Mesenchymal stem cells for the prevention of covid-19
23 de abril de 2020
Like almost any flu disease, the patients most likely to develop COVID-19 are people over 60 with a history of conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, cancer or immunosuppressed patients. However, how your body defends itself against it depends a lot on your overall health.
One of the mechanisms through which the virus damages the lungs of patients is its ability to stimulate pro-inflammatory molecules such as IL-2, IL-6, IL-7, GSCF, IP10, MCP1, MIP1A or TNFα. The so-called "cytokine storm" leads to chronic inflammation and pulmonary edema, which causes respiratory failure and if it gets worse, can lead to death.
So far, there is no effective treatment to eradicate COVID-19. Patients have been treated with glucocorticoids and anti-inflammatories, without much success. In China, up to 150 million mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) distributed in three doses for their use in some severe cases of COVID-19 were approved. The application of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) resulted in the improvement of all transplanted patients. Although more studies are needed, these results indicate that MSC treatment may be one of the most effective ways to fight COVID-19.
Human Stem Cells are cells with an immunomodulatory capacity already recognized in various scientific reports around the world. Their effectiveness has been proven especially in inflammatory diseases or diseases of the immune system. Such as the well-known case of its use against graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), in which mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are given to prevent and diminish the inflammatory action produced by the transplant of an organ.
Through their already known functions, they decrease the flow of pro-inflammatory molecules and stimulate the immune system to produce cells and anti-inflammatory molecules which decreases the harmful inflammation. In addition, they help the body recover naturally by secreting growth factors and angiogenic factors that allow the regeneration of damaged tissue.
Despite the fact that the portion of the population vulnerable to COVID-19 has already been described, as with any other disease, one of the ways in which it is faced by the population is through collective immunity. If healthy patients who contract the disease have a greater ability to stop it, the risk of transmission is lower since the body will be able to counteract the infection more effectively and faster. On the other hand, they will be able to leave more space in the health system so it can focus on the people who really need it.
Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) treatment is known to have an immunomodulatory effect and to possess the ability to modify the cellular environment, helping prepare the body for the stresses continually received from the environment, as well as to cope with infection. Therefore, this treatment is recommended as a way of prevention, both for vulnerable patients and for the general population.
However, it is necessary to clarify that not all cells work. In the patients treated in China, the mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) were growth under the criteria of good manufacturing practices (GMP) and with a rigorous quality control. It is important that the regenerative treatment comes from a Stem Cell Bank that can verify the purity, identity and viability of the cells to ensure the success of the treatment.