Mesenchymal stem cells as living anti-inflammatory therapy for COVID-19 related acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

World J Stem Cells




Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a pandemic disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2), is growing at an exponential rate worldwide. Manifestations of this disease are heterogeneous; however, advanced cases often exhibit various acute respiratory distress syndrome-like symptoms, systemic inflammatory reactions, coagulopathy, and organ involvements. A common theme in advanced COVID-19 is unrestrained immune activation, classically referred to as a "cytokine storm", as well as deficiencies in immune regulatory mechanisms such as T regulatory cells. While mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) themselves are objects of cytokine regulation, they can secrete cytokines to modulate immune cells by inducing anti-inflammatory regulatory Treg cells, macrophages and neutrophils; and by reducing the activation of T and B cells, dendritic and nature killer cells. Consequently, they have therapeutic potential for treating severe cases of COVID-19. Here we discuss the unique ability of MSCs, to act as a "living anti-inflammatory", which can "rebalance" the cytokine/immune responses to restore equilibrium. We also discuss current MSC trials and present different concepts for optimization of MSC therapy in patients with COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Clinical Institute



Infectious Diseases


Pulmonary Medicine