Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a devastating and life-threatening syndrome that results in high morbidity and mortality. Current pharmacologic treatments and mechanical ventilation have limited value in targeting the underlying pathophysiology of ARDS. Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have shown potent therapeutic advantages in experimental and clinical trials through direct cell-to-cell interaction and paracrine signaling. However, safety concerns and the indeterminate effects of MSCs have resulted in the investigation of MSC-derived extracellular vesicles (MSC-EVs) due to their low immunogenicity and tumorigenicity. Over the past decades, soluble proteins, microRNAs, and organelles packaged in EVs have been identified as efficacious molecules to orchestrate nearby immune responses, which attenuate acute lung injury by facilitating pulmonary epithelium repair, reducing acute inflammation, and restoring pulmonary vascular leakage. Even though MSC-EVs possess similar bio-functional effects to their parental cells, there remains existing barriers to employing this alternative from bench to bedside. Here, we summarize the current established research in respect of molecular mechanisms of MSC-EV effects in ARDS and highlight the future challenges of MSC-EVs for clinical application.
Keywords: ARDS; COVID-19; extracellular vesicle; mesenchymal stromal cell.
©2021 Society for Leukocyte Biology.