Published online May 7, 2021. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i17.1905
Peer-review started: January 27, 2021
First decision: February 24, 2021
Revised: March 5, 2021
Accepted: April 5, 2021
Article in press: April 5, 2021
Published online: May 7, 2021
Due to their immunomodulatory potential and release of trophic factors that promote healing, mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are considered important players in tissue homeostasis and regeneration. MSCs have been widely used in clinical trials to treat multiple conditions associated with inflammation and tissue damage. Recent evidence suggests that most of the MSC therapeutic effects are derived from their secretome, including the extracellular vesicles, representing a promising approach in regenerative medicine application to treat organ failure as a result of inflammation/fibrosis. The recent outbreak of respiratory syndrome coronavirus, caused by the newly identified agent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has forced scientists worldwide to use all available instruments to fight the infection, including the inflammatory cascade caused by this pandemic disease. The use of MSCs is a valid approach to combat organ inflammation in different compartments. In addition to the lungs, which are considered the main inflammatory target for this virus, other organs are compromised by the infection. In particular, the liver is involved in the inflammatory response to SARS-CoV-2 infection, which causes organ failure, leading to death in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. We herein summarize the current implications derived from the use of MSCs and their soluble derivatives in COVID-19 treatment, and emphasize the potential of MSC-based therapy in this clinical setting.
Core Tip: The recent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak has forced scientists worldwide to use all available options to fight this disease, in particular the inflammatory cascade caused by this infection. Mesenchymal stromal cells, for their immunomodulatory potential, represent a valid approach to combat organ inflammation. The main targets for this virus are the lungs, while other organs such as the liver are compromised by the infection. Evaluation of the albumin role in COVID-19 patients, and the connection to the “capillary leak syndrome” have focused attention on liver dysfunction correlated with the infection.