States leading to a national emergency with health care and economic impact, propelling the country into a recession with disrupted lifestyles not seen in recent history. COVID-19 is a serious illness leading to multiple deaths in various countries including the United States. Several million Americans satisfy the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria for being high risk. Unfortunately, the available supply of medical beds and equipment for mechanical ventilation are much less than is projected to be needed. The World Health Organization (WHO) and multiple agencies led by the CDC in the United States have attempted to organize intensive outbreak investigation programs utilizing appropriate preventive measures, evaluation, and treatment. The clinical spectrum of COVID-19 varies from asymptomatic forms to conditions encompassing multiorgan and systemic manifestations in terms of septic shock, and multiple organ dysfunction (MOD) syndromes. The presently approved treatments are supportive but not curative for the disease. There are multiple treatments being studied. These include vaccines, medications Remdesivir and hydroxychloroquine and potentially combination therapy. Finally, expanded umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells or (UC-MSCs) may have a role and are being studied. The cure of COVID-19 is essentially dependent on the patients' own immune system. When the immune system is over activated in an attempt to kill the virus, this can lead to the production of a large number of inflammatory factors, resulting in severe cytokine storm. The cytokine storm may induce organ damage followed by the edema, dysfunction of air exchange, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), acute cardiac injury, and secondary infection, which may lead to death. Thus, at this point, the avoidance of the cytokine storm may be the key for the treatment of HCOV-19 infected patients.In China, where there was limited availability of effective modalities to manage COVID-19 several patients were treated with expanded UC-MSCs. Additionally, the Italian College of Anesthesia, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care have reported guidelines to treat coronavirus patients with stem cells in the hope of decreasing the number of patients going to the ICU, and, also relatively quickly getting them out of ICU. In this manuscript, we describe the urgent need for various solutions, pathogenesis of coronavirus and the clinical evidence for treatment of COVID-19 with stem cells. The limited but emerging evidence regarding UC MSC in managing COVID-19 suggests that it might be considered for compassionate use in critically ill patients to reduce morbidity and mortality in the United States. The administration and Coronavirus Task Force might wish to approach the potential of expanded UC-MSCs as an evolutionary therapeutic strategy in managing COVID-19 illness with a 3-pronged approach: If proven safe and effective on a specific and limited basis…1. Minimize regulatory burden by all agencies so that critically ill COVID-19 patients will have access regardless of their financial circumstance.2. Institute appropriate safeguards to avoid negative consequences from unscrupulous actors.3. With proper informed consent from patients or proxy when necessary, and subject to accumulation of data in that cohort, allow the procedure to be initiated in critically ill patients who are not responding to conventional therapies.KEY WORDS: Coronavirus, COVID-19, cytokine storm, multiorgan failure, expanded umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Compassionate Use Trials , Cord Blood Stem Cell Transplantation , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Critical Illness , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/therapeutic use , Analgesia , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , China , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Cytokines/metabolism , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Umbilical Cord/cytology , United States , Viral Vaccines
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