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WJ-MSCs and COVID-19, what to expect?

coronavirus and stem cell therapy

This year, humankind and science have been pushed and tested with the rise of COVID-19. Moreover, in times of fear and uncertainty is when we must stay calm and rely on what we know to get over the situation, and that is when science gets an urgent call to get into the game.

We have relied on pharmaceuticals and what is called “MODERN MEDICINE,” for years, and so far, that is failing. Well, now there is a call for something else, ADVANCED medical science, and the medicine of the future: Mesenchymal Stem Cells.

There have been studies reported all around the world, stating that MSCs can modulate the immune system and regenerate tissues. Of course, giving proof of that, BioXcellerator is innovating in the world of Wharton jelly mesenchymal stem cells (WJ-MSC) and its applications, in this case, IMMUNOMODULATION.

The human immune system is quite complex, and so is its response to external “attacks” such as COVID-19. The COVID-19 pathogen binds to specific cellular receptors on the cellular membrane and thereby entering the cell and causing disease, and this causes the immune system to create an inflammatory response, which is responsible for the release of cytokines. They kill the virus and infected cells, but in the process of doing so can harm its host. (You) That is when problems begin, people start having difficulties breathing, fluid starts accumulating around their lungs, scar tissue begins to form in the lungs, and other organs fail, such as the liver and kidneys. The most obvious answer would be: “stop the immune system.” Well, it is not as easy as that; if you do immunosuppression to a patient, then things could get even worse; it would make the patient more inclined to other infections, including not being able to fight off the COVID virus. 

Here is when science comes in with the stems, especially WJ-MSC, to do what is called immunomodulation. Tissue regeneration for the acute scar tissue, studies[1] have shown that MSCs improved functional outcomes, demonstrating that IV infusions of MSCs is a safe and effective approach for treating patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, including elderly patients with severe cases of pneumonia. This treatment is particularly challenging as there is no vaccine or medication for this strain of the virus.

MSC’s inhibit the overactivation of the immune system and promote endogenous repair by improving the microenvironment of the lungs when infection is attacking. Macrophages that are responsible for the beginning of the inflammatory response exhibit functional transitions as tissue repair progresses and can adopt a broad spectrum of phenotypes. Two of the best-characterized phenotypes are pro-inflammatory or M1-like phenotype and anti-inflammatory or M2-like phenotype. M1 macrophages produce high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and are related to the early stage of inflammation, whereas M2 macrophages, with lower pro-inflammatory cytokine production, are associated with the resolution of inflammation and tissue repair[2]. Several studies suggest that an incorrect balance between M1- and M2-like activities after injury can lead to persistent inflammation and/or maladaptive repair processes, both contributing to aberrant tissue repair[3]. Due to their critical role during wound healing, macrophages have emerged as potential targets in therapeutic tissue regeneration strategies[4]. Accumulating evidence suggests that mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) promote tissue repair and regeneration through modulation of immune response and secretion of growth factors rather than by replacement of damaged cells. 

MSC’s release a wide range of immunoregulatory factors, including PGE2 and interleukin-6 (IL-6), that skew macrophages toward a pro-resolving profile. In response to inflammatory mediators, MSC produce soluble factors that regulate the immune response Macrophages plasticity leads to changes in the balance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory factors as tissue is healed and remodeled. The earliest events trigger the release of numerous pro-inflammatory mediators, which are followed by a shift to increased production of anti-inflammatory cytokines and growth factors to allow tissue repair[5]. Additionally, pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokine expression can be induced simultaneously at the early stages of inflammation. So, we can say that factors secreted by pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory macrophages activate the immunomodulatory potential of MSC’s[6]. We have all the confidence that WJ-MSCs treatment for acute phases of the disease and the scarring tissue generated by the condition can be avoided with our procedures. Science by humans for humans.

Camilo White C. MD

BioXcellerator, Advanced Stem Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine



[1] Leng et al., Aging Dis, 11:216-228, 2020

[2] Willenborg S, Lucas T, Van LG, Knipper JA, Krieg T, Haase I, et al. CCR2 recruits an inflammatory macrophage subpopulation critical for angiogenesis in tissue repair. Blood. 2012;120(3):613–25.

[3] Braune J, Weyer U, Hobusch C, Mauer J, Brüning JC, Bechmann I, et al. IL-6 regulates M2 polarization and local proliferation of adipose tissue

[4] Huang R, Wang X, Zhou Y, Xiao Y. RANKL-induced M1 macrophages are involved in bone formation. Bone Res. 2017;5:1–13.

[5] Sica A, Mantovani A. Macrophage plasticity and polarization: in vivo veritas. J Clin Invest. 2012;122(3):787–95.

[6] Saldaña et al. Stem Cell Research & Therapy (2019) 10:58 https://doi.org/10.1186/s13287-019-1156-6

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