Stem Cell Rev Rep. 2020 Aug 1. doi: 10.1007/s12015-020-10017-6. Online ahead of print.
An unfortunate emergence of a new virus SARS-CoV-2, causing a disease known as COVID-19, has spread all around the globe and has caused a pandemic. It primarily affects the respiratory tract and lungs in some cases causing severe organ damage and pneumonia due to overwhelming immune responses. Clinical reports show that the most commons symptoms are fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath, along with several other symptoms. It is thought that an immense cytokine dysregulation in COVID-19 patients is caused following the virus infection. Notably, if patients present with pre-existing specific comorbidities like diabetes or high blood pressure, rates of COVID-19 induced complications and deaths are escalated. Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy has been shown to alleviate pneumonia and acute respiratory syndrome (ARDS) symptoms, through their immunomodulatory activities in COVID-19 patients. Although more research studies and clinical trial results are needed to elucidate the exact mechanism by which MSCs provide relief to COVID-19 infected patients. Results from clinical trials are encouraging as patients treated with MSCs, regain lung functions and have restored levels of cytokines and trophic factors underscoring the fact that stem cell therapy can be, at least, a complementary therapy to alleviate sufferings in COVID-19 patients. This review discusses the possible therapeutic uses of MSCs for treating COVID-19. Graphical Abstract.