Could Mesenchymal Stem Cells help in the treatment of patients with COVID-19?

 In Stem Cell News

With the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a surge in clinical research to understand the disease better and to find ways of combatting the symptoms and treating patients. One of the questions that has been asked is; if stem cells from the umbilical cord could help in the treatment of Covid-19.

Over recent years, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been recognised as a fundamental player in cellular therapeutics, this is a treatment using your own cells. MSCs are multipotent stromal cells which means they have the capacity to differentiate into a variety of cell types, including bone, cartilage and muscle. These cells can be sourced from bone marrow, adipose tissue, cord blood and cord tissue. However, it is now understood that their key modes of action include anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects. Furthermore, it is being recognised that they are capable of secreting various protein molecules that may facilitate tissue healing and repair.

Laboratory TestingGiven this scope of therapeutic actions, researchers and clinical teams have taken the very logical step to investigate the potential of MSCs in the treatment of patients with coronavirus. As the virus causes damage to the lungs of sufferers, the intervention with MSCs is aimed at suppressing inflammation and promoting healing of the damaged tissues.

More data on clinical outcomes must be collected before drawing any firm conclusions, but even now, results seem encouraging.

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