How could adult medicinal signaling (stem) cells make a difference in COVID-19?

Transplantation of ACE2- Mesenchymal Stem Cells Improves the Outcome of Patients with COVID-19 Pneumonia

In these types of viral conditions, the immune system is exposed to a large antigen load that over activates the inflammatory/healing signaling cascade through T cell major histocompatibility complex (MHC) I and II proteins. This overactivation results in the excessive production of T cells and macrophages, resulting in a "cytokine storm" with a variety of proinflammatory cytokines such as interleukins (IL)-1, TNF, IL-6, IL-12, and IL-18 being released. Fatalities are not uncommon and usually result from the damage that occurs at the perfusion interface in the lungs alveolae (pneumonia). Systemic shock occurs via the same mechanism and carries a 50% mortality risk in the intensive care unit.

Much as they do in the setting of arthritis, where overactivity of the inflammatory cascade has led to joint destruction, signaling (stem) cells are able to modify the metabolic environment that the diseased cells are functional in. Signaling (stem) cells respond with healing proteins to the environment they are in. By changing the immune environment from one of catabolism to one of anabolism, the pro-inflammatory molecules are outweighed by the anti-inflammatory (healing) molecules, repair and regeneration is repaired.

So, the response from mesenchymal stem cells that have been injected/used to manage end stage COVID-19 disease are working through an immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory mechanism that affects all cells and tissues. This same mechanism has been postulated when patients who have had one knee treated with cell therapy report pain relief in the contralateral knee and other joints following their monotherapy.

Author
S. Austin Yeargan III, MD Orthopedic Surgeon Molecular Immunobiologist

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