Perspectives on mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells and their derivates as potential therapies for lung damage caused by COVID-19.
ABSTRACT: The new coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), which emerged in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, has reached worldwide pandemic proportions, causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The clinical manifestations of COVID-19 vary from an asymptomatic disease course to clinical symptoms of acute respiratory distress syndrome and severe pneumonia. The lungs are the primary organ affected by SARS-CoV-2, with a very slow turnover for renewal. SARS-CoV-2 enters the lungs via angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptors and induces an immune response with the accumulation of immunocompetent cells, causing a cytokine storm, which leads to target organ injury and subsequent dysfunction. To date, there is no effective antiviral therapy for COVID-19 patients, and therapeutic strategies are based on experience treating previously recognized coronaviruses. In search of new treatment modalities of COVID-19, cell-based therapy with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and/or their secretome, such as soluble bioactive factors and extracellular vesicles, is considered supportive therapy for critically ill patients. Multipotent MSCs are able to differentiate into different types of cells of mesenchymal origin, including alveolar epithelial cells, lung epithelial cells, and vascular endothelial cells, which are severely damaged in the course of COVID-19 disease. Moreover, MSCs secrete a variety of bioactive factors that can be applied for respiratory tract regeneration in COVID-19 patients thanks to their trophic, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, anti-apoptotic, pro-regenerative, and proangiogenic properties.
Project description:Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a pandemic viral disease originated in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The severe form of the disease is often associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and most critically ill patients require mechanical ventilation and support in intensive care units. A significant portion of COVID-19 patients also develop complications of the cardiovascular system, primarily acute myocardial injury, arrhythmia, or heart failure. To date, no specific antiviral therapy is available for patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Exosomes derived from mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are being explored for the management of a number of diseases that currently have limited or no therapeutic options, thanks to their anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and pro-angiogenic properties. Here, we briefly introduce the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 and its implications in the heart and lungs. Next, we describe some of the most significant clinical evidence of the successful use of MSC-derived exosomes in animal models of lung and heart injuries, which might strengthen our hypothesis in terms of their utility for also treating critically ill COVID-19 patients.
Project description:COVID-19 is an infectious respiratory illness caused by the virus strain severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and until now, there is no effective therapy against COVID-19. Since SARS-CoV-2 binds to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) for entering into host cells, to target COVID-19 from therapeutic angle, we engineered a hexapeptide corresponding to the ACE2-interacting domain of SARS-CoV-2 (AIDS) that inhibits the association between receptor-binding domain-containing spike S1 and ACE-2. Accordingly, wild type (wt), but not mutated (m), AIDS peptide inhibited SARS-CoV-2 spike S1-induced activation of NF-?B and expression of IL-6 in human lungs cells. Interestingly, intranasal intoxication of C57/BL6 mice with recombinant SARS-CoV-2 spike S1 led to fever, increase in IL-6 in lungs, infiltration of neutrophils into the lungs, arrhythmias, and impairment in locomotor activities, mimicking some of the important symptoms of COVID-19. However, intranasal treatment with wtAIDS, but not mAIDS, peptide reduced fever, protected lungs, improved heart function, and enhanced locomotor activities in SARS-CoV-2 spike S1-intoxicated mice. Therefore, selective targeting of ACE2-to-SARS-CoV-2 interaction by wtAIDS may be beneficial for COVID-19.
Project description:Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) is a global pandemic with high infectivity and pathogenicity, accounting for tens of thousands of deaths worldwide. Recent studies have found that the pathogen of COVID-19, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), shares the same cell receptor angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2) as SARS-CoV. The pathological investigation of COVID-19 deaths showed that the lungs had characteristics of pulmonary fibrosis. However, how SARS-CoV-2 spreads from the lungs to other organs has not yet been determined. Here, we performed an unbiased evaluation of cell-type-specific expression of ACE2 in healthy and fibrotic lungs, as well as in normal and failed adult human hearts, using published single-cell RNA-seq data. We found that ACE2 expression in fibrotic lungs mainly locates in arterial vascular cells, which might provide a route for bloodstream spreading of SARS-CoV-2. Failed human hearts have a higher percentage of ACE2-expressing cardiomyocytes, and SARS-CoV-2 might attack cardiomyocytes through the bloodstream in patients with heart failure. Moreover, ACE2 was highly expressed in cells infected by respiratory syncytial virus or Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus and in mice treated by lipopolysaccharide. Our findings indicate that patients with pulmonary fibrosis, heart failure, and virus infection have a higher risk and are more susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. The SARS-CoV-2 might attack other organs by getting into the bloodstream. This study provides new insights into SARS-CoV-2 blood entry and heart injury and might propose a therapeutic strategy to prevent patients from developing severe complications.
Project description:Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) have immune regulatory and tissue regenerative properties. MSCs are being studied as a therapy option for many inflammatory and immune disorders and are approved to treat acute graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic and associated coronavirus infectious disease-19 (COVID-19) has claimed many lives. Innovative therapies are needed. Preliminary data using MSCs in the setting of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in COVID-19 are emerging. We review mechanisms of action of MSCs in inflammatory and immune conditions and discuss a potential role in persons with COVID-19.
Project description:The novel coronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the ensuing worldwide pandemic. The spread of the virus has had global effects such as activity restriction, economic stagnation, and collapse of healthcare infrastructure. Severe SARS-CoV-2 infection induces a cytokine storm, leading to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multiple organ failure, which are very serious health conditions and must be mitigated or resolved as soon as possible. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and their exosomes can affect immune cells by inducing anti-inflammatory macrophages, regulatory T and B cells, and regulatory dendritic cells, and can inactivate T cells. Hence, they are potential candidate agents for treatment of severe cases of COVID-19. In this review, we report the background of severe cases of COVID-19, basic aspects and mechanisms of action of MSCs and their exosomes, and discuss basic and clinical studies based on MSCs and exosomes for influenza-induced ARDS. Finally, we report the potential of MSC and exosome therapy in severe cases of COVID-19 in recently initiated or planned clinical trials of MSCs (33 trials) and exosomes (1 trial) registered in 13 countries on ClinicalTrials.gov.
Project description:The recent outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) resulting from a distinctive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to evolve in many countries and pose life-threatening clinical issues to global public health. While the lungs are the primary target for the SARS-CoV-2-mediated pathological consequence, SARS-CoV-2 appear to invade the brain and cause neurological deficits. In the later stage, COVID-19 can progress to pneumonia, acute respiratory failure, neurological deficits and multi-organ dysfunctions leading to death. Though a significant portion of SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals has been recovering from pathological symptoms, the impact of the COVID-19 on the structural and functional properties of the lungs, heart, brain and other organs at the post-recovery state remains unknown. Presently, there is an urgent need for a remedial measure to combat this devastating COVID-19. Botulinum toxins (BoNTs) are potent neurotoxins that can induce paralysis of muscle and acute respiratory arrest in human. However, a mild dose of the purified form of BoNT has been known to attenuate chronic cough, dyspnoea, pneumonia, acute respiratory failure, abnormal circulation, cardiac defects and various neurological deficits that have been recognised as the prominent clinical symptoms of COVID-19. Considering the fact, this review article provides 1) an overview on the SARS-CoV-2 mediated pathological impact on the lungs, heart and brain, 2) signifies the therapeutic uses of BoNTs against pulmonary failure, cardiac arrest and neurological deficits, and 3) emphasize the rationality for the possible use of BoNT to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and manage COVID-19.
Project description:More than seven months into the coronavirus disease -19 (COVID-19) pandemic, infection from the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has led to over 21.2 million cases and resulted in over 760,000 deaths worldwide so far. As a result, COVID-19 has changed all our lives as we battle to curtail the spread of the infection in the absence of specific therapies against coronaviruses and in anticipation of a proven safe and efficacious vaccine. Common with previous outbreaks of coronavirus infections, SARS and Middle East respiratory syndrome, COVID-19 can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) that arises due to an imbalanced immune response. While several repurposed antiviral and host-response drugs are under examination as potential treatments, other novel therapeutics are also being explored to alleviate the effects on critically ill patients. The use of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) for COVID-19 has become an attractive avenue down which almost 70 different clinical trial teams have ventured. Successfully trialled for the treatment of other conditions such as multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis and graft versus host disease, MSCs possess both regenerative and immunomodulatory properties, the latter of which can be harnessed to reduce the severity and longevity of ARDS in patients under intensive care due to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Project description:COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) disease severity and stages varies from asymptomatic, mild flu-like symptoms, moderate, severe, critical, and chronic disease. COVID-19 disease progression include lymphopenia, elevated proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, accumulation of macrophages and neutrophils in lungs, immune dysregulation, cytokine storms, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), etc. Development of vaccines to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and other coronavirus has been difficult to create due to vaccine induced enhanced disease responses in animal models. Multiple betacoronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1 expand cellular tropism by infecting some phagocytic cells (immature macrophages and dendritic cells) via antibody bound Fc receptor uptake of virus. Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) may be involved in the clinical observation of increased severity of symptoms associated with early high levels of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in patients. Infants with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19 may also have ADE caused by maternally acquired SARS-CoV-2 antibodies bound to mast cells. ADE risks associated with SARS-CoV-2 has implications for COVID-19 and MIS-C treatments, B-cell vaccines, SARS-CoV-2 antibody therapy, and convalescent plasma therapy for patients. SARS-CoV-2 antibodies bound to mast cells may be involved in MIS-C and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults (MIS-A) following initial COVID-19 infection. SARS-CoV-2 antibodies bound to Fc receptors on macrophages and mast cells may represent two different mechanisms for ADE in patients. These two different ADE risks have possible implications for SARS-CoV-2 B-cell vaccines for subsets of populations based on age, cross-reactive antibodies, variabilities in antibody levels over time, and pregnancy. These models place increased emphasis on the importance of developing safe SARS-CoV-2 T cell vaccines that are not dependent upon antibodies.
Project description:With the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the world has been facing an unprecedented challenge. Considering the lack of appropriate therapy for COVID-19, it is crucial to develop effective treatments instead of supportive approaches. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as multipotent stromal cells have been shown to possess treating potency through inhibiting or modulating the pathological events in COVID-19. MSCs and their exosomes participate in immunomodulation by controlling cell-mediated immunity and cytokine release. Furthermore, they repair the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) malfunction, increase alveolar fluid clearance, and reduce the chance of hypercoagulation. Besides the lung, which is the primary target of SARS-CoV-2, the heart, kidney, nervous system, and gastrointestinal tract are also affected by COVID-19. Thus, the efficacy of targeting these organs via different delivery routes of MSCs and their exosomes should be evaluated to ensure safe and effective MSCs administration in COVID-19. This review focuses on the proposed therapeutic mechanisms and delivery routes of MSCs and their exosomes to the damaged organs. It also discusses the possible application of primed and genetically modified MSCs as a promising drug delivery system in COVID-19. Moreover, the recent advances in the clinical trials of MSCs and MSCs-derived exosomes as one of the promising therapeutic approaches in COVID-19 have been reviewed.
Project description:In late 2019, a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in Wuhan, capital city of Hubei province in China. Cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection quickly grew by several thousand per day. Less than 100 days later, the World Health Organization declared that the rapidly spreading viral outbreak had become a global pandemic. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is typically associated with fever and respiratory symptoms. It often progresses to severe respiratory distress and multi-organ failure which carry a high mortality rate. Older patients or those with medical comorbidities are at greater risk for severe disease. Inflammation, pulmonary edema and an over-reactive immune response can lead to hypoxia, respiratory distress and lung damage. Mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs) possess potent and broad-ranging immunomodulatory activities. Multiple in vivo studies in animal models and ex vivo human lung models have demonstrated the MSC's impressive capacity to inhibit lung damage, reduce inflammation, dampen immune responses and aid with alveolar fluid clearance. Additionally, MSCs produce molecules that are antimicrobial and reduce pain. Upon administration by the intravenous route, the cells travel directly to the lungs where the majority are sequestered, a great benefit for the treatment of pulmonary disease. The in vivo safety of local and intravenous administration of MSCs has been demonstrated in multiple human clinical trials, including studies of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Recently, the application of MSCs in the context of ongoing COVID-19 disease and other viral respiratory illnesses has demonstrated reduced patient mortality and, in some cases, improved long-term pulmonary function. Adipose-derived stem cells (ASC), an abundant type of MSC, are proposed as a therapeutic option for the treatment of COVID-19 in order to reduce morbidity and mortality. Additionally, when proven to be safe and effective, ASC treatments may reduce the demand on critical hospital resources. The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in significant healthcare and socioeconomic burdens across the globe. There is a desperate need for safe and effective treatments. Cellular based therapies hold great promise for the treatment of COVID-19. This literature summary reviews the scientific rationale and need for clinical studies of adipose-derived stem cells and other types of mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of patients who suffer with COVID-19.